Blades v. Graham et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Paul W. Grimm on 10/13/2020. (c/m 10/13/2020 heps, Deputy Clerk)
Case 8:19-cv-03521-PWG Document 10 Filed 10/13/20 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
ADAM DARE BLADES,
RICHARD J. GRAHAM, JR., et al.,
Civil Action No. PWG-19-3521
Respondents filed an answer seeking dismissal of the above-captioned petition for writ of
habeas corpus for failure to exhaust applicable state remedies. ECF No. 9. Petitioner has not filed
a reply and no hearing is necessary to resolve the matters pending. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018).
Blades was awaiting a parole revocation hearing at the time he filed the petition. He
claimed he was entitled to release from detention based on his assertion that he was entitled to a
revocation hearing within 60 days of being detained on a parole retake warrant. ECF No. 1. The
relevant Maryland regulation provides that:
A parole revocation hearing shall be held within 60 days after apprehension of
the parolee on the parole violation warrant, except that failure to hold the
hearing within the 60-day period may not be in contravention of this paragraph
if the parole violation warrant is not the sole document under which the parolee
is detained or incarcerated. This paragraph may not serve to invalidate the
action of the Parole Commission in revoking the parole of an individual if, under
all the circumstances, the revocation hearing is held within a reasonable time
after the parolee was apprehended and detained for violation of parole under the
parole violation warrant.
COMAR 12.08.01.22.F(2)(A) (emphasis added).
To the extent Blades seeks an order requiring the Maryland Parole Commission to provide
him with a parole revocation hearing, this Court does not have jurisdiction to grant mandamus
Case 8:19-cv-03521-PWG Document 10 Filed 10/13/20 Page 2 of 3
relief in this instance. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1361, the federal district courts have original jurisdiction
over any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States
or one of its agencies to perform a duty owed to a petitioner; this mandamus jurisdiction does not
apply to State employees, such as the Maryland Parole Commission. See Gurley v. Superior Court
of Mecklenburg County, 411 F.2d 586, 587 (4th Cir. 1969).
To the extent Blades seeks an order requiring his release from detention, Blades’ petition
involves questions of State law only and is therefore subject to the exhaustion requirement of 28
U.S.C. § 2254(b).
The exhaustion requirement applies to petitions filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§2241. See Francis v. Henderson, 425 U.S. 536, 538 (1976) (“This Court has long recognized that
in some circumstances considerations of comity and concerns for the orderly administration of
criminal justice require a federal court to forgo the exercise of its habeas corpus power.”); see also
Timms v. Johns, 627 F. 3d 525, 531 (4th Cir. 2010) (applying exhaustion requirements to 2241
petition challenging civil commitment). Thus, before filing a federal habeas petition, Blades must
exhaust each claim presented by pursuing remedies available in state court. See Rose v. Lundy,
455 U.S. 509, 521 (1982). The claim must be fairly presented to the state courts; this means
presenting both the operative facts and controlling legal principles. See Baker v. Corcoran, 220
F.3d 276, 289 (4th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted), cert. denied, 121 S. Ct. 1194 (2001). Exhaustion
includes appellate review in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and the Maryland Court of
Appeals. See Granberry v. Greer, 481 U.S. 129, 134-35 (1987). The state courts are to be afforded
the first opportunity to review federal constitutional challenges to state convictions in order to
preserve the role of the state courts in protecting federally guaranteed rights. See Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973).
Case 8:19-cv-03521-PWG Document 10 Filed 10/13/20 Page 3 of 3
Respondents assert that Blades has not filed a habeas corpus petition in state court since he
was returned to custody on the parole violator warrant.1 ECF No. 9-7. Blades does not dispute
this assertion. The claim is therefore unexhausted and the merits of the claim may not be reached
by this Court. Therefore, this petition shall be dismissed without prejudice.
In addition, this Court must consider whether a certificate of appealability should issue.
See 28 U.S.C. §2253(c)(2). “When the district court denies a habeas petition on procedural
grounds without reaching the prisoner’s underlying constitutional claim, a COA [Certificate of
Appealability] should issue when the prisoner shows, at least, that . . . jurists of reason would find
it debatable whether the district court was correct in its procedural ruling.” Slack v. McDaniel,
529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). That Blades’ claim is unexhausted is unassailable; therefore, a COA
shall not issue.
A separate Order follows.
Dated: October 13, 2020.
Paul W. Grimm
United States District Judge
After filing the Petition, Blades did receive a revocation hearing where the Commissioner found that Blades
violated conditions of his parole, withheld rendering a final disposition, and directed Blades be held for 90 days. ECF
No. 9-1. A few weeks later Blades was convicted of the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and driving while impaired
and received a four-month aggregate sentence. ECF Nos. 9-4 and 9-5.
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