United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
RICARDO W. EDMONDS, Petitioner,
SHANE JACKSON, Respondent.
L. Maloney United States District Judge
a habeas corpus action brought by a state prisoner under 28
U.S.C. § 2254. Promptly after the filing of a petition
for habeas corpus, 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 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If so, the
petition must be summarily dismissed. Rule 4; see Allen
v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (district
court has the duty to “screen out” petitions that
lack merit on their face). A dismissal under Rule 4 includes
those petitions which raise legally frivolous claims, as well
as those containing factual allegations that are palpably
incredible or false. Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434,
436-37 (6th Cir. 1999). After undertaking the review required
by Rule 4, the Court will dismiss the petition without
prejudice for failure to exhaust available state-court
Ricardo W. Edmonds is incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections at Carson City Correctional
Facility (DRF) in Carson City, Michigan. In 2013, a jury of
the Oakland County Circuit Court found Petitioner guilty of
aggravated stalking and first-degree home invasion. On August
6, 2013, the court imposed sentences of 21 years and 6 months
to 40 years of imprisonment for each offense.
appealed his conviction and sentence to the Michigan Court of
Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. The Michigan Court of
Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction and sentence by
opinion dated December 16, 2014. The Michigan Supreme Court
denied leave to appeal on May 28, 2015. In May 2016,
Petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment in state
court under Rule 6.500 of the Michigan Court Rules. The
circuit court denied the motion on August 16, 2016.
Petitioner subsequently appealed that decision to the
Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. The
Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal on May 12,
2017. The Michigan Supreme Court has not entered a decision
on his application for leave to appeal.
Exhaustion of State Court Remedies
the Court may grant habeas relief to a state prisoner, the
prisoner must exhaust remedies available in the state courts.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1); O'Sullivan v.
Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999). Exhaustion requires
a petitioner to “fairly present” federal claims
so that state courts have a “fair opportunity” to
apply controlling legal principles to the facts bearing upon
a petitioner's constitutional claim. See
O'Sullivan, 526 U.S. at 842; Picard v.
Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275-77 (1971), cited in Duncan
v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995), and Anderson v.
Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 6 (1982). To fulfill the exhaustion
requirement, a petitioner must have fairly presented his
federal claims to all levels of the state appellate system,
including the state's highest court. Duncan, 513
U.S. at 365-66; Wagner v. Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 414
(6th Cir. 2009); Hafley v. Sowders, 902 F.2d 480,
483 (6th Cir. 1990). “[S]tate prisoners must give the
state courts one full opportunity to resolve any
constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the
State's established appellate review process.”
O'Sullivan, 526 U.S. at 845. The district court
can and must raise the exhaustion issue sua sponte
when it clearly appears that habeas claims have not been
presented to the state courts. See Prather v. Rees,
822 F.2d 1418, 1422 (6th Cir. 1987); Allen, 424 F.2d
at 138-39. Petitioner bears the burden of showing exhaustion.
See Rust v. Zent, 17 F.3d 155, 160 (6th Cir. 1994).
asserts eight claims in his petition. He does not indicate
which of them he raised on direct appeal or which of them he
raised in his motion for relief from judgment, but at least
one of them has not yet been fully exhausted. He asserts that
his appellate counsel was ineffective. (Pet., ECF No. 1,
PageID.3.) This issue could not have been raised i n his dir
ect appeal. Petitioner presumably raised this issue in his
motion for relief from judgment and is awaiting a decision on
that issue from the Michigan Supreme Court. Petitioner must
complete the state court process before seeking habeas relief
in this Court. The state courts must first be given a fair
opportunity to rule upon Petitioner's habeas claims
before he can present those claims to this Court. Moreover,
federal habeas law requires this Court to determine whether
the state court's adjudication of his claims resulted in
a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established federal law as determined
by the Supreme Court of the United States. See 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d). Because the Michigan Supreme Court has
not made a final decision on his claims, the Court cannot
apply the standard found at 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 522 (1982), district
courts are directed to dismiss partially exhausted petitions
without prejudice in order to allow petitioners to return to
state court to exhaust remedies. However, since the habeas
statute was amended to impose a one-year statute of
limitations on habeas claims, see 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(1), dismissal without prejudice often effectively
precludes future federal habeas review. This is particularly
true after the Supreme Court ruled in Duncan v.
Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 181-82 (2001), that the
limitations period is not tolled during the pendency of a
federal habeas petition. As a result, the Sixth Circuit
adopted a stay-and-abeyance procedure to be applied to mixed
petitions. See Palmer v. Carlton, 276 F.3d 777, 781
(6th Cir. 2002). In Palmer, the Sixth Circuit held
that when the dismissal of a mixed petition could jeopardize
the timeliness of a subsequent petition, the district court
should dismiss only the unexhausted claims and stay further
proceedings on the remaining portion until the petitioner has
exhausted his claims in the state court. Id.;
see also Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 277 (2007)
(approving stay-and-abeyance procedure); Griffin v.
Rogers, 308 F.3d 647, 652 n.1 (6th Cir. 2002).
application is subject to the one-year statute of limitations
provided in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Under that
provision, the one-year limitations period runs from
“the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for
seeking such review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A).
Petitioner appealed his conviction to the Michigan Court of
Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. The Michigan Supreme
Court denied his application on May 28, 2015. Petitioner did
not petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme
Court, though the ninety-day period in which he could have
sought review in the United States Supreme Court is counted
under § 2244(d)(1)(A). See Bronaugh v. Ohio,
235 F.3d 280, 283 (6th Cir. 2000). The ninety-day period
expired on August 26, 2015. Accordingly, absent tolling,
Petitioner would have one year from that date to file his
asserts that he filed a motion for relief from judgment on
May 20, 2016.The running of the statute of limitations
is tolled while “a properly filed application for State
post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to
the pertinent judgment or claim is pending.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(2). The statute of limitations is tolled from
the filing of an application for state post-conviction or
other collateral relief until a decision is issued by the
state supreme court. Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S.
327 (2007). The statute is not tolled during the time that a
petitioner petitions for writ of certiorari in the United
States Supreme Court. Id. at 332.
Petitioner's motion for relief from judgment was
“properly filed” with the state court, that
motion tolled the statute of limitations in § 2244(d)
when he had over 80 daysremaining in the limitations period. The
statute of limitations will continue to be tolled until the
Michigan Supreme Court issues a decision. Eighty days is more
than enough time to file a new habeas petition with this
Court after the Michigan Supreme Court issues its decision.