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Cooley v. Winn

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

March 11, 2015

WILLIE JAMES COOLEY, Petitioner,
v.
THOMAS WINN, Respondent.

ORDER OF TRANSFER TO SIXTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

Paul L. Maloney Chief United States District Judge

This is a habeas corpus action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner is confined at Saginaw Correctional Facility.

Following a jury trial in the Kent County Circuit Court, Petitioner was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder. He was sentenced to imprisonment for life without parole on January 7, 1999. Petitioner filed his first habeas petition in this Court in December 2003, raising four grounds for relief. See Cooley v. LaVigne, 1:03-cv-883 (W.D. Mich.). On November 28, 2005, following a full review of the record, the Court denied the petition on the merits.

Because Petitioner’s previous habeas action was filed after the enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub. L. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (AEDPA), his current petition is subject to the “second or successive” provision set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b). See Cress v. Palmer, 484 F.3d 844, 852 (6th Cir. 2007). Before a second or successive application is filed in the district court, the applicant must move in the court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider the application. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A); see also Tyler v. Cain, 533 U.S. 656, 661 n.3 (2001) (circuit court may authorize the petition upon a prima facie showing that the claim satisfies § 2244(b)(2); to survive dismissal in the district court, the application must actually show the statutory standard).[1] A successive petition raises grounds identical to those raised and rejected in a prior petition. Kuhlmann v. Wilson, 477 U.S. 436, 444 n.6 (1986) (plurality) (citing Sanders v. United States, 373 U.S. 1, 15-17 (1963)); Lonberger v. Marshall, 808 F.2d 1169, 1173 (6th Cir. 1987). A second petition is one which alleges new and different grounds for relief after a first petition was denied. McCleskey v. Zant, 499 U.S. 467, 470 (1991); see also Burger v. Zant, 984 F.2d 1129, 1132-33 (11th Cir. 1993) (distinguishing second petitions and successive petitions).

A prior dismissal with prejudice has a preclusive effect under § 2244, though a prior dismissal without prejudice does not. See Stewart v. Martinez-Villareal, 523 U.S. 637, 643-46 (1998). Both dismissals on the merits and certain types of decisions reached before a merits determination are dismissals with prejudice that have a preclusive effect. Carlson v. Pitcher, 137 F.3d 416, 419 (6th Cir. 1997) (citing Benton v. Washington, 106 F.3d 162, 164 (7th Cir. 1996)). For example, a dismissal with prejudice based on procedural default is “on the merits” and, thus, a subsequent habeas application would be second or successive. In re Cook, 215 F.3d 606, 608 (6th Cir. 2000). Similarly, a dismissal on the basis of the statute of limitations is a decision on the merits, rendering a subsequent application second or successive. See Murray v. Greiner, 394 F.3d 78, 81 (2d Cir. 2005) (“We hold that dismissal of a § 2254 petition for failure to comply with the one-year statute of limitations constitutes an adjudication on the merits that renders future petitions under § 22254 challenging the same conviction ‘second or successive’ petitions under § 2244(b).”); Altman v. Benik, 337 F.3d 764 (7th Cir. 2003) (prior untimely federal habeas corpus petition counts as “prior application” for purposes of limitations on second or successive petitions). Petitioner’s previous habeas action was dismissed on the merits, thus the instant petition is second or successive. The appropriate disposition is a transfer of the case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631. In re Sims, 111 F.3d 45, 47 (6th Cir. 1997). Therefore:

IT IS ORDERED that this application for habeas relief is transferred to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631.


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