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Grooms v. Olson

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

July 11, 2017

DONALD BRADLEY GROOMS, Petitioner,
v.
KATHLEEN OLSON, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DENYING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Donald Bradley Grooms, (“Petitioner”), confined at the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco, Michigan, filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which he challenges his conviction for delivery of heroin, M.C.L.A. 333.7401(2)(a)(iv); and being a fourth felony habitual offender, M.C.L.A. 769.12. For the reasons that follow, the petition for writ of habeas corpus is SUMMARILY DENIED WITH PREJUDICE.

         I. Background

         Petitioner was charged with two counts of delivery of heroin and one count of conspiracy to deliver heroin. Petitioner was also charged as a fourth felony habitual offender.

         On May 16, 2016, petitioner entered a plea of guilty to one count of delivery of heroin as a fourth felony habitual offender, in exchange for dismissal of the other charges. The judge also agreed to sentence petitioner to no more than 46 months on the minimum sentence. (Tr. 5/16/16, pp. 4-5).[1] Petitioner made out a factual basis for the delivery of heroin charge, but did not specifically admit to being a fourth felony habitual offender. (Id., pp. 6-7). Petitioner was sentenced the same day to 46 months to 20 years in prison. (Id., p. 16).

         Petitioner's counsel filed a motion to correct the invalid sentence, on the ground that petitioner never pleaded guilty to being a fourth felony habitual offender. Petitioner also objected to the scoring of the sentencing guidelines. The judge denied the motion. People v. Grooms, No. 16-006970-FH (Alpena Cty. Cir.Ct., July 21, 2016).

         Petitioner's plea and sentence were affirmed on appeal. People v. Grooms, No. 334249 (Mich.Ct.App. Sep. 26, 2016); lv. den. 894 N.W.2d 50 (2017).

         Petitioner seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following grounds:

I. Whether the trial judge erred when it failed to amend the judgment to remove the Hab 4th and for failing to follow the correct procedures under Lockridge and Steanhouse.
II. The scoring of OV-14 was wrongly decided by trial court and should have been scored at Zero points seeing there's a lack of record evidence to support the scoring.

         II. Discussion

         The Court summarily dismisses the petition because petitioner failed to state a claim upon which habeas relief can be granted.

         A petition for a writ of habeas corpus must set forth facts that give rise to a cause of action under federal law or it may summarily be dismissed. See Perez v. Hemingway, 157 F.Supp.2d 790, 796 (E.D. Mich. 2001). Federal courts are also authorized to dismiss any habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its face. See McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). A federal district court is authorized to summarily dismiss a habeas corpus petition if it plainly appears from the face of the petition or the exhibits that are attached to it that the petitioner is not entitled to federal habeas relief. See Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436 (6th Cir. 1999); Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, Rule 4, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. The Sixth Circuit “disapprove[s] the practice of issuing a show cause order [to the respondent] until after the District Court first has made a careful examination of the petition.” Allen v. Perini, 424 F.3d 134, 140 (6th Cir. 1970). A district court must screen out any habeas corpus petition which lacks merit on its face. Id. at 141. No return to a habeas petition is necessary when the petition is frivolous, or obviously lacks merit, or where the necessary facts can be determined from the petition itself without receiving an answer by the state. Id.

         After undertaking the review required by Rule 4, this Court concludes, for reasons stated in greater detail below, that petitioner's claims do not entitle him to habeas relief, such that the petition must be summarily denied. See ...


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