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Buckley v. Klee

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

October 17, 2017

JEFFERY BUCKLEY, Petitioner,
v.
PAUL KLEE, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER HOLDING IN ABEYANCE THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING THE CASE.

          HONORABLE JOHN CORBETT O'MEARA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Jeffery Buckley, residing in Pontiac, Michigan, [1] filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction for domestic violence, third offense, M.C.L. § 750.81(4). Respondent filed an answer to the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. As part of the answer, respondent argues that the petition is subject to dismissal because it contains claims which have not been properly exhausted with the state courts. In lieu of dismissing the petition without prejudice, this Court holds the petition in abeyance and stays the proceedings under the terms outlined in this opinion to permit petitioner to return to the state courts to exhaust his additional claims. If this fails, the petition will be dismissed without prejudice.

         I. Background

         Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial in the Oakland County Circuit Court.

         Petitioner's conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v. Buckley, No. 316992, 2014 WL 4628878 (Mich. Ct. App. Sept. 16, 2014), leave denied 497 Mich. 983 (2015).

         Petitioner has now filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, seeking relief on the following grounds:

I. Defendant was denied this State and Federal Constitutional Due Process Right to a fair trial where the trial court allowed the introduction of prior acts of domestic violence and prior statements that were irrelevant and prejudicial.
II. The prosecutor violated Mr. Buckley's Due Process Right to a fair trial by improperly impeaching the only defense witness with a false prior conviction.
III. Defendant was denied his right to a fair jury in violation of the VI Amendment where at least one juror went on the Internet and accessed information about Mr. Buckley that was not introduced at trial, counsel was ineffective in failing to move the juror's exclusion or for a mistrial. U.S. Const. AM VI, XIV.
IV. Defendant's Due Process Rights to a fair trial was [sic] violated where the trial judge abused it's [sic] discretion in denying discovery.

         II. Discussion

         Respondent argues that petitioner's habeas application is subject to dismissal because it contains claims which have not been properly exhausted with the state courts.

         As a general rule, a state prisoner who seeks federal habeas relief must first exhaust his or her available state court remedies before raising a claim in federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) and (c). See Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275-78 (1971). Although exhaustion is not a jurisdictional issue, “it is a threshold question that must be resolved” before a federal court can reach the merits of any claim contained in a habeas petition. See Wagner v. Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 415 (6th Cir. 2009). Therefore, each claim must be reviewed by a federal court for exhaustion before any claim may be reviewed on the merits by a federal court. Id. Federal district courts normally must dismiss mixed habeas petitions which contain both exhausted and unexhausted claims. See Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 230 (2004)(citing Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 510, 522 (1982)). A habeas petitioner has the burden of proving that he or she exhausted his or her claims with the state courts. See Caver v. Straub, 349 F.3d 340, 345 (6th Cir. 2003).

         Respondent argues that petitioner's first, third and fourth claims were not properly exhausted with the state courts because petitioner abandoned the claims ...


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