United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
RICARDO W. EDMONDS, Petitioner,
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
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
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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