United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2254
M. LAWSON United States District Judge.
Maurice Williams, presently confined at the Macomb
Correctional Facility, Michigan, has filed a pro se
petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254. Williams was convicted in Wayne County, Michigan
circuit court of armed robbery, in violation of Mich. Comp.
Laws § 750.529. On September 9, 2011, he was sentenced
as a fourth habitual offender to life in prison. Williams
filed a claim of appeal arguing, among other things, that the
trial court improperly allowed the prosecutor to amend the
information to raise Williams's habitual offender notice
from second habitual offender to fourth habitual offender
status, and he argued that the trial court erred by departing
from the sentencing guidelines without providing a
substantial and compelling reason to justify the departure.
The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with Williams and
remanded the matter for resentencing, but otherwise affirmed
his conviction. People v. Williams, 2014 WL 198997
(Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 16, 2014). The state supreme court
denied leave to appeal on June 24, 2014, People v.
Williams, 496 Mich. 859, 847 N.W.2d 632 (2014).
remand, the trial court resentenced Williams as a second
habitual offender within the guideline range. People v.
Williams, 2016 WL 7427110, at *1 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec.
20, 2016). Williams again filed an appeal. Because of a
change in Michigan's sentencing scheme, the Court of
Appeals remanded the case and directed the trial court to
resentence Williams consistent with People v.
Lockridge, 498 Mich. 358; 870 N.W.2d 502 (2015).
Id. at *3. Williams filed an application for leave
to appeal the appellate decision and the matter is currently
pending before the Michigan Supreme Court. According to the
state court docket, Williams has yet to be resentenced.
Williams also filed a motion for relief from judgment on
November 20, 2014, which was denied on March 18, 2015.
petition for habeas corpus is filed, 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.
McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994);
Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436 (6th Cir. 1999);
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, Rule 4. The Court will
dismiss the petition because the petitioner's papers
plainly demonstrate that he is not entitled to relief because
Williams is not seeking review of a final judgment.
See Rule 4, Rules Governing § 2254 Cases.
district court shall entertain an application for a writ of
habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to
the judgment of a State court only on the ground
that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or
laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a) (emphasis added). “‘Final judgment
in a criminal case means sentence. The sentence is the
judgment.'” Burton v. Stewart, 549 U.S.
147, 156 (2007) (quoting Berman v. United States,
302 U.S. 211, 212 (1937)). Once Williams is resentenced, his
sentence will become final after “the conclusion of
direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such
review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A); Bd. v.
Bradshaw, 805 F.3d 769, 772 (6th Cir. 2015); see
also United States v. Asakevich, 810 F.3d 418, 420 (6th
Cir. 2016) (“‘The criminal proceeding has
ended' - once the [trial] court has entered a final
sentence and conviction and once all appellate avenues have
been explored or lapsed.”) (quoting 3 Charles Alan
Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 622 (4th
ed. 2015)). Williams's conviction is not final because he
is still awaiting resentencing and direct review is still
available to him.
also filed a motion to stay proceedings and hold his petition
in abeyance to allow him to exhaust a number of claims not
raised in his earlier appeals. A habeas corpus petition must
be filed within one year of the date a prisoner's
conviction becomes final. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). As
noted above, Williams's state court conviction has not
become final and therefore the one year time limit to file
his habeas corpus petition has not started. Because the
petitioner is not seeking collateral review of a final state
court judgment, the Court will deny the petition without
prejudice and dismiss his motion to stay as moot.
it is ORDERED that the petitioner's petition for a writ
of habeas corpus is DENIED without prejudice.
further ordered that the petitioner's motion to stay
proceedings and hold petition in ...