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Wright v. Davis

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

January 10, 2017

GERALD ANTHONY WRIGHT, Petitioner,
v.
LORIE DAVIS, Director, [1] Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER

          John McBride, United States District Judge

          This is a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by petitioner, Gerald Anthony Wright, a state prisoner incarcerated in the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), against Lorie Davis, Director of TDCJ, respondent.[2] No service has issued upon respondent. After having considered the pleadings, the court records filed in petitioner's previous federal habeas actions, and the relief sought by petitioner, the court has concluded that the petition should be summarily dismissed as an abuse of the writ and that sanctions should be imposed.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         The history relevant to this case is set forth in the magistrate judge's findings and conclusions in Wright v. Quarterman, Civil Action No. 4:08-CV-343-A, 2008 WL 4787647 (N.D.Tex. Oct. 27, 2008). Petitioner continues to serve a life sentence in TDCJ on his 1986 conviction for sexual assault in Tarrant County, Texas, Case No. 0272196D. Petitioner has filed at least six prior federal petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this court, two of which are relevant to the instant petition. Wright v. Stevens, Civil Action No. 4:14-CV-138-A (dismissed as successive); Wright v. Quarterman, Civil Action No. 4:08-CV-343-A (dismissed as successive and a certificate of appealability denied by the Fifth Circuit). The court takes judicial notice of the pleadings and state court records filed in petitioner's prior federal habeas actions.

         II. Successive Petition

         Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and 28 U.S.C. § 2243 both authorize a habeas corpus petition to be summarily dismissed.[3] The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recognizes a district court's authority under Rule 4 to examine and dismiss frivolous habeas petitions prior to any answer or other pleading by the state. Riser v. Johnson, 163 F.3d 326, 328 (5th Cir. 1999). From the face of the instant petition and court records, it is apparent that this is a second or successive petition. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1).

         In this petition, petitioner claims that his "legal eligibility for mandatory supervision must be honored" by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and that the board is "using harsher standards and policies to prolong" his incarceration.[4](Pet. 6, ECF No. 1.) Petitioner has raised the same or similar claims in his prior petitions in Civil Action Nos. 4:14-CV-138-A and 4:08-CV-343-A and is well aware of the successive-petition bar and the requirement that he obtain authorization to file such a petition from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Petitioner has not demonstrated that the Fifth Circuit has authorized him to file the instant petition. This court is therefore without jurisdiction to consider the petition. In re Epps, 127 F.3d 364, 365 (5th Cir. 1997); United States v. Orozco-Ramirez, 211 F.3d 862, 867 (5th Cir. 2000).

         III. Sanctions

         In the undersigned's Memorandum Opinion and Order in No. 4:14-CV-138-A, petitioner was warned as follows:

Federal courts have inherent authority "to protect the efficient and orderly administration of justice and . . . to command respect for [its] orders, judgments, procedures, and authority." In re Stone, 986 F.2d 898, 902 (5th Cir. 1993). Included in such power is the authority to levy sanctions in response to abusive litigation practices. Id. Sanctions may be appropriate when a pro se litigant has a history of submitting multiple frivolous claims and can include restrictions on the ability to file future lawsuits without leave of court and monetary sanctions. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 11; Baum v. Blue Moon Ventures, LLC, 513 F.3d 181, 189 (5th Cir. 2008); Mendoza v. Lynaugh, 989 F.2d 191, 195-97 (5th Cir. 1993) .
Petitioner is warned that the filing of any other successive challenge to his 1986 state court conviction or sentence and/or his eligibility for mandatory supervision release, without first obtaining and providing to this Court an authorization from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, may result in the imposition of sanctions, including a monetary penalty, a bar to filing any further habeas petitions, motions or lawsuits, or other impediments.

(Mem. Op. 4-5, ECF No. 5.)

         Petitioner persists in filing repetitive and frivolous habeas petitions and has failed to heed the court's warning. Accordingly, the court concludes that a monetary sanction is appropriate.

         For the reasons discussed herein, The court ORDERS that the petition of petitioner for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 be, and is hereby, dismissed as an abuse of the writ and that a monetary sanction in the amount of $100.00 be, and is hereby, imposed due to petitioner's repetitious and frivolous federal filings. Petitioner is prohibited from filing any pro se civil ...


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