Edwards v. Billips et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge C Lynwood Smith, Jr on 3/28/2014. (AHI)
2014 Mar-28 PM 03:35
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
TERRENCE TYREE EDWARDS,
PHYLLIS BILLUPS1, Warden,
and the ATTORNEY GENERAL
OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA,
Case No: 2:14-cv-0098-CLS-JEO
This is an action seeking habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. It was
filed by Terrence Tyree Edwards, an Alabama state prisoner acting pro se. (See Doc.2
1 (hereinafter “Petition” or “Pet.”)). On January 27, 2014, the magistrate judge
entered a report pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b)(1), and LR
72.1(b)(3)(A) that included findings and a recommendation that the action be
dismissed without prejudice to allow Petitioner to exhaust post-conviction remedies
available in the state courts. (Doc. 5). Petitioner has now filed a “Notice to Rebutt
Petitioner has identified “Warden Billipps” as a respondent to his habeas petition in this
case. Online records show that the Warden of the Kilby Correctional Facility where Petitioner is
incarcerated is Phyllis Billups. http://www.doc.alabama.gov/facility.aspx?loc=36. The Clerk is
directed to correct this respondent’s name on docket sheet.
References herein to “Doc(s). __” are to the document numbers assigned by the Clerk of
the Court to the pleadings, motions, and other materials in the court file, as reflected on the docket
sheet in the court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files system.
(sic),” which the court treats as interposing objections to the magistrate judge’s report
and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b)(2).
In his latest filing, Petitioner concedes that his § 2254 habeas application is a
“mixed petition” containing both exhausted and unexhausted claims, see Rose v.
Lundy, 455 U.S. 509 (1982), and he acknowledges his desire to pursue remedies
available under ALA. R. CRIM. P. 32 in an attempt to comply with federal exhaustion
requirements. (Doc. 6 at 2). While the magistrate judge recommended that this
action be dismissed without prejudice, Petitioner has now requested that the court
instead “grant a stay” while he pursues relief in the Alabama courts under Rule 32.
However, to the extent that Petitioner is requesting a stay of only his
unexhausted claims while he pursues relief on them in state court and he
simultaneously proceeds in this court on his exhausted claims, that request is denied.
Such piecemeal litigation of habeas claims by state prisoners is prohibited. See Rose,
455 U.S. at 518-20.
Likewise, to the extent that Petitioner is asking this court to stay this entire case
and hold it in abeyance while he pursues relief in the state courts, see Rhines v.
Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 275-76 (2005), that request is denied for the reasons stated in
the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation. (See Doc. 5 at 6-8). The “stay
and abeyance” procedure discussed in Rhines is “available only in limited
circumstances,” and requires a petitioner to show “good cause” for his failure to have
first exhausted his claims in state court. 544 U.S. at 277. Petitioner has not satisfied
that requirement, instead merely asserting generally that he is acting without an
attorney and that he is unfamiliar with post-conviction relief procedures. There is
also no indication that Petitioner would be unduly prejudiced by the statute of
limitations, see 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), in any efforts to return to federal court
assuming that he acts with due diligence to refile following the conclusion of any
Rule 32 proceedings.
Finally, Petitioner also asks this court to give “instructions” to the Alabama
court that would hear his Rule 32 petition that the State be made to “produce full
discovery, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.” and that Petitioner “be allowed to obtain funds for
expert(s) and [an] attorney pursuant to Title 18 U.S.C. § 3006(a).” (Doc. 6 at 2).
Those requests are also denied. Petitioner has not shown that he might be entitled to
such relief, and, more to the point, it is not the province of this court to instruct or
issue orders to the Alabama courts on such matters when they entertain a Rule 32
petition filed by a state prisoner.
Upon a de novo review of the entire file, including the magistrate judge’s report
and recommendation and Petitioner’s objections thereto, the court has reached an
independent conclusion that the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation is due
to be ADOPTED and APPROVED. Petitioner’s objections are OVERRULED.
Accordingly, this action is due to be DISMISSED without prejudice, to allow
Petitioner to exhaust available state remedies. A separate final order will be entered.
DONE this 28th day of March, 2014.
United States District Judge
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