United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR AN INDICATIVE RULING
UNDER RULE 62.1 , DENYING THE MOTION FOR AN EMERGENCY
DECISION , GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE
MOTION FOR EMERGENCY REVIEW REGARDING OFFICER STAWIASZ ,
DENYING THE MOTION TO “REVISE” JURISDICTION ,
GRANTING THE MOTIONS TO ADMIT EXHIBITS  AND TO AMEND OR
SUPPLEMENT THE MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT , AND
DENYING THE MOTIONS TO RENEW THE BOND REQUEST  AND FOR
EMERGENCY REVIEW OF THE MOTION FOR BAIL 
Honorable John Corbett O'Meara, United States District
habeas corpus case has come before the Court on petitioner
Joseph Johnson's post-judgment motions. Petitioner was
convicted of second-degree murder following a bench trial in
1985 and then sentenced to life imprisonment. The evidence at
trial established that Petitioner
and his accomplice were acting together to accomplish the
same end, i.e., taking of money and drugs [from the victim]
in order to settle a narcotics-related dispute. In pursuit of
this end, the victim was shot. The actual shooter was the
accomplice. According to one prosecution witness,
[Petitioner] later encouraged his accomplice to shoot the
victim again in the head.
People v. Johnson, No. 87847 (Mich. Ct. App. Sept.
15, 1988). The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed
Petitioner's conviction, see id., and the
Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal.
commenced this action in 1990. He argued that the prosecution
withheld the criminal record of Edith Gibson
(“Gibson”), a key prosecution witness. He also
maintained that the state trial court deprived him of an
evidentiary hearing on whether Gibson committed perjury when
she testified at his trial that she had no prior convictions.
This Court's predecessor, former United States District
Judge Horace W. Gilmore, denied the habeas petition on the
basis that any failure to provide impeachment evidence about
Gibson or to conduct an evidentiary hearing was harmless
because the evidence was sufficient to support
Petitioner's conviction without Gibson's testimony.
1995, Petitioner filed a second habeas corpus petition in
which he alleged that his trial and appellate attorneys were
ineffective. Judge Gilmore dismissed the petition after
concluding that it was a second or successive petition and
that Petitioner had abused the writ. See Johnson v.
Pitcher, No. 95-cv-76196 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 25, 1997).
2014, Petitioner began seeking permission from the United
States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for permission
to file a second or successive habeas petition. Petitioner
argued that newly-obtained transcripts from his
co-defendant's trial showed that Petitioner's
co-defendant, not Petitioner, ordered Gibson to empty the
victim's pants pockets. The Sixth Circuit denied
Petitioner's motions on grounds that Petitioner could
have discovered the information sooner and that the evidence
did not establish his innocence.
2016, Petitioner began filing post-conviction motions in this
case. In a motion for relief from judgment, he argued that
the assistant Michigan attorney general who represented the
State in this case committed a fraud on the court by
submitting false affidavits from the trial prosecutor and the
officer in charge of Petitioner's criminal case. The
affidavits addressed the issue of whether the prosecutor and
the officer knew of Gibson's criminal record at the time
of Petitioner's trial and whether Gibson was promised
anything for her testimony. (ECF No. 41).
Court denied Petitioner's motion for relief from judgment
on the basis that Petitioner had failed to prove the
essential elements of a fraud-on-the-court claim.
See Order dated March 15, 2017 (ECF No. 44).
Petitioner appealed the Court's order and at the same
time moved to alter or amend the order denying relief from
judgment. (ECF Nos. 46 and 48). Petitioner also moved for
release on bond. (ECF Nos. 50 and 52). On August 24, 2017,
the Court denied Petitioner's motions on the basis that
he was not entitled to release on bond and that the Court
lacked jurisdiction to alter or amend its previous order
while Petitioner's appeal was pending in the Sixth
Circuit. (ECF No. 53). Now before the Court are
Petitioner's subsequent motions.
The Motions for an Indicative Ruling (ECF No. 55)
and for an Emergency Decision on the Motion for an
indicative Ruling (ECF No. 54)
motion for an indicative ruling, Petitioner asks the Court to
state either (1) that it would grant his prior motion to
alter or amend the order denying his motion for relief from
judgment or (2) that the motion raises a substantial issue.
The legal basis for Petitioner's motion is ...