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Capra v. LeClair

August 20, 2010

ANTHONY CAPRA, PETITIONER,
v.
DARWIN LECLAIR, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

03-A-4971

DECISION and ORDER

Currently before this Court, in this habeas corpus proceeding filed pro se by Anthony Capra ("Petitioner") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, is a Report-Recommendation from United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles's recommending that Petitioner's petition be denied and dismissed, and that a certificate of appealability not issue. (Dkt. No. 21.) For the reasons set forth below, Magistrate Judge Peebles's Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety: Petitioner's petition is denied and dismissed in its entirety, and it is directed that a certificate of appealability not issue.

I. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Standard of Review

When specific objections are made to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court makes a "de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).*fn1

When only general objections are made to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation (or the objecting party merely repeats the allegations of his pleading), the Court reviews for clear error or manifest injustice. See Brown v. Peters, 95-CV-1641, 1997 WL 599355, at *2-3 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 1997) (Pooler, J.) [collecting cases], aff'd without opinion, 175 F.3d 1007 (2d Cir. 1999).*fn2 Similarly, when a party makes no objection to a portion of a report-recommendation, the Court reviews that portion for clear error or manifest injustice. See Batista v. Walker, 94-CV-2826, 1995 WL 453299, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 31, 1995) (Sotomayor, J.) [citations omitted]; Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), Advisory Committee Notes: 1983 Addition [citations omitted]. After conducting the appropriate review, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).

B. Standard Governing Review of Petitioner's Habeas Petition

Magistrate Judge Peebles correctly recited the legal standard governing review of Petitioner's habeas petition. (Dkt. No. 21 at 20-23.) As a result, this standard is incorporated by reference in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for review of the parties.

II. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

For the sake of brevity, the Court will not repeat the factual background of Petitioner's 2004 felony weapons conviction, but will simply refer the reader to the relevant portions of Magistrate Judge Peebles's Report-Recommendation, which accurately recites that factual background. (Dkt. No. 21 at 3-8.)

The Court will note only that Petitioner was originally charged with robbery in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Petitioner pled guilty to third degree criminal possession of a weapon in exchange for satisfying the two-count indictment. During the entry of his plea, Petitioner was advised by Albany County Court Judge Thomas A. Breslin that he was pleading to a felony charge and would be sentenced to a determinate seven-year sentence. (Dkt. No. 21, at 4-5.)

A. Petitioner's Claims

In his petition, Petitioner asserts the following three grounds for habeas relief: (1) the trial court erred in sentencing him to a felony conviction for a term of more than one year; (2) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and (3) the district attorney and the trial court had an obligation to apprise him that, while he ...


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