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Robinson v. Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 30, 2019

CHRISTOPHER BERNARD ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
WASHTENAW COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE, ET AL, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S CIVIL RIGHTS CLAIMS UNDER THREE-STRIKES RULE, DISMISSING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S HABEAS CLAIMS, DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Christopher Bernard Robinson (“Plaintiff”) filed this hybrid civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 and 2254. This action stems from Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office's (“Defendant”) filing of criminal charges against Plaintiff on September 24, 2019 for his failure to comply with Michigan's sex offender registry law.

         Plaintiff asserts that: (1) the charging documents failed to adequately notify him of the nature of the offense in violation of due process; (2) the criminal charges were filed in retaliation for Plaintiff filing previous civil rights actions against Defendants and other law enforcement agencies; (3) the Michigan Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) improperly calculated Plaintiff's prior criminal sentences; and (4) Defendants are unconstitutionally applying the sex offender registry law retroactively to Plaintiff.

         Plaintiff seeks the following relief: (1) an order terminating the current criminal case; (2) a temporary restraining order and injunction removing Plaintiff from the sex offender registry; (3) an unconditional writ of habeas corpus vacating one of Plaintiff's prior convictions; (4) an award of $50, 000 per year for each year Plaintiff was illegally incarcerated; (5) an award of $5, 200, 000 in punitive damages against MDOC; and (6) an award of $1, 200, 000 in damages against the individually named defendant in MDOC-L. Todd-who calculated Plaintiff's outdates.

         The Court summarily dismisses the complaint. To the extent Plaintiff seeks to file a civil rights complaint, Plaintiff is barred from proceeding in forma pauperis because he already has more than three strikes. To the extent Plaintiff is seeking habeas corpus relief, the Court will abstain from interfering in an ongoing state criminal proceeding. Finally, Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his sentence calculation claim. The Court will also deny a certificate of appealability and deny permission to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff was convicted in 1989 in the Washtenaw Circuit Court of first-degree criminal sexual conduct; he was sentenced to twelve to thirty years. On September 4, 1990, he pled guilty in the Ionia Circuit Court to assault on a prison employee; he was sentenced to a consecutive two to four-year prison term.

         In 2004, the Michigan Parole Board released Plaintiff on parole, but Plaintiff returned to prison after violating the conditions of his parole when he failed to register as a sex offender. According to Plaintiff, his two state sentences were then improperly “stacked” by the MDOC.

         In 2011, the Parole Board again released Plaintiff on parole. Approximately two years later, though, Plaintiff pled guilty to again violating the conditions of parole-this time for assaulting a police officer. Plaintiff was found guilty of the corresponding felony offense in a bench trial in Washtenaw Circuit Court. He was sentenced to another term of two to four years in prison.

         The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed this conviction-ruling that Plaintiff did not voluntarily waive his right to counsel. On remand, the trial court conducted another bench trial and again found Plaintiff guilty of assaulting a police officer. He was given the same sentence.

         Plaintiff does not claim to have appealed his reconviction in the state courts, nor does he claim to have appealed or challenged the calculation of his sentence by the MDOC in the state courts.

         On May 8, 2018, Plaintiff was again released on parole.

         On September 24, 2019, Plaintiff was charged in the Washtenaw Circuit Court with the felony offense of failure to register as a sex offender.

         II. ...


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