United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MARSEILLES D. WOODLEY, Petitioner,
JOHN DAVIDS, Respondent.
ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER'S MOTION TO HOLD
PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN ABEYANCE  AND
ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING THE CASE
Stephen J. Murphy, III United States District Judge.
5, 2017, Petitioner Marseilles D. Woodley, confined at the
Ionia Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan, filed a
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, and challenged his convictions for first-degree
murder, M.C.L.A. 750.316(1)(a); assault with intent to
murder, M.C.L.A. 750.83; felon in possession of a firearm,
M.C.L.A. 750.224f; and felony-firearm, M.C.L.A. 750.227b. ECF
1. On May 15, 2017, the Court granted Petitioner's motion
to hold his petition in abeyance while he exhausted
additional claims in the state courts. ECF 4. On July 10,
2019, the Court granted Petitioner's motion to lift the
stay and to reopen the proceedings. ECF 8. Petitioner's
amended complaint was also accepted as filed. ECF 7, 8. On
October 31, 2019, Petitioner field a second motion to hold
his petition in abeyance while he exhausts additional claims
in state court based on newly discovered evidence. ECF 11.
For the following reasons, the Court will grant
Court is authorized to stay a fully exhausted federal habeas
petition pending the exhaustion of additional claims in the
state courts. See, e.g., Nowaczyk v. Warden,
N.H. State Prison, 299 F.3d 69, 77-79 (1st Cir. 2002)
("When unusual circumstances-rather than a flaw in the
petition itself-make it imprudent to address the § 2254
petition immediately, the collateral attack should be stayed
rather than dismissed.") (quotations and alteration
omitted). Moreover, the Court bears a "heavy obligation
to exercise jurisdiction" over a timely filed habeas
petition, id. at 82 (quotations omitted), to avoid
improper preclusion of federal review. Hargrove v.
Brigano, 300 F.3d 717, 720-21 (6th Cir. 2002).
"if this Court were to proceed in parallel with state
post-conviction proceedings, there is a risk of wasting
judicial resources if the state court might grant relief on
the unexhausted claim." Thomas v. Stoddard, 89
F.Supp.3d 937, 942 (E.D. Mich. 2015). A stay will not
prejudice Respondent, whereas without a stay Petitioner
"could be prejudiced by having to simultaneously fight
two proceedings in separate courts" and potentially
facing "the heavy burden of satisfying 28 U.S.C. §
requirements[.]" Id. at 943.
Petitioner claims that he may have potential Brady
violations claims based on newly discovered evidence. ECF 11,
PgID 145. But a motion for relief from judgment at the state
court would be his second motion for relief filed, and
generally, under M.C.R. 6.502(G)(1), a defendant can only
file one motion for relief from judgment with regard to a
criminal conviction. See Banks v. Jackson, 149
Fed.Appx. 414, 418 (6th Cir. 2005). M.C.R. 6.502(G)(2),
however, states that a defendant may file a second or
subsequent motion based on a retroactive change in law that
occurred after the first motion for relief from judgment or
based on a claim of new evidence that was not discovered
before the first motion. Id. at 418. Because
Petitioner may fall under the newly discovered evidence
exception and therefore may be permitted to bring a second
motion for relief in state court, the Court will hold his
petition in abeyance while he pursues his unexhausted claims
in state court. See Cunningham v. Hudson, 756 F.3d
477, 485-87 (6th Cir. 2014).
ensure there are no delays, the Court will impose reasonable
time limits for Petitioner "to present claims to state
courts and return to federal court[.]" Palmer v.
Carlton, 276 F.3d 777, 781 (6th Cir. 2002). Accordingly,
Petitioner must initiate his state post-conviction remedies
within 60 days of receiving this Court's order and return
to federal court within 60 days of completing the exhaustion
of state court postconviction remedies. Hargrove,
300 F.3d at 721.
it is hereby ORDERED that Petitioner's
motion to hold petition for writ of habeas corpus  is
GRANTED and the proceedings are
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner must
FILE a motion for relief from judgment in
state court within 60 days of receipt of
this order. He shall NOTIFY the Court in
writing that the state-court motion has been filed. If he
fails to file a motion in state court or fails to notify the
Court within 60 days of receipt of this
order, the Court will lift the stay, reinstate the first
amended petition for writ of habeas corpus, and address only
the claims raised in the first amended petition.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that after Petitioner fully
exhausts his additional claims in state court, he shall
FILE an amended petition that includes the
additional claims within 60 days after the
conclusion of his state court post-conviction proceedings,
along with a motion to lift the stay. If he fails to do so,
the Court will lift the stay, and address only the claims
raised in the first amended petition.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall
CLOSE this case for statistical purposes
only. Nothing in this order or in the related docket entry
shall be considered a dismissal or disposition of this
matter. Upon receipt of a motion to reinstate the petition
following exhaustion of state remedies, the Court may order
the Clerk to reopen the case.
hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was
served upon the parties and/or counsel of record on November