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Clarmont v. Chapman

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

December 6, 2019

SHELBY CLARMONT, Petitioner,
v.
WILLIS CHAPMAN, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          ROBERT H. CLELAND, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Michigan prisoner Shelby Clarmont (“Petitioner”) filed this habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1.) Petitioner was convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529. He raises a single, sentencing-related claim for habeas corpus relief.

         Promptly after the filing of a habeas petition, 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.” United States Courts, Rules Governing 2254 Cases, Rule 4 (2010); see also 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If, after preliminary consideration, the court determines that the petitioner is not entitled to relief, the court may summarily dismiss the petition. United States Courts, Rules Governing 2254 Cases, Rule 4 (2010); 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (District courts have a duty to “screen out” petitions that lack merit on their face.). A dismissal under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing 2254 Cases includes those petitions which raise legally frivolous claims, as well as those containing factual allegations which are palpably incredible or false. Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436-37 (6th Cir. 1999). After undertaking this review, the court concludes that the habeas petition lacks merit and will be denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner was charged in Kent County Circuit Court with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. On June 11, 2018, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529, in exchange for the dismissal of the armed robbery charge and a fourth habitual offender notice.

         On July 10, 2018, Petitioner was sentenced to 108 months to 50 years imprisonment. He filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals arguing that his sentence was based upon incorrectly scored guidelines, violated the principle of proportionality, and conflicted with People v. Lockridge, 498 Mich. 358 (Mich. 2015). The Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal. People v. Clarmont, No. 347035 (Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 15, 2019). The Michigan Supreme Court also denied leave to appeal. People v. Clarmont, 504 Mich. 903, 903 (2019).

         Petitioner then filed this habeas corpus petition. (ECF No. 1.) He raises the same sentencing-related claim raised on direct appeal:

The trial court erred in imposing a sentence which was based on incorrectly scored guidelines and was a departure from applicable advisory guidelines where the sentence violates the principle of proportionality as set forth by People v. Milbourn and is unreasonable in violation of People v. Lockridge[, ] thereby entitling the defendant-appellant to resentencing within the correctly scored range.

(ECF No. 1, PageID.3, 6-18.)

         III. STANDARD

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, imposes the following standard of review for habeas cases:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim -
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the ...

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