United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS ON APPEAL
NANCY G. EDMUNDS, District Judge.
Michigan prisoner Terrance Wayne ("Petitioner") has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his current confinement. Petitioner pleaded no contest to first-degree home invasion, MICH. COMP. LAWS § 750.110a, in the Macomb County Circuit Court in exchange for the dismissal of a fourth habitual offender charge and concurrent sentencing with another case in which he pleaded no contest to assaulting a prison or jail employee. He was sentenced to 6 to 20 years imprisonment on the home invasion conviction and 289 days in jail (with full credit for time served) on the assault conviction in 2010.
In his pleadings, Petitioner raises claims concerning the effectiveness of counsel in advising him to plead no contest to home invasion and his "actual innocence" of home invasion. Petitioner indicates that he did not pursue a direct appeal of his home invasion conviction, but pursued a motion for relief from judgment with the state trial court on a competency issue, which is not included in his current petition.
Promptly after the filing of a habeas petition, the Court must undertake a preliminary review of the petition to determine whether "it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court." Rule 4, RULES GOVERNING § 2254 CASES; see also 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If, after preliminary consideration, the Court determines that the petitioner is not entitled to relief, the Court must summarily dismiss the petition. Id., see also Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (district court has the duty to "screen out" petitions that lack merit on their face). A dismissal under Rule 4 includes those petitions which raise legally frivolous claims, as well as those containing factual allegations that are palpably incredible or false. See Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436-37 (6th Cir. 1999). After undertaking the review required by Rule 4, the Court concludes that Petitioner's habeas claims are unexhausted and now barred by procedural default, such that the petition must be denied. The Court also concludes that a certificate of appealability and leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal must be denied.
II. Facts and Procedural History
Petitioner tendered his no contest pleas and was sentenced in 2010. He states that he did not pursue a direct appeal of his convictions in the state courts. Petitioner thereafter filed a motion for relief from judgment with the state trial court challenging both his home invasion and assault convictions and raising a competency issue. The state trial court denied the motion on March 1, 2012. See Opinion and Order attached to petition. Petitioner states that he did not appeal that decision in the state appellate courts.
Petitioner gave his federal habeas petition to prison officials for mailing on April 21, 2015. In his petition, he challenges his home invasion conviction raising claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and "actual innocence." The Court has not required Respondent to file an answer to the petition.
III. Standard of Review
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), codified 28 U.S.C. § 2241 et seq., governs this case because Petitioner filed her petition after the AEDPA's effective date. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 336 (1997). The AEDPA provides the following standard of review:
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 ...