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Tillman v. Haas

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

February 3, 2015

MARCUS TILLMAN, Petitioner,
v.
RANDALL HAAS, Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

Gerald E. Rosen Chief Judge, United States District Court

Petitioner Marcus Tillman has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner is incarcerated at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan. He challenges his plea-based convictions for second-degree murder and felony-firearm, second offense, on the ground that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the criminal proceeding because he was not represented by counsel at his arraignment. It is apparent from the face of the petition that habeas relief is not warranted. Therefore, the Court summarily dismisses the petition.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner pleaded no contest in Wayne County Circuit Court to second-degree murder and felony firearm, second offense. On June 29, 2012, he was sentenced to 21 to 30 years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction, and 5 years for the felony firearm, second offense.

Petitioner does not appear to have filed a direct appeal. Instead, he filed a motion for relief from judgment in the trial court, which was denied. People v. Tillman, No. 12-002930 (Wayne County Cir. Ct. Nov. 22, 2013). The Michigan Court of Appeals denied Petitioner’s application for leave to appeal from the denial of the motion for relief from judgment. People v. Tillman, 320214 (Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 14, 2014). Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, which, upon his written request, was withdrawn and the application dismissed with prejudice. People v. Tillman, 846 N.W.2d 918 (Mich. June 10, 2014).

Petitioner filed another application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals, which was denied. People v. Tillman, No. 321836 (Mich. Ct. App. July 23, 2014). Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, which remains pending.

Petitioner then filed the pending habeas petition. He raises a single claim: the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the criminal proceeding because Petitioner was not afforded counsel at the arraignment on the warrant.

II. STANDARD

Upon the filing of a habeas corpus petition, the court must promptly examine the petition to determine “if it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 cases. If the court determines that the petitioner is not entitled to relief, the court shall summarily dismiss the petition. McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994) (“Federal courts are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its face”). The habeas petition does not present grounds which may establish the violation of a federal constitutional right. The petition will be dismissed.

Petitioner’s claims are reviewed against the standards established by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (AEDPA). The AEDPA provides:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim –
(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 ...

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