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Villanueva v. Jackson

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

March 27, 2017

v. JOHN EDWARDS-FAVELA VILLANUEVA, Petitioner SHANE JACKSON, Respondent.

          OPINION

          Janet T. Neff United States District Judge

         This is a habeas corpus action brought by a state prisoner under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Promptly after the filing of a petition for habeas corpus, 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 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If so, the petition must be summarily dismissed. Rule 4; see 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. Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436-37 (6th Cir. 1999). After undertaking the review required by Rule 4, the Court will deny Petitioner's motion for a stay and dismiss the petition without prejudice for failure to exhaust available state-court remedies.

         Factual Allegations

         Petitioner is incarcerated in the Carson City Correctional Facility. Petitioner pleaded guilty in the Eaton County Circuit Court to second-degree home invasion, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.110(a)(3), and was originally sentenced on November 7, 2012, to a jail term of 365 days to be followed by a two-year term of probation. Petitioner's probation was revoked after the trial court found that he had violated the terms of his probation. On September 12, 2014, the trial court resentenced Petitioner as an habitual offender, Mich. Comp. Laws § 769.12, to imprisonment of 72 to 360 months.

         Petitioner filed a delayed application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals raising the following six claims of error:

I. The trial court imposed a probation violation sentence without obtaining an updated presentence report.
II. The trial court refused to allow corrections to Petitioner's presentence report.
III. The trial court refused to provide Petitioner with a document that was removed from the circuit court record concerning the discharge of Petitioner's probation.
IV. The trial court lacked sufficient evidence to establish a probation violation.
V. The trial court lacked jurisdiction to conduct a probation violation hearing and impose a probation violation sentence because he was already discharged from probation.
VI. Ineffective assistance of counsel.

(Pet. ECF No. 1, PageID.2.) The court of appeals denied Petitioner's application for leave to appeal on April 29, 2015, for lack of merit in the grounds presented. Petitioner raised the same six claims in his application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, as well as a new claim that he had not received proper credit for time served. On October 28, 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court denied Petitioner's application because it was not persuaded that the issues warranted review by the court. The supreme court subsequently denied Petitioner's motion for reconsideration on March 8, 2016.

         On March 17, 2015, while Petitioner's case was pending before the Michigan Court of Appeals, Petitioner filed in the Eaton County Circuit Court motions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and for correction of an invalid sentence. However, those motions were not decided by the circuit court because it lacked jurisdiction while Petitioner's case was pending on appeal. Petitioner ...


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