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Houze v. Campbell

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

November 5, 2019

KENDELL M. HOUZE, Petitioner,
v.
SHERMAN CAMPBELL, Respondent.

          ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DISMISSING PETITION WITHOUT PREJUDICE

          Sean F. Cox United States District Judge.

         Kendell M. Houze, a Michigan state prisoner, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He challenges his first-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520b. Now before the Court is Respondent's Motion to Dismiss.

         I. Background

         Petitioner was charged in Wayne County Circuit Court with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct pursuant to a plea agreement providing for the dismissal of the remaining charges and a sentence of ten to twenty years. On July 26, 2017, the trial court sentenced Petitioner in accordance with the plea agreement to ten to twenty years' imprisonment.

         Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals claiming that the trial court erred in denying his motion for leave to withdraw his guilty plea. The Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal “for lack of merit in the grounds presented.” People v. Houze, No. 342151 (Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2018). Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court arguing that his pre-sentence investigation report contained errors. The Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal. People v. Houze, 503 Mich. 860 (Sept. 12, 2018).

         On October 12, 2018, Petitioner filed the pending habeas petition. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the ground that it contains only unexhausted claims.

         II. Discussion

         Petitioner raises four claims in his habeas petition:

I. The trial court abused its discretion in deciding evidentiary issues.
II. Ineffective assistance of counsel.
III. Petitioner's guilt was not supported by sufficient evidence and his plea therefore was based upon an insufficient factual basis.
IV. Petitioner's sentence is unreasonable and disproportionate.

See Pet. at 1-3, ECF No. 1, Pg. ID 1-3.

         Respondent argues that the petition contains only unexhausted claims. A prisoner filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §2254 must first exhaust all state court remedies. See O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999) (“[S]tate prisoners must give the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the State's established appellate review process”). To exhaust state court remedies, a claim must be fairly presented “to every level of the state courts in one full round.” Ambrose v. Romanowski, 621 Fed. App'x 808, 814 (6th Cir. 2015). See also Wagner v. Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 418 (6th Cir. 2009) (“For a claim to be reviewable at the federal level, each claim must ...


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