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Pilot v. Snyder

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

April 22, 2015



PAUL D. BORMAN, District Judge.

I. Introduction

This matter has come before the Court on a pro se application for the writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 and 2254. Petitioner Michael Charles Pilot lists his residence as Roseville, Michigan.

The petition and exhibits indicate that, in 2004, Petitioner was charged in Delta County, Michigan with first-degree home invasion, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.110a(2), two counts of larceny in a building, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.360, and one count of breaking and entering a building with intent to commit a felony or larceny, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.110. On May 18, 2004, Petitioner waived his right to trial and pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a building. In return, the prosecutor dismissed the other charges against Petitioner. On July 19, 2004, Petitioner was sentenced to jail for six months and forty-five days and placed on probation for twelve months. Petitioner successfully completed the conditions of probation and, on June 8, 2005, the trial court discharged Petitioner from probation.

On February 23, 2015, Petitioner signed and dated his habeas corpus petition, and on March 13, 2015, the Clerk of the Court received and filed the petition. Petitioner alleges in his petition "that he is being held in violation of his rights, privileges, and immunities of the Constitution and Laws of the United States and Treaty Law of the United States...." Pet., page 23. He seeks to have the State of Michigan show cause why he should not be released. Pet., page 49. In a separate motion and brief filed on April 17, 2015, Petitioner seeks to have the Court show cause why it has not yet issued the writ of habeas corpus. Mot., page 12.

II. Legal Standard

Upon receipt of a habeas corpus petition, a federal 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.'" Crump v. Lafler, 657 F.3d 393, 396 n.2 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts). "Federal courts are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its face...." McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); see also Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714 (6th Cir. 2004) (stating that Rule 4 allows the summary dismissal of a petition if it plainly appears that the petitioner is not entitled to relief).

III. Analysis

A. Exhaustion of State Remedies

Petitioner's habeas petition is legally insufficient for several reasons. First, Petitioner has not alleged or otherwise demonstrated that he exhausted state remedies for his allegation that he is being held in violation of his constitutional rights. "[A] state prisoner seeking federal habeas relief must first exhaus[t] the remedies available in the courts of the State, ' 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A), thereby affording those courts the first opportunity to address and correct alleged violations of [the] prisoner's federal rights.'" Walker v. Martin, 562 U.S. 307, ___, 131 S.Ct. 1120, 1127 (2011) (quoting Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731 (1991)).

Petitioner acknowledges the exhaustion requirement, but alleges that he is not required to exhaust his state remedies. Pet., page 6. Petitioner "bears the burden of showing that state court remedies have been exhausted, " Nali v. Phillips, 681 F.3d 837, 852 (6th Cir. 2012), and even though there are exceptions to the exhaustion requirement, id. at 851 n.2, [1] he has not alleged that either exception applies here. Nor has Petitioner explained why he thinks he is not required to exhaust state remedies. Thus, his petition is subject to dismissal for failure to exhaust state remedies. It further appears that the petition may be barred by the one-year statute of limitations found in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), although the statute of limitations "is an affirmative defense that the state may waive by failing to raise it in the first responsive pleading to a petition for a writ of habeas corpus." Harwell v. Million, 77 F.Appx. 296, 298 (6th Cir. 2003).

B. Conclusory Allegations

Another reason why the habeas petition is subject to dismissal is that Petitioner has not explained how his constitutional rights were violated or why he believes that he is being unlawfully detained. His lengthy petition touches on many issues, and although he appears to assert claims about trial counsel and defects in the felony complaint, see Pet., pages 25-26, the Court is not obligated "to distill and develop" Petitioner's arguments for him. Holland v. Dep't of Health and Human Servs., ___ F.Supp. 3d ___, ___, No. 1:13-CV-609-TWT, 2014 WL 4925680, at *12 (N.D.Ga. Sept. 30, 2014).

The Court recognizes that "[t]he pleadings of pro se petitioners are held to less stringent standards than those prepared by attorneys" and must be "liberally construed." Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d at 712. Nevertheless, a pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and a pro se litigant "is not relieved from presenting a colorable claim." United States ...

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