United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER (1) SUMMARILY DENYING PETITION FOR
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, (2) DENYING CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY, AND (3) DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA
Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds United States District Judge
Tommie Byas, initiated this action by filing a pleading he
captioned “Petitioner's Rule 60(B) Motion for
Relief From Judgment.” The pleading raises
constitutional challenges to his February 14, 2012, Saginaw
Circuit Court convictions for third-degree criminal sexual
conduct, gross indecency, extortion, and domestic violence.
Dkt. 1, at Page ID 6. Petitioner claims that his no contest
plea is invalid because he was not informed of the
requirement to register as a sex offender, the terms of the
sentencing agreement were not enforced, and he was denied the
effective assistance of counsel. Id., at Page ID 2.
Because these claims are identical to the claims he presented
in a previously filed habeas petition and which were denied
on the merits, this case will be summarily dismissed pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1). The Court will also deny a
certificate of appealability and permission to appeal in
Petitioner styles his pleading as a motion for relief from
judgment, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) only allows a
party to seek relief from judgment, and request reopening of
a habeas case, under a limited set of circumstances. See
Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 528 (2005). A Rule
60(b) motion is appropriate to “attack [ ] ... some
defect in the integrity of the [prior] federal habeas
proceedings.” Id. at 532. A motion that, for
instance, “merely asserts that a previous ruling which
precluded a merits determination was in error-for example, a
denial for such reasons as failure to exhaust, procedural
default, or statute-of-limitations bar”-should not be
construed as a second or successive habeas petition.
Id. at 532 n. 4. However, “[w]here a Rule
60(b) motion presents a ‘claim, ' such as an attack
on an earlier decision on the merits or a claim presented for
the first time in the Rule 60(b) motion, it is properly
considered a second or successive habeas motion.”
Hourani v. United States, 239 F. App'x 195, 197
(6th Cir. 2007) (citing Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 532).
Because Petitioner's pleading raises substantive claims
challenging his state court convictions and does not
challenge the integrity of his earlier federal habeas
proceeding, his motion is properly construed as a second or
successive application for habeas relief subject to the
limitations imposed by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b).
U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1) provides that “[a] claim
presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application
under section 2254 that was presented in a prior application
shall be dismissed.” Petitioner previously sought
federal habeas relief with respect to his convictions raising
identical claims, and that petition was denied on the merits.
See Byas v. Romanowski, 2014 WL 2587694, at *3-4, 7
(E.D. Mich., 2014). The Sixth Circuit subsequently denied a
certificate of appealability. See Byas v.
Romanowski, No. 14-1815 (6th Cir. Nov. 5, 2014).
“If a prisoner asserts a claim that he has already
presented in a previous federal habeas petition, the claim
must be dismissed in all cases.” Tyler v.
Cain, 533 U.S. 656, 661 (2001) (citation omitted); see
also Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 529-30 (“First, any
claim that has already been adjudicated in a previous
petition must be dismissed.”); In re Salem,
631 F.3d 809, 812 (6th Cir.2011) (claims raised in previous
habeas petition and barred under § 2244(b)(1) will be
dismissed). Accordingly, Petitioner's claims are barred
from review under § 2244(b)(1) and the petition must be
order to appeal the Court's decision, Petitioner must
obtain a certificate of appealability. To obtain a
certificate of appealability, a prisoner must make a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). To demonstrate this denial, the
applicant is required to show that reasonable jurists could
debate whether the petition should have been resolved in a
different manner, or that the issues presented were adequate
to deserve encouragement to proceed further. Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000). A federal
district court may grant or deny a certificate of
appealability when the court issues a ruling on the habeas
petition. Castro v. United States, 310 F.3d 900, 901
(6th Cir. 2002). Here, jurists of reason would not debate the
Court's conclusion that Petitioner has not met the
standard for a certificate of appealability because his
petition is barred by § 2244(b)(1). The Court will
therefore deny a certificate of appealability. The Court will
also deny permission to appeal in forma pauperis because any
appeal of this decision could not be taken in good faith. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).
the Court 1) SUMMARILY DENIES the petition for a writ of
habeas corpus, 2) DENIES a certificate of appealability, and