United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. Jonker Chief 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
Clifton Terron Lee is incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections at the Ionia Correctional Facility
(ICF) in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan. Following a jury
trial in the Kent County Circuit Court, Petitioner was
convicted of assault with intent to commit murder (AWIM),
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.83, and possession of a firearm
during the commission of a felony (felony firearm), Mich.
Comp. Laws § 750.227b. On September 8, 2016, the court
sentenced Petitioner as a fourth-offense habitual offender,
Mich. Comp. Laws § 769.12, to a prison term of 35 to 70
years on the AWIM conviction, to be served consecutively to a
2-year prison term on the felony-firearm conviction.
17, 2019, Petitioner filed his habeas corpus petition. Under
Sixth Circuit precedent, the application is deemed filed when
handed to prison authorities for mailing to the federal
court. Cook v. Stegall, 295 F.3d 517, 521 (6th Cir.
2002). Petitioner placed his petition in the prison mailing
system on July 17, 2019. (Pet., ECF No. 1, PageID.16.)
petition raises six grounds for relief, as follows:
I. REMOVAL FROM THE TRIAL DURING VOIR DIRE REGARDING
[PETITIONER'S] MINOR COMMENTS, NO WARNING BY JUDGE AND
DEPRIVATION OF THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL REQUIRE A NEW TRIAL.
II. IMPERMISSIBLE ARGUMENT DISGUISED AS EVIDENCE DEPRIVED
[PETITIONER] OF A FUNDAMENTALLY FAIR TRIAL AND DUE PROCESS OF
III. PROBATION OFFICER HEARSAY TESTIMONY AFFIRMING
COMPLAINANT'S STORY REQUIRES A NEW TRIAL.
IV. INEFFECTIVE OF CONSTITUTION [SIC] AND INEFFECTIVE
ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL.
V. [PETITIONER] WAS DENIED HIS RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS AND A
FAIR TRIAL WHERE THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN
IT ALLOWED THE PROSECUTION TO IMPROPERLY INTERJECT CRITICAL
CASE-SPECIFIC FACTS ABOUT THE CASE TO FORM ITS QUESTIONS
DURING VOIR DIRE; AND APPOINTED COUNSEL WAS INEFFECTIVE FOR
FAILING TO OBJECT.
VI. [PETITIONER'S] RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS WAS VIOLATED
WHERE THE RECORD CLEARLY REVEALS THAT THE TRIAL COURT NEVER
CONDUCTED AN ARRAIGNMENT AFTER THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION;