Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cowan v. Crow

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

December 4, 2019

DONALD RAY COWAN, Petitioner,
v.
SCOTT CROW, [1] Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. DOWDELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CHIEF JUDGE

         Petitioner Donald Ray Cowan commenced this action on November 25, 2019, by filing a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) and submitting the requisite filing fee (Doc. 2). For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that the habeas petition should be dismissed, without prejudice, for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

         I. Background

         Petitioner brings this action to challenge the judgment and sentence entered against him in the District Court of Tulsa County, No. CF-2005-1.[2] Doc. 1, at 1.[3] In that case, a jury found petitioner guilty of first-degree manslaughter. Cowan, 2013 WL 607862, at *1. In rendering its verdict, the jury rejected Petitioner's claim “that the shooting was justified and that he acted in self-defense.” Cowan, 2013 WL 607862, at *1. In accordance with the jury's recommendation, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to serve four years in prison, the minimum sentence permitted under Oklahoma law. Id. Petitioner filed a direct appeal and, in 2009, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) affirmed Petitioner's judgment and sentence. Id. at *2.

         Petitioner filed his first § 2254 petition in 2010. Id. In that petition, he (1) claimed the jury instructions and prosecutor's arguments denied him equal protection, (2) prosecutorial misconduct deprived him of a fair trial, and (3) trial counsel's deficient performance deprived him of his constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel.[4] Id. In 2013, this court considered the merits of each of these claims and denied habeas relief. Id. at *5-11.

         In 2019, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in state court, alleging the trial court lacked personal and subject-matter jurisdiction and challenging “Several Void Judgments issued by the District Trial Court and Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.” Doc. 1, at 2.[5] The Oklahoma Supreme Court transferred the petition to the OCCA, and the OCCA denied relief on November 22, 2019. Id.; see also Cowan v. State, No. HC-2019-680 (Okla. Crim. App. Nov. 22, 2019), http://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx?db=appellateνmber=HC-2019-680&cmid=126906, last visited Nov. 27, 2019.

         Petitioner filed the instant § 2254 petition three days later, on November 25, 2019. Doc. I, at 1. He seeks federal habeas relief on four grounds:

1. The Tulsa County District Trial Court lost both Personal and Subject Mater [sic] Jurisdiction over the Petitoner [sic] & The Subject Matter on May 12, 2006, thereby rendering a void judgment of guilt.
2. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has denied me due process of law, by abusing procedure to avoid reaching the merrits [sic] of my Direct Appeal and every subsequent preceeding [sic] thereafter[.]
3. U.S. District Judge Frizzell of the Northern District of Oklahoma, acted in a manner inconsistent with due proccess [sic] of law by “setting on” my first Application for Relief until I discharged my sentence.
4. Denied Effective Assistance of Counsel during both the Trial and Direct Appeal for their Failure to Raise Jurisdictional issues and bring them before the Court.

Doc. 1, at 5, 7-8, 10. Petitioner asks this Court to issue a writ of habeas corpus “setting aside the Void Mandates of the [OCCA] for their abuse of procedure, and acting in a manner inconsistent with due process of law and Vacating the Void Judgment of Guilt issued by the Tulsa County District Court.” Doc. 1, at 15.

         II. Analysis

         Federal district courts have a duty to “promptly examine” habeas petitions filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (“Habeas Rule 4”). And, “if ‘it plainly appears from the petition . . . that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court,' the court must summarily dismiss the petition without ordering a responsive pleading.” Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 656 (2005) (quoting Habeas Rule 4). More generally, this Court has “‘an independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, ” and should dismiss an action “at any stage of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.