United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
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
Robert Taylor Bluhm is incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections at the Carson City Correctional
Facility (DRF) in Carson City, Michigan. Petitioner pleaded
guilty in the Allegan County Circuit Court to third-degree
criminal sexual conduct (CSC-III) in violation of Mich. Comp.
Laws § 750.520d(1)(b). On September 28, 2015, the court
sentenced Petitioner to a sentence of 7 years, 9 months to 15
August 1, 2019, Petitioner, with the assistance of counsel,
filed his habeas corpus petition raising four grounds for
relief, as follows:
I. Mr. Bluhm's plea was not voluntary or intelligent by
II. Defendant did not commit rape and is innocent.
III. Mr. Bluhm had . . . ineffective assistance of counsel
throughout his plea and sentencing.
IV. Mr. Bluhm was denied important evidence in violation of
the Brady Rule.
(Pet., ECF No. 1, PageID.6-11.)
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). 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
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. O'Sullivan, 526 U.S. at 844, 848; see
also Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275-77 (1971);
Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995);
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 ...