Williams v. Bauman
Opinion and ORDER granting 3 MOTION to Hold Habeas Petition in Abeyance filed by Anthony Williams. Case stayed. Signed by District Judge Thomas L. Ludington. (SGam)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
ANTHONY J. WILLIAMS,
Case No. 12-14285
Hon. Thomas L. Ludington
CATHERINE S. BAUMAN,
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER'S MOTION TO HOLD THE
PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN ABEYANCE
Anthony J. Williams, (Petitioner), a state prisoner, has filed a pro se petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The petition challenges his Wayne Circuit Court
convictions for first-degree home invasion, assault with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, and
felony-firearm. Petitioner has filed a motion to stay the habeas corpus proceeding to permit him to
return to the state courts. He wishes to file an action for superintending control in the Michigan
Supreme Court to compel the Michigan Court of Appeals to reissue its decision in Petitioner’s case.
For the reasons stated below, this proceeding will be stayed to permit Petitioner to return to the state
Petitioner was convicted after a jury trial in the Wayne Circuit Court. The conviction was
affirmed on November 5, 2009 by the Michigan Court of Appeals, and Petitioner’s application for
leave to appeal was denied by the Michigan Supreme Court on March 29, 2010. People v. Williams,
Michigan Supreme Court No. 140286. The time for filing a petition for certiorari in the United
States Supreme Court expired 90 days later: June 27, 2010. The one-year statute of limitations
period for filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus under § 2254 began the next day, June 28, 2010.
Petitioner asserts that he filed a motion for relief from judgment in the trial court on June 3,
2011, and that the trial court denied the motion by order dated October 14, 2011. Petitioner alleges
that he attempted to appeal this order to the Michigan Court of Appeals, but on June 28, 2012, the
court dismissed the appeal because he had not paid the filing fee. Petitioner maintains that he never
received the order dismissing the appeal. After Petitioner learned of the order, he filed a motion for
reconsideration in the Michigan Court of Appeals on August 24, 2012. The appeal was denied as
untimely. According to Petitioner’s calculations, he had until September 17, 2012 to file the instant
petition. Although Petitioner claims he signed the instant habeas petition and motion that day, they
were not filed by the Clerk’s office until September 26, 2012.
Federal district courts are authorized to stay fully exhausted federal habeas petitions pending
the exhaustion of other claims. Moritz v. Lafler, 2008 WL 783751, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 19, 2008)
(citing Anthony v. Cambra, 236 F.3d 568, 575 (9th Cir. 2000)). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
has advised that it is preferable for a district court to stay proceedings pending exhaustion on a
habeas petition, rather than dismissing the petition without prejudice. Griffin v. Rogers, 308 F.3d
647, 652, n.1 (6th Cir. 2002).
In this case, Petitioner requests a stay to file a complaint for superintending control in the
Michigan Supreme Court. He hopes the Michigan Court of Appeals will be compelled to reissue
its order dismissing his appeal from his motion for relief from judgment. That appeal contained
some of the claims that are raised in the current petition, and Petitioner recognizes that they were
never presented to the Michigan Supreme Court. If the order is reissued, Petitioner claims that he
will then be able to file an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court and
thereby exhaust the claims.
A common circumstance calling for abating a habeas petition arises when a Petitioner wishes
to exhaust claims, but the dismissal without prejudice of the petition would likely result in the
second petition being time barred by the AEDPA’s statute of limitations. See Hargrove v. Brigano,
300 F. 3d 717, 720-21 (6th Cir. 2002). According to Petitioner’s motion, the Michigan Court of
Appeals dismissed his appeal on June 28, 2012. The period of limitations began running fifty-six
days later, or August 23, 2012. See Mich. Ct. R. 7.302(C)(3). And if, as he alleges, Petitioner only
had twenty-five days remaining on the limitations period, the time for filing the petition expired the
same day he dated the present petition. Accordingly, if the Court were to dismiss without prejudice
the petition on exhaustion grounds, Petitioner would be required to re-file his habeas petition on the
same day that he satisfied the exhaustion requirement.
The U.S. Supreme Court has suggested that a habeas petitioner who is concerned about the
possible effects of his state post-conviction filings on the AEDPA’s statute of limitations could file
a “protective” petition in federal court and then ask for the petition to be held in abeyance pending
the exhaustion of state post-conviction remedies. See Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 416
(2005) (citing Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 278 (2005)).
However, even where a district court determines that a stay is appropriate pending
exhaustion of state court remedies, the district court “should place reasonable time limits on a
petitioner’s trip to state court and back.” Rhines, 544 U.S. at 278. To ensure that there are no delays
by Petitioner in exhausting his state court remedies, this Court will impose time limits going
forward. See Palmer v. Carlton, 276 F. 3d 777, 781 (6th Cir. 2002).
Petitioner’s motion will be granted, and the petition will be held in abeyance to allow him
to pursue post-conviction proceedings in the state courts. This tolling is conditioned upon Petitioner
filing a complaint for superintending control within sixty days, and then returning to federal court
within sixty days of exhaustion of state court post-conviction remedies. Hargrove, 300 F. 3d at 721;
See also Geeter v. Bouchard, 293 F. Supp. 2d 773, 775 (E.D. Mich. 2003).
It is ORDERED that Petitioner’s motion to hold the petition for writ of habeas corpus in
abeyance is GRANTED. Petitioner may file a complaint for superintending control with the state
court within sixty (60) days of receipt of this Court’s order. If Petitioner fails to do so by that date,
the Court will dismiss his petition without prejudice.
If Petitioner files the complaint, he shall notify this Court that such papers have been filed
in state court. The case will then be held in abeyance pending Petitioner’s exhaustion of the claims.
Petitioner shall re-file a habeas petition within sixty (60) days after the conclusion of the state court
post-conviction proceedings. Petitioner is free at that time to file an amended habeas petition.
To avoid administrative difficulties, the Court ORDERS the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this
case for statistical purposes only. Nothing in this order or in the related docket entry shall be
considered a dismissal or disposition of this matter. See Sitto v. Bock, 207 F. Supp. 2d at 677.
It is further ORDERED that upon receipt of a motion to reinstate the habeas petition
following exhaustion of state remedies, the Court may order the Clerk to reopen this case for
Dated: October 10, 2012
s/Thomas L. Ludington
THOMAS L. LUDINGTON
United States District Judge
PROOF OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that a copy of the foregoing order was served
upon Anthony Williams #507451at Alger Maximum Correctional
Facility, Industrial Park Drive, P.O. Box 600, Munising, MI 49862 by
first class U.S. mail on October 10, 2012.
s/Tracy A. Jacobs
TRACY A. JACOBS
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