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Carlos Peterson v. Superintendent

September 14, 2011

CARLOS PETERSON, PETITIONER,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, A/K/A PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT.



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

DECISION and ORDER

Currently before this Court, in this habeas corpus proceeding filed pro se by Carlos Peterson ("Petitioner") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, are (1) a Report-Recommendation from United States Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter recommending that Petitioner's Amended Petition be denied and dismissed, and that a certificate of appealability not issue (Dkt. No. 46), (2) Petitioner's three requests for leave to supplement his Objections to Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation (Dkt. Nos. 48, 50, 51), and (3) Petitioner's letter-request for a suppression hearing (Dkt. No. 54). For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's three requests for leave to supplement his Objections to Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation are denied; and the Clerk of the Court is directed to strike from the docket Petitioner's two subsequent submissions attempting to supplement his Objections (Dkt. Nos. 52, 53). Moreover, Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety: Petitioner's Amended Petition is denied and dismissed; Petitioner's letter-request for a suppression hearing is denied as moot, and, in the alterative, as unsupported by a showing of cause; and it is directed that a certificate of appealability not issue.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Petitioner's Claims

In his petition, Petitioner asserts one ground for habeas relief: that the evidence was insufficient to convict him of second degree assault. For the sake of brevity, the Court will not repeat the factual background of Petitioner's 2008 conviction for assault in the second degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, criminal trespass in the third degree, and resisting arrest, but will simply refer the parties to the relevant portions of Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation, which accurately recites that factual background. (Dkt. No. 46 at 1-7.)

B. Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation

On March 28, 2011, Magistrate Judge Baxter issued his Report-Recommendation. In his Report-Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Baxter recommends dismissal of Petitioner's petition because, after reviewing the evidence presented at trial in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could have found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. (Dkt. No. 46.) Thus, "the Appellate Division did not act contrary to Jackson v. Virginia[, 443 U.S. 307 [1979]] when it refused to disturb the jury determination and held that the evidence was sufficient to convict petitioner of Assault, Second Degree under N.Y. Penal Law § 120.05(3)."

(Id.) Petitioner's Objections the Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation were due by April 14, 2011.*fn1

C. Petitioner's Objections

On April 4, 2011, Petitioner submitted his Objections to the Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. No. 47.) Construed with the utmost of special liberality, Petitioner's Objection argues that Magistrate Judge Baxter erred in recommending dismissal of his habeas because he failed to take into account (1) that neither medical reports, testimony from a doctor, or evidence of prescription medication was introduced at trial regarding the injuries suffered by the officers whom Petitioner was found guilty of assaulting, and (2) that there was no testimony indicating that the injuries suffered by the officers whom Petitioner was found guilty of assaulting caused them "substantial pain or substantial injury or extended period of injury sufficient to keep [them] from working as a police officer or [from performing other] physical condition[s]. . . ." (Id.)

In a submission post-marked April 21, 2011 (seven days after the expiration of the deadline by which to file Objections to the Report-Recommendation), Petitioner requested leave to supplement his Objections with what he characterized as "new evidence" (specifically, a one-page copy of the criminal complaint against him), which he attached. (Dkt. No. 48.) In his submission, Petitioner argues that he did not meet the criteria to charge him with second degree assault because he did not possess or use a weapon to inflict injury on the officers. (Id.)

Similarly, in a submission post-marked April 23, 2011 (nine days after the expiration of the deadline by which to file Objections to the Report-Recommendation), Petitioner requested leave to supplement his Objections with a three-page written statement, which he attached. (Dkt. No. 50.) In his submission, Petitioner essentially reiterates arguments he has previously raised regarding the insufficiency of the evidence as it relates to injuries suffered by the officers whom Petitioner was found guilty of assaulting. (Id.)

On May 25, 2011, the Court issued a Text Order stating that it would consider Petitioner's two requests, and that "[t]his case is fully briefed and no further filings will be accepted by the Court." (Text Order date 05/25/2011.)

Nonetheless, in a submission post-marked July 11, 2011 (58 days after the expiration of the deadline by which to file Objections to the Report-Recommendation), Petitioner again requested leave to supplement his Objections with what he characterized as "newly discovered eviden[c]e" ...


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