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U.S. EX REL DANIELS v. BAIRD
August 11, 2004.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. SHEILA DANIELS #B07622, Petitioner,
CALLIE BAIRD, Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
After this Court's July 21, 2004 memorandum opinion and order
("Opinion") had dismissed the 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Section 2254")
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus brought by Sheila Daniels
("Daniels"), her able counsel Sam Adam, Esq. filed a timely
motion for reconsideration of that ruling. Although in doing so
attorney Adam did not comply with this District Court's LR
5.3(b), which calls for the designation of a presentment date for
any such motion, this Court sees no reason to require adherence
to that procedure or to call for a response from Assistant
Attorney General Domenica Osterberger, who handled the matter for
respondent in the first instance. Instead this memorandum opinion
and order will explain the reasons for this Court's denial of the
motion for reconsideration.
At its core, the motion challenges this Court's holding that
the action taken by the Illinois Appellate Court in People v.
Daniels, 346 Ill.App.3d 350, 805 N.E.2d 1206 (1st Dist.
2004) ("Daniels III") has provided an independent and adequate
state ground for the rejection of Daniels' substantive contentions,
thus barring federal habeas relief. In material part, this Court
is said to be mistaken in having attributed any significance to
Daniels' Miranda-based reference in seeking leave to appeal to
the Illinois Supreme Court the first time around, assertedly
without having first tendered the issue to the Illinois Appellate
Court. And the Appellate Court in turn is again criticized in the
motion for having reached its law-of-the-case conclusion in its
second post-conviction review.
Although the Opinion did not frame the matter in just these
terms, it is plain that the entire argument by Daniels and her
counsel commits the same error of conflating differing theories
of recovery with the concept of "claim for relief" which is the
operative yardstick in federal jurisprudence that our Court of
Appeals has spelled out in NAACP v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co.,
978 F.2d 287
, 292 (7th Cir. 1992) (most citations omitted):
Identifying legal theories may assist defendants and
the court in seeing how the plaintiff hopes to
prevail, but this organization does not track the
idea of "claim for relief" in the federal rules.
Putting each legal theory in a separate count is a
throwback to code pleading, perhaps all the way back
to the forms of action; in both, legal theory and
facts together created a "cause of action." The Rules
of Civil Procedure divorced factual from legal
aspects of the claim and replaced "cause of action"
with "claim for relief" to signify the difference.
Bartholet v. Reishauer A.G. (Zürich),
953 F.2d 1073, 1078 (7th Cir. 1992). A complaint should limn
the grievance and demand relief. It need not identify
the law on which the claim rests, and different legal
theories therefore do not multiply the number of
claims for relief.
One set of facts producing one injury creates one
claim for relief, no matter how many laws the deeds
violate. Plaintiffs could not litigate and lose a
suit asserting that American Family's redlining
violates Title VIII, pursue another asserting that
redlining violates § 1981, and then crank up a third
asserting that redlining violates § 1982.
Just so as to Daniels and her counsel, for in their view it is
somehow permissible for them to urge allegedly unconstitutional
activity of law enforcement officers as an asserted violation of
one part of the Bill of Rights and then, with that argument
having been judicially rejected, to bring a second attack in a
different proceeding based on the selfsame activity by the
selfsame officers as a violation of another part of the Bill of
Rights. It was that effort to take a second bite at the
constitutional apple on the identical set of facts that the
Illinois Appellate Court in Daniels III,
346 Ill.App.3d at 355-63, 805 N.E.2d at 1210-16 rejected on law-of-the-case
principles and that basis for rejection was, purely and simply,
an independent and adequate state ground.
One additional and closely related point should be made.
Daniels' current Motion at 2 argues that no effect should be
given to this portion of her Petition for Leave To Appeal to the
Illinois Supreme Court the first time around (back in June 1995),
on the ground that denials of leave to appeal reflect no
determination by the Supreme Court on the merits and hence
"count for zero":
The taking of Petitioner by the police from her home
and her retention in the police station from 5:00
p.m. until 3:00 a.m., admittedly without probable
cause, and without advising her of her Miranda rights, was a
seizure and interrogation in derogation of the United
States Constitution, Amendments IV, V, VI, and XIV,
and of the Illinois Constitution, Article I, Sections
2, 6, 8, and 10, such as to render her 3:00 a.m.
statements to a polygraph operator inadmissible.
That too misses the point. What the quoted excerpt reflects is
Daniels' and her counsel's own perception of the scope of her
originally-launched challenge to the admissibility of her
inculpatory statements. It was that self-perception of which this
Court spoke in Opinion at 7:
It is thus undeniable that in Daniels I,
represented by the same experienced and
well-qualified criminal defense lawyer who is her
attorney in this proceeding, Daniels treated her
motion to suppress as a seamless and all-purpose
attack, not as one splintered into segmented claimed
constitutional infirmities (even if this Court were
to leave aside the question whether such divisible
treatment would be permissible without Daniels
running afoul of preclusion principles).
And the Illinois Appellate Court surely cannot be faulted, as a
constitutional matter, for having examined the earlier
proceedings with care and having concluded that law-of-the-case
In sum, nothing in Daniels' current motion for reconsideration
calls for reexamination, let alone modification, of what was said
in the Opinion. That current motion is denied.
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