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Peete v. Combs

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

November 28, 2017

LAD D. PEETE, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS COMBS, et. al., Defendants,

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND DENYING MOTION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

          TERRENCE G. BERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Lad D. Peete's pro se civil rights complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983. Plaintiff is a state prisoner incarcerated at the Muskegon Correctional Facility in Muskegon, Michigan. For the reasons stated below, the complaint is

         DISMISSED FOR FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF CAN BE GRANTED.

         II. Complaint

         Plaintiff pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of unarmed robbery, and one count of breaking and entering in the Wayne County Circuit Court in 1979. As part of a plea agreement with the Wayne County Prosecutor, Plaintiff pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder in another case pending before Detroit Recorder's Court. Plaintiff was represented by Defendant Gerald Lorence at trial. Plaintiff was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree criminal sexual conduct convictions and 10 to 15 years in prison for unarmed robbery and breaking and entering. Plaintiff was also sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder, but that sentence was vacated. See People v. Peete, 102 Mich.App. 34, 40, 301 N.W.2d 53 (1980). Plaintiff was represented by Defendant Elizabeth Jacobs on appeal. On remand Plaintiff was re-sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison.[1]

         Plaintiff subsequently filed a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment before Judge Helene White-then a judge on the Wayne County Circuit Court-challenging his first-degree criminal sexual conduct sentences, which Judge White denied.

         Many years later, on May 25, 2017, Plaintiff filed this §§ 1981 and 1983 Complaint against two parole board members, Judge Helene White (spelled as “Helen White, ” three assistant prosecutors in his case, and his court-appointed trial and appellate attorneys. He appears to argue that Defendants breached his package plea agreement through a “piecemeal adjudication” of his two separate criminal cases, which resulted in an excessive sentence for his first-degree criminal sexual conduct convictions. Plaintiff argues that after the Michigan Court of Appeals vacated his life sentence for second-degree murder, his life sentences on the first-degree criminal sexual conduct convictions should also have been vacated.

         Finally, Plaintiff claims that the Michigan Parole Board has violated his plea agreement by continuing to deny him parole on the criminal sexual conduct conviction life sentences.

         III. Standard of Review

         Plaintiff has been allowed to proceed without prepayment of fees. See 28 § U.S.C. 1915(a); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997). However, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) states:

Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that:
(B) the action or appeal: (i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is ...

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