United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER'S RENEWED MOTION FOR A
STAY (ECF NO. 10)
Corbett O'Meara, United States District Judge
about April 7, 2016, state prisoner Adrian Mahdee Akram
(“Akram”) wrote to the Clerk of this Court and
indicated that he was indigent and needed assistance of
counsel. Akram also inquired about the tolling of the habeas
corpus statute of limitations and whether he should file a
habeas corpus petition or a “6.500 motion” in
state court. The Clerk of the Court filed Akram's letter
as a petition for the writ of habeas corpus. See ECF
7, 2016, the Court's Executive Magistrate Judge ordered
Akram to pay the filing fee for this action or to apply for
permission to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee
and to submit a petition for the writ of habeas corpus.
See ECF No. 3. Akram subsequently paid the filing
fee, and on July 11, 2016, he filed an application for the
writ of habeas corpus and a motion to stay these proceedings
because his post-conviction motion for fraud on the court was
pending in state court. See ECF Nos. 4 and 5. In a
subsequent letter addressed to the Chief Judge of this Court,
Akram stated that he felt an injustice had been done in his
case because the Clerk of the Court filed his initial letter
of inquiry as a habeas corpus petition even though his
post-conviction motion was pending in state court.
See ECF No. 6.
September 21, 2016, the Court denied Akram's motion for a
stay because the state trial court had already denied his
motion for fraud on the court and because it did not appear
to the Court that a stay was appropriate. The Court then gave
Akram thirty days from the date of its order to inform the
Court whether he wanted to proceed with his claims or whether
he preferred to have the Court dismiss his habeas corpus
petition without prejudice. See ECF No. 7.
October 3, 2016, Akram wrote a letter to the Clerk of the
Court and stated that his letter was official notification
that he wanted the Court to proceed with his claims and that
he did not want his case dismissed. See ECF No. 9.
On the same day, Akram submitted a renewed motion to stay the
federal court proceedings and to hold his habeas petition in
abeyance. Akram indicated in his motion that, although the
state trial court had denied his motion for fraud on the
court, he was seeking relief in the Michigan Court of Appeals
and that he wanted to exhaust state remedies for his
fraud-on-the-court claim before raising the issue in his
habeas petition. See ECF No. 10.
prisoners are required to give the state courts an
opportunity to act on their claims before they present their
claims to a federal court in a habeas corpus petition. 28
U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1); O'Sullivan v.
Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999). This requirement is
satisfied if the prisoner fairly presents the factual and
legal basis for each of his claims to the state court of
appeals and to the state supreme court before raising the
claims in a habeas corpus petition. Wagner v. Smith,
581 F.3d 410, 414-15 (6th Cir. 2009).
apparently is attempting to exhaust state remedies for his
fraud-on-the-court claim by appealing the trial court's
denial of his motion regarding fraud on the court to the
Michigan Court of Appeals and to the Michigan Supreme Court.
He has asked the Court to stay this case until he has
exhausted state remedies for his fraud-on-the-court claim and
then proceed to adjudicate all his claims. In the
alternative, he has asked the Court to proceed with all his
claims, including the fraud-on-the-court claim, if the Court
denies his motion for a stay.
it does not appear that the one-year statute of limitations
for habeas petitions (28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)) is a concern
here, the Supreme Court reasoned in Rose v.
Lundy, 455 U.S. 509 (1982),
that the interests of comity and federalism dictate that
state courts must have the first opportunity to decide a
petitioner's claims. Id., at 518-519, 102 S.Ct.
1198. [The Supreme Court] noted that “[b]ecause
‘it would be unseemly in our dual system of government
for a federal district court to upset a state court
conviction without an opportunity to the state courts to
correct a constitutional violation, ' federal courts
apply the doctrine of comity.” Id., at 518,
102 S.Ct. 1198 (quoting Darr v. Burford, 339 U.S.
200, 204, 70 S.Ct. 587, 94 L.Ed. 761 (1950)). That doctrine
“ ‘teaches that one court should defer action on
causes properly within its jurisdiction until the courts of
another sovereignty with concurrent powers, and already
cognizant of the litigation, have had an opportunity to pass
upon the matter.' ” 455 U.S., at 518, 102 S.Ct.
Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 273-74 (2005).
federal district courts ordinarily have authority to issue
stays when a stay would be a proper exercise of discretion.
Id. at 276. “[T]he power to stay proceedings
is incidental to the power inherent in every court to control
the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of
time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for
litigants.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S.
248, 254-55 (1936).
these considerations in mind, the Court believes that Akram
should be permitted to continue to pursue state remedies for
his fraud-on-the-court claim. The Court therefore grants
Akram's renewed motion for a stay (ECF No. 10) and closes
this case for administrative purposes. ...