United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER'S APPLICATION TO
PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS T61 GRANTING HIS REQUEST TO HOLD
HIS HABEAS PETITION IN ABEYANCE ML AND CLOSING THIS CASE FOR
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter initially came before the Court on petitioner Terrell
Dejuan Roche's motion to hold his habeas corpus petition
in abeyance. See Mot., ECF No. 1. Petitioner did not
submit a habeas corpus petition with his motion, and he did
not pay the filing fee or apply for permission to proceed
in forma pauperis. Accordingly, the Court ordered
him to show cause why the Court should not dismiss this
action. See 5/24/19 Order, ECF No. 3. Petitioner
then filed a response to the Court's order to show cause,
ECF No. 4, a habeas corpus petition, ECF No. 5, and an
application to proceed in forma pauperis, ECF No. 6.
Petitioner has cured procedural deficiencies, and he still
wants the Court to hold his petition in abeyance while he
exhausts state remedies.
Court grants Petitioner's motion for a stay, holds his
habeas corpus petition in abeyance, and closes this case for
2014, a jury In Genesee County Circuit Court found Petitioner
guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree arson, and
felony firearm. The state trial court sentenced Petitioner to
life imprisonment for the murder conviction, twenty to forty
years in prison for the arson conviction, and two years for
the felony-firearm conviction.
appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals, Petitioner raised
issues regarding trial testimony and evidence admitted at
trial, the prosecutor's conduct, and trial counsel. In a
pro se supplemental brief, Petitioner also claimed
that he was unable to confront the expert who prepared a lab
Michigan Court of Appeals rejected these claims and affirmed
Petitioner's convictions. See People v. Roche,
No. 323555, 2016 WL 2731063 (Mich. Ct. App. May 10, 2016).
Petitioner alleges that he raised the same issues in the
Michigan Supreme Court, which denied leave to appeal on July
25, 2017; it was not persuaded to review the issues. See
People v. Roche, 500 Mich. 1057; 898 N.W.2d 213 (2017).
then raised new issues in a motion for relief from judgment.
The state trial court denied Petitioner's motion, and
while his appeal from the trial court's decision was
pending in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Petitioner
commenced this action by filing his motion to hold his
petition in abeyance. See Mot., ECF No. 1. As noted
above, Petitioner did not file a habeas corpus petition with
his motion, and he did not pay the filing fee or ask to
proceed In forma pauperis. Accordingly, on May 24,
2019, the Court ordered Petitioner to show cause why his case
should not be dismissed. See 5/24/19 Order, ECF No.
11, 2019, Petitioner filed a response to the Court's
order to show cause, ECF No. 4, a pro se petition
for the writ of habeas corpus, ECF No. 5, and an application
to proceed in forma pauperis, ECF No. 6. Meanwhile,
the Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal the
trial court's decision on Petitioner's motion for
relief from judgment. See People v. Roche, No.
346298 (Mich. Ct. App. Apr. 23, 2019). Petitioner's
appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court is pending in that
response to the Court's order, Petitioner alleges that
his failure to submit a habeas petition and either the filing
fee or an application to proceed in forma pauperis
was due to faulty advice from a prison legal writer.
Petitioner states that he does not have a history of
dilatoriness, bad faith, or failure to prosecute. He also
alleges that neither the respondent, nor the Court, will be
prejudiced by a small delay. He urges the Court to grant his
application to proceed in forma pauperis, to stay
this case, and to hold his habeas petition in abeyance.
The Application to Proceed In Forma
application to proceed in forma pauperis and the
attached summary of his prison trust fund account indicate
that his only income in the past twelve months was $91.00
from family and friends. He had $28.32 in his prison trust
fund account as of June 4, 2019. See Application to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis, ECF No. 6. The Court
concludes that Petitioner is indigent and that he should be
permitted to proceed in forma pauperis.
Accordingly, the Court grants Petitioner's application to
proceed without prepaying fees or costs, ECF No. 6.