United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER (1) SUMMARILY DENYING THE PETITION
FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, AND DENYING (2) THE MOTION FOR THE
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL (DKT. # 3), (3) A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY, AND (4) LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA
HONORABLE PAUL D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Shantae McDaniel, (“Petitioner”), confined at the
Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St. Louis,
Michigan, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In his application, filed pro
se, petitioner challenges his sentence for three counts
of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 750.520c(1)(f); and one count of using a computer to
commit a crime, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.797(3)(e). For
the reasons stated below, the petition for writ of habeas
corpus is SUMMARILY DENIED WITH PREJUDICE.
pleaded nolo contendere in the Kent County Circuit
Court and was originally placed on probation with several
conditions. Petitioner's probation was revoked after he
was found guilty of violating several terms of his probation.
Petitioner was sentenced to concurrent sentences of one
hundred months to one hundred and eighty months on the
criminal sexual conduct convictions and eighty months to one
hundred and twenty months on the using a computer to commit a
appealed his sentence to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which
denied his appeal. People v. McDaniel, No. 326070
(Mich.Ct.App. Apr. 22, 2015). The Michigan Supreme Court
remanded the case to back to the trial court in light of the
Michigan Supreme Court's decision in People v.
Lockridge, 498 Mich. 358; 870 N.W.2d 502 (2015), which
held the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines to be
unconstitutional. On remand, the trial judge was to determine
whether he would have imposed a materially different sentence
but for the constitutional error. People v.
McDaniel, 499 Mich. 852, 873 N.W.2d 576, 577 (2016).
remand, the trial judge reimposed the same sentence. The
Michigan appellate courts denied petitioner's appeal.
People v. McDaniel, No. 336167 (Mich.Ct.App. May 8,
2017); lv. den. __Mich.__; 903 N.W.2d 583, 584
seeks a writ of habeas corpus on the following grounds:
The trial court sentenced the Petitioner to an unreasonable
sentence based on the improper scoring of Offense Variable 11
of the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines.
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. McFarland v.
Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). A federal district
court can 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
indicated that they “disapprove 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.2d 134, 140
(6th Cir. 1970). A district court therefore has the duty to
screen out any habeas corpus petition which lacks merit on
its face. Id. at 141. An answer to a habeas petition
is unnecessary when the petition is frivolous, or obviously
lacks merit, or where the facts can be determined from the
petition itself without consideration of an answer.
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
McIntosh v. Booker, 300 F.Supp.2d 498, 499 (E.D. Mich.
alleges that the judge incorrectly calculated Offense
Variable 11 of the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines.
claim that the state trial court incorrectly scored his
sentencing guidelines range under the Michigan Sentencing
Guidelines is non-cognizable on habeas review, because it is
basically a state law claim. See Tironi v. Birkett,
252 F. App'x. 724, 725 (6th Cir. 2007); Howard v.
White, 76 F. App'x. 52, 53 (6th Cir. 2003);
Robinson v. Stegall, 157 F.Supp.2d 802, 823 (E.D.
Mich. 2001). Errors in the application of state sentencing
guidelines do not provide a basis for granting habeas relief.
See Kissner v. Palmer, 826 F.3d 898, 904 (6th Cir.
2016). Petitioner's claim that the state trial court
incorrectly departed above the correct sentencing guidelines
range does not entitle him to habeas relief, because such a
departure does not violate petitioner's federal due
process rights. Austin v. Jackson, 213 F.3d 298, 301
(6th Cir. 2000).
relies on provisions of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in
support of his sentencing claim, but would not be entitled to
habeas relief. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines apply only
to sentences for federal criminal violations. See United
States v. Simmonds,235 F.3d 826, 834 (3rd Cir.
2000)(holding that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines do not
apply to sentences for violations of Virgin Islands
territorial law); see also Cummings v. Baker, 130 F.
App'x. 446, 447-49 (11th Cir. 2005)(upholding district
court's dismissal of state prisoner's ...