United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
JOE L. DeLEON, Petitioner,
SHERMAN CAMPBELL, Respondent.
ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR A STAY [ECF
NO. 1] AND DISMISSING HIS LAWSUIT
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
prisoner Joe L. DeLeoh was convicted of criminal sexual
conduct ("CSC") in state court and is serving a
lengthy sentence. On February 26, 2018, he commenced this
action by filing a motion for a stay and abeyance. He asks
the Court to hold this federal proceeding in abeyance while
he pursues post-conviction remedies in state court. He has
not filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus in this
Court, and because the Court has no jurisdiction to decide a
motion for a stay in the absence of a properly filed
petition, the Court will deny Petitioner's motion and
dismiss this action.
does not mention the nature of his convictions in his motion
for a stay, but he did provide the Court with information
about his direct appeal in state court. On the basis of that
information, the Court has learned that Petitioner was
convicted, following a jury trial, of first-degree CSC and
second-degree CSC. See People v. DeLeon, 317
Mich.App. 714, 717 (2016). The trial court sentenced
Petitioner to prison for thirty-five to seventy years for the
first-degree CSC conviction and to a consecutive prison term
of twenty to thirty years for the second-degree CSC
conviction. See id.
direct appeal, Petitioner argued that (1) the prosecution
failed to introduce sufficient evidence to support his
conviction for second-degree CSC, and (2) the trial court
violated his Sixth Amendment rights when it relied on
judicial fact-finding to impose consecutive sentencing.
See Id. at 719, 721. The Michigan Court of Appeals
rejected these claims and affirmed Petitioner's
convictions and sentences. See Id. at 717, 726. On
May 31, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to
appeal because it was not persuaded to review the issues.
See People v. DeLeon, 500 Mich. 1002 (2017).
noted above, Petitioner filed his motion for a stay in this
Court on February 26, 2018. He does not list any grounds for
habeas relief in his motion, but he has indicated that he
wants to raise the following three issues in state court: (1)
he has new reliable evidence concerning his innocence; (2)
trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and
discover this evidence; and (3) appellate counsel was
ineffective for failing to investigate the new evidence and
locate exculpatory witnesses. Petitioner seeks a stay of this
federal action while he exhausts state remedies for these
three claims regarding new evidence of actual innocence and
his trial and appellate attorneys.
proper way to commence a civil action in federal court is to
file a complaint with the court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 3. The Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure apply to habeas suits unless they
are inconsistent with the Habeas Corpus Rules, and
"[n]othing in the Habeas Corpus Rules contradicts Rule
3." Woodford v. Garceau, 538 U.S. 202, 208
(2003). "The logical conclusion, therefore, is that a
habeas suit begins with the filing of an application for
habeas corpus relief- the equivalent of a complaint in an
ordinary civil case." Id.
habeas petition must "allege the facts concerning the
applicant's commitment or detention." 28 U.S.C.
§ 2242, 12. The petition also must:
(1) specify all the grounds for relief available to the
(2) state the facts supporting each ground; [and]
(3) state the relief requested[.]
2(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United
States District Courts. Additionally, "[t]he petition
must substantially follow either the form appended to [the
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases] or a form prescribed by a
local district-court rule." Rule 2(d).
Petitioner's motion for a stay was treated as a new
habeas suit under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 when it was filed,
the motion was not submitted on a form like the one appended
to the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases and used in this
District. The motion also does not appear to list all the
claims and supporting facts that Petitioner seeks to have the
Court eventually address, and it does not attack the fact or
duration of confinement, which is "the core of habeas
corpus." Preiser v. Rodriguez,411 U.S. 475,
489 (1973). ...