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Edmonds v. Rewerts

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

January 3, 2020

RICARDO W. EDMONDS, Petitioner,
v.
RANDEE REWERTS, Respondent,

          OPINION AND ORDER ON REQUEST FOR INDICATIVE RULING ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION FOR RELIEF UNDER RULE 60(B)

          HONORABLE SEAN F. COX UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This Court previously denied Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and Petitioner filed a notice of appeal. Thereafter, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an order holding the appeal in abeyance, to permit Respondent to file a motion in this Court under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), and seek an indicative ruling on that motion pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 62.1. As set forth below, this Court finds that the pending motion raises a substantial issue, such that this Court would grant the motion if the appellate court remands for that purpose.

         I. Background

         Ricardo W. Edmonds, (“Petitioner”), confined at the Carson City Correctional Facility in Carson City, Michigan, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which he challenged his conviction and sentence for first-degree home invasion, Mich. Comp. Laws, § 750.110a(2); aggravated stalking, Mich. Comp. Laws, § 750.411i; and being a fourth felony habitual offender, Mich. Comp. Laws, § 769.12.

         Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial in the Oakland County Circuit Court and was sentenced to twenty one years, six months to forty years in prison. After exhausting his state court remedies, Petitioner sought habeas relief in this Court, which was denied. This Court also denied Petitioner a certificate of appealability or leave to appeal in forma pauperis.

         Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on March 1, 2019. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted Petitioner a certificate of appealability on his fourth claim, in which Petitioner alleged that the trial court judge violated his Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury by using factors that had not been submitted to a jury and proven beyond a reasonable doubt or admitted to by Petitioner when he scored several of the offense variables under the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines. Edmonds v. Rewerts, U.S.C. A. No. 19-1207 (6th Cir. July 3, 2019).

         On or about November 13, 2019, the Sixth Circuit issued an order holding the appeal in abeyance, in order to permit Respondent “to file a motion in the district court under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) for a remand to the state court to conduct a sentencing proceeding.” Edmonds v. Rewerts, U.S.C. A. No. 19-1207 (6th Cir. Nov. 13, 2019). That order explained as follows:

An abeyance of briefing to allow the respondent to seek this relief will be granted, with the following caveat. When the district court is presented with a motion that it is inclined to grant but lacks authority to rule because of a pending appeal, the district court should indicate its inclination to grant the motion or that the motion presents a substantial issue. Fed.R.Civ.P. 52.1(a). The movant should then notify this court of the district court's indicative ruling, Rule 62.1(b), and then seek a remand to the district court. Id., see also Fed. R. App. 12.1.
In order to allow an opportunity to seek an indicative ruling under Rule 62.1 and a remand from this court, the motion to hold briefing in abeyance is GRANTED.

(Id.).

         On or about November 19, 2019, Respondent filed a motion in which it explains that the “State now agrees that Edmonds is entitled to receive partial habeas relief on his Sixth Amendment sentencing claim, ” in the form of remand to the state court to conduct a sentencing proceeding. (ECF No. 17). That motion asks this Court “to issue an order indicating that it is inclined to grant” the relief requested by Respondent.

         II. Discussion

         Respondent filed a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment. Respondent in their motion agrees that Petitioner is entitled to habeas relief on his sentencing claim and asks this Court to indicate that it would be willing to grant habeas relief and remand this case to the state courts for a re-sentencing.

         A federal district court can reopen a habeas case pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6) when extraordinary circumstances are present. Buck v. Davis, 137 S.Ct. 759, 777-78 (2017). This Court believes that such circumstances are present and, if the matter is remanded to this Court, would ...


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