United States District Court, D. Maryland
BRIAN K. TIDMORE, #429998, SID #1774564 Petitioner
WARDEN WOLFE and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND Respondents
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
is Brian K. Tidmore's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his 2014
judgment of conviction by way of a not guilty plea on an
agreed statement of facts pursuant to which he was convicted
in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County, Maryland.
Specifically, he was found guilty of possession of cocaine
with the intent to distribute as a volume dealer, possession
of cocaine with the intent to distribute, and possession of
cocaine. Respondents filed an Answer (ECF 5), to which
Tidmore filed a Reply. (ECF 6).
case is briefed and ready for disposition. After considering
the pleadings, exhibits, and applicable law, this Court finds
a hearing unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.
2016); Rule 8, Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings
in the United States District Courts; see also Fisher v.
Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000) (petitioner is
not entitled to a hearing under 28 U.S.C. §2254(e)(2)).
The Court will DENY AND DISMISS the Petition with prejudice.
presents interrelated and overlapping claims for relief which
can be summarized as follows: (1) the trial court erred in
failing to dismiss his charges due to a violation of the
Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD); (2) the trial court
erred by failing to dismiss his charges due to a violation of
his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial; and (3) the
warden of the prison in Georgia where he was incarcerated
violated his Fourteenth Amendment Due Process rights by
failing to have his IAD paperwork delivered to the Circuit
Court for Wicomico County. (ECF 1 at 7, 9-11).
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 2, 2007, Tidmore was the sole occupant of a vehicle
that was stopped for a traffic violation in Salisbury,
Maryland. A K-9 dog assisted in detecting a bag in the car
that contained approximately 500 grams of cocaine.
See Agreed Statement of Facts, Trans. (ECF 5-6 at
47, 51) On March 26, 2007, a Wicomico County grand jury
returned an indictment charging Tidmore with volume
possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and
possession of cocaine. (ECF 1 at 5-1 at 8).
trial was scheduled to begin on July 10, 2007. When Tidmore
failed to appear, the trial date was continued to August 24,
2007. Tidmore again failed to appear, (ECF 1 at 5-1 at 9-10;
ECF 5-2, 5-3).
absconded to Georgia where he was arrested, convicted on
narcotics charges unrelated to the ones he was facing in
Maryland, and sentenced to ten years of incarceration by a
Georgia state court. He was released on parole in May of
2014. (ECF 5-9 at 2-3).
1, 2010, Tidmore's attorney filed a Motion for a Speedy
Trial in his Maryland case. ECF 1 at 5-1 at 10; ECF 5-5 at
23. Shortly after, the State's Attorney's Office for
Wicomico County lodged a detainer against Tidmore in Georgia.
September 14, 2010, Tidmore signed a waiver of extradition
and forms requesting to stand trial in Maryland. The forms
were sent to the Wicomico County Sheriffs Department and the
District of Attorney of Wicomico County. (ECF 5-6 at 9-16).
was released on parole from his Georgia conviction on May 7,
2014. (ECF 5-6 at 8). He was transported to Maryland on May
11, 2014. Id.
2014 PROCEEDINGS IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR WICOMICO
his return to Maryland, Tidmore moved to dismiss the
indictments, asserting violations of the Interstate Agreement
on Detainers ("IAD") and his right to a speedy
trial. (ECF 5-5, 5-6). Tidmore testified at the two-day
motions hearing conducted on August 1 and 4, 2014, that once
he learned of the Maryland detainer, he informed his Georgia
case manager of his desire to return to Maryland to stand
trial. Tidmore testified he signed the relevant forms in
Georgia on September 14, 2010, and was given documentation
about three days later showing that the warden sent the forms
to the Wicomico County Sheriffs Office and the county
"District Attorney" in Wicomico County. (ECF 5-6 at
9-16). Tidmore's testimony was supported by a letter from
the warden at the Georgia prison as well as a U.S. Postal
Service "green card" that confirmed the mailing.
(ECF 5-6 at 27). Tidmore could not remember whether the
paperwork was sent to the Circuit Court for Wicomico County.
Id. Tidmore testified that he inquired
"constantly" about returning to Maryland, and his
Georgia case workers called "Wicomico County" on
"multiple occasions." Id. at 18.
end of the hearing, the trial court denied Tidmore's
Motion to Dismiss, finding he had not complied with the
notice requirements of Md. Correctional Services Art.
8-405(b). The trial judge stated:
Correctional Services Section 8-405(b)... states the written
notice and request for final disposition required under
subsection A of this section shall be given or sent by the
prisoner to the Warden, Commissioner of Corrections or other
official having custody of the prisoner, who shall promptly
forward it, together with the certificate, to the appropriate
prosecuting official and the court by registered or
1 certified mail, return receipt requested.
It's undisputed that nothing was sent to the Court in
this case. The Statute is plain on its face, and there is a
good purpose for that. There is a salutary purpose of that
statute by requiring it [request for trial documents] to go
to Court because if it's not sent to the State's
Attorney at least the Court is aware of the situation and the
Court can invoke the Defendant's right to a speedy trial.
(ECF 5-6 at 36) (emphasis added).
August 4, 2014, Tidmore pleaded not guilty to an agreed
statement of facts after which the Court found him guilty and
sentenced him to 20 years of incarceration with all but seven
years suspended. The sentence includes a mandatory minimum of
five years. (ECF 5-6 at 58; ECF 1 at l.).
raised two questions on direct appealed to the Court of
Special Appeals of Maryland:
1. Did the circuit court err in denying appellant's
Motion to Dismiss due to a violation of the Interstate
Agreement on Detainers when, while detained in Georgia in
2010, he provided written notice of his request for final
disposition in this case that was sent by the warden in
Georgia to the State's Attorney's Office for Wicomico
2. Did the circuit court err in denying appellant's
Motion to Dismiss due to a violation of his Sixth Amendment
right to a speedy trial when the State's Attorney's
Office for Wicomico County had notice in September, 2010 of
appellant's waiver of extradition and desire to be tried
in Maryland but failed to take any action in the case until
August 11, 2015, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed
Tidmore's convictions in an unreported opinion.
Tidmore v. Maryland, CSA No. 1451, September Term;
see also ECF 5-9. Tidmore filed a Petition for a
Writ of Certiorari in the Court of Appeals of Maryland
requesting further review which the Court of Appeals of
Maryland denied on October 19, 2015. (ECF 5-10 at 30).
PETITION FOR POST CONVICTION RELIEF
December 23, 2015, Tidmore filed a Petition for
Post-Conviction Relief, raising a claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel. (ECF 1 at 5; ECF 5-1 at 14). On July
29, 2016, Tidmore was granted post-conviction relief in the
form of permission to file a Belated Motion for Modification
of Sentence. (ECF 5-1 at 15). All other claims in
Tidmore's Post-Conviction Petition were withdrawn with
prejudice. Id. Tidmore filed a Motion for
Modification in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County on
October 3, 2016, which that Court denied on July 25, 2017.
(last viewed March 27, 2018).
federal habeas statute at 28 U.S.C § 2254 states that a
district court "shall entertain an application for a
writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody
pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground
that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or
laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. §
statute sets forth a "highly deferential standard for
evaluating state-court rulings." Lindh v.
Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 333 n. 7 (1997); see also Bell
v. Cone, 543 U.S. 447, 853 (2005). This standard is
"difficult to meet, " and requires federal courts
to give state-court decisions the benefit of the doubt.
Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 181 (2011)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A state
prisoner must show that a state court ruling on a claim
presented in federal court was "so lacking in
justification that there was an error well understood and
comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for
fairminded disagreement." Harrington v.
Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 103 (2011).
federal court may not grant a writ of habeas corpus unless
the state's adjudication on the merits: (1)
"resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or
involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established
Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United
States" or (2) "resulted in a decision that was
based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light
of the evidence presented in the State court
proceeding." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).
adjudication is "contrary to" clearly established
federal law under § 2254(d)(1) where the state court
"arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by
[the Supreme] Court on a question of law" or
"confronts facts that are materially indistinguishable
from a relevant Supreme Court precedent and arrives at a
result opposite to [the Supreme Court]." Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405 (2000). Under the
"unreasonable application analysis, " a "state
court's determination that a claim lacks merit precludes
federal habeas relief so long as 'fairminded jurists
could disagree' on the correctness of the state
court's decision." Harrington, 562 U.S. at
101 (quoting Yarborough. v Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652,
664 (2004)). In other words, "a federal habeas court may
not issue the writ simply because [it] concludes in its
independent judgment that the relevant state-court decision
applied established federal law erroneously or
incorrectly." Renico v. Lett, 559 U.S. 766, 773
section 2254(d)(2), "a state-court factual determination
is not unreasonable merely because the federal habeas court
would have reached a different conclusion in the first
instance." Wood v. Allen, 558 U.S. 290, 301
(2010). "[E]ven if reasonable minds reviewing the record
might disagree about the finding in question, " a
federal court may not conclude that the state court decision
was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts.
"a determination of a factual issue made by a State
court shall be presumed to be correct[, ]" and the
petitioner bears "the burden of rebutting the
presumption of correctness by clear and convincing
evidence." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Nicolas v.
Attorney Gen. of Md., 820 F.3d 124, 129 (4th Cir. 2016).
"Where the state court conducted an evidentiary hearing
and explained its reasoning with some care, it should be
particularly difficult to establish clear and convincing
evidence of error on the state court's part."
Sharpe v. Bell, 593 F.3d 372, 378 (4th Cir. 2010).
This is especially true where the state court has
"resolved issues like witness credibility, which are
'factual determinations' for purposes of Section
undertaking an evaluation of §§ 2254(d)(1) and (2),
where the Court of Appeals of Maryland has summarily denied a
request for further review of the Court of Special
Appeals' determination, a federal habeas court must
"look through" the summary decision to the last
reasoned decision. Brumfield v. Cain, __U.S.__, 135
S.Ct. 2269, 2276 (2015) (citations omitted). The last
reasoned opinion on the claims Tidmore presents here was
issued by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on direct
CLAIM OF TRIAL COURT ERROR FOR DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS ...