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Green v. Davis

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division

May 23, 2018

SHERRIELEANN GREEN
v.
LORIE DAVIS

          ORDER

          ROBERT PITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Petitioner's Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner, proceeding pro se, has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus is dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust state court remedies.

         BACKGROUND

         According to Petitioner, the Director has custody of her pursuant to a judgment and sentence of the 52nd Judicial District Court of Coryell County, Texas. Petitioner asserts she was sentenced on December 18, 2016. Petitioner admits she did not appeal her conviction or file a state application for habeas corpus relief.

         ANALYSIS

         A fundamental prerequisite to federal habeas corpus relief under Title 28 U.S.C. §2254 is the exhaustion of all claims in state court prior to requesting federal collateral relief. Sterling v. Scott, 57 F.3d 451, 453 (5th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 1050 (1996). Section 2254(b) provides:

(1) 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 unless it appears that:
(A) the applicant has exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State; or
(B) (i) there is an absence of available State corrective process; or (ii) circumstances exist that render such process ineffective to protect the rights of the applicant.

28 U.S.C. § 2254. This requirement is designed in the interests of comity and federalism to give state courts the initial opportunity to pass upon and correct errors of federal law in a state prisoner's conviction. Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275-76 (1971). The purpose and policy underlying the exhaustion doctrine is to preserve the role of the state courts in the application and enforcement of federal law and prevent disruption of state criminal proceedings. Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982)(citing Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973)).

         A petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 “must be dismissed if state remedies have not been exhausted as to any of the federal claims.” Castille v. Peoples, 489 U.S. 346, 349 (1989). The exhaustion doctrine “requires that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals be given an opportunity to review and rule upon the petitioner's claim before he resorts to the federal courts.” Richardson v. Procunier, 762 F.2d 429, 431 (5th Cir. 1985). Once a federal claim has been fairly presented to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, either through direct appeal or collateral attack, the exhaustion requirement is satisfied. See generally, Castille, 489 U.S. at 351. In order to avoid piecemeal litigation, all grounds raised in a federal application for writ of habeas corpus must first be presented to the state's highest criminal court prior to being presented in federal court. Rose, 455 U.S. at 522. If even one claim is unexhausted, the entire petition must be dismissed for failure to exhaust state remedies. Id.

         In the present case, Petitioner has not presented her claims to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, there has been no fair presentation of her claims to the state court, and thus, the state court has not had the initial opportunity to pass upon and correct any alleged errors of federal law. Nevertheless, the exhaustion requirement can be excused when exceptional circumstances exist. Deters v. Collins, 985 F.2d 789 (5th Cir. 1993). However, Petitioner makes no allegations that any exceptional circumstances are present in this case.

         CONCLUSION

         The Court finds that Petitioner has failed to exhaust her state court remedies and has failed to allege any circumstances which would allow ...


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