N.D.N.Y.: Mere disagreement with state court 4A determination still bars habeas review

Defendant had his opportunity to litigate his Fourth Amendment claim in state court, and that bars habeas relief. Mere disagreement isn’t enough under Stone. Smith v. Superintendent, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171480 (N.D. N.Y. Sept. 17, 2020)*:

The Second Circuit “has made clear that a fourth amendment claim may not be considered by a federal habeas corpus court if the state has provided an opportunity fully and fairly to litigate it.” McPhail v. Warden, Attica Corr. Facility, 707 F.2d 67, 69 (2d Cir. 1983). In order to receive habeas review of a Fourth Amendment claim, a petitioner must demonstrate either that the State failed to provide any “corrective procedures” by which Fourth Amendment claims could be litigated, or that the State had such procedures in place but that the petitioner was unable to avail himself of those procedures “because of an unconscionable breakdown in the underlying process.” Capellan v. Riley, 975 F.2d 67, 70 (2d Cir. 1992). A “mere disagreement with the outcome of a state court ruling is not the equivalent of an unconscionable breakdown in the state’s corrective process,” and thus is insufficient to give this Court authority to review Fourth Amendment claims. Id. at 72. “It is well-settled that New York State provides for a full and fair opportunity to litigate a Fourth Amendment claim.” Evans v. Giambruno, 2000 WL 1876642, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 26, 2000) (citing Grey v. Hoke, 933 F.2d 117, 121 (2d Cir.1991)). And the record reflects that Petitioner took advantage of his opportunity to fully adjudicate the matter in state court. See generally H. Tr. 1-110. Petitioner Smith is therefore not entitled to habeas corpus relief on his claim of an unlawful seizure and search.

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