Abdul Muntaqim Bey v. Rapelje
ORDER Denying as moot 37 Motion to Strike; Granting 29 Motion to Strike; Denying 30 Motion to Stay; Denying as moot 31 Motion to Strike; Denying 32 Motion to Stay; Denying 33 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney ; Denying 34 Motion to Appoint Counsel, and Denying 35 Letter Request for Appointment of Counsel. Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
GHALIB ABDUL MUNTAQIM-BEY,
CASE NO. 10-cv-12478
HONORABLE SEAN F. COX
GRANTING PETITIONER’S MOTION TO STRIKE
HIS SENTENCING CLAIM (docket no. 29),
DENYING PETITIONER’S MOTIONS FOR A STAY (docket nos. 30 and 32),
DENYING AS MOOT PETITIONER’S MOTIONS
TO STRIKE THE MOTIONS FOR A STAY (docket nos. 31 and 37),
DENYING COUNSEL’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW (docket no. 33),
AND DENYING PETITIONER’S MOTION (docket no. 34)
AND LETTER REQUEST (docket no. 35) FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
This habeas corpus case under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 has come before the Court on
Petitioner Ghalib Abdul Muntaqim-Bey’s motions to strike, to stay, and to appoint
counsel. Additionally, counsel for Petitioner has moved to withdraw from the case. The
Court shall GRANT Petitioner’s motion to strike his sentencing claim, but the remaining
motions are DENIED.
The following procedural history of this case serves as an
explanation for the Court’s rulings.
In 2007, a jury in Wayne County Circuit Court found Petitioner guilty of seconddegree murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.317, and the trial court sentenced Petitioner to
prison for a minimum of twenty-eight years and a maximum of forty-one years, eight
months. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner’s convictions and sentence
in an unpublished decision, see People v. Muntaqim-Bey, No. 280323 (Mich. Ct. App.
Feb. 5, 2009), and on June 23, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to
appeal because it was not persuaded to review the issues. See People v. MuntaqimBey, 483 Mich. 1113; 766 N.W.2d 846 (2009) (table).
On June 23, 2010, Petitioner commenced this action by filing a pro se petition for
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Docket No. 1). Respondent Lloyd
Rapelje moved to dismiss the petition on the basis that Petitioner failed to exhaust state
remedies for three of his four claims. (Docket No. 10). The Court agreed that the
habeas petition was a “mixed” petition of one exhausted claim and three unexhausted
The Court nevertheless denied Respondent’s motion and held the habeas
petition in abeyance pending exhaustion of state remedies. The Court also closed the
case for administrative purposes. (Docket No. 12).
Petitioner subsequently filed a motion for relief from judgment in the state trial
court. The trial court denied Petitioner’s motion, and the Michigan Court of Appeals
denied leave to appeal for failure to establish entitlement to relief under Michigan Court
Rule 6.508(D). See People v. Muntaqim-Bey, No. 318454 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 20,
2013.) On September 5, 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal for
the same reason.
See People v. Muntaqim-Bey, 497 Mich. 852; 852 N.W.2d 168
Petitioner subsequently returned to this Court and filed an amended brief in
support of his habeas petition (docket no. 19) and a motion to lift the stay (docket no.
18) through attorney Laura Kathleen Sutton. One of the claims in the brief alleged that,
if the Michigan Supreme Court decided that Alleyne v. United States,133 S. Ct. 2151
(2013), applied to Michigan sentences, Petitioner’s sentence was imposed and
enhanced on inaccurate or impermissible factors, and re-sentencing was required. The
Court granted the motion to lift the stay and re-opened this case. (Docket No. 23).
In an answer to the amended habeas brief (docket no. 24), Respondent argued
on July 24, 2015, that Petitioner’s sentencing claim was premature because the
Michigan Supreme Court had not yet decided whether Alleyne applied to Michigan’s
sentencing scheme. On July 29, 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court concluded that
“the rule from Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S. Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435
(2000), as extended by Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. __, 133 S. Ct. 2151, 186
L.Ed. 2d 314 (2013), applies to Michigan’s sentencing guidelines and renders them
constitutionally deficient.” People v. Lockridge, 498 Mich. 358, 364; 870 N.W.2d 502,
506 (2015), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 590 (2015). Petitioner subsequently moved for a
stay of this case while he attempted to exhaust state remedies for his sentencing claim
and obtain relief under Alleyne and Lockridge. (Docket No. 27). The Court denied
Petitioner’s motion on March 25, 2016. (Docket No. 28). Currently pending before the
Court are six motions that Petitioner and Ms. Sutton filed after the Court issued its
March 25 ruling.
The first motion, filed on March 28, 2016, is Ms. Sutton’s motion to strike the
sentencing claim in the amended habeas corpus brief. (Docket No. 29).1 Ms. Sutton
argues in the motion that there is no available state-court remedy to exhaust, and to
The motion is incorrectly docketed as a motion to strike the order on the motion to
avoid having a “mixed” petition of exhausted and non-exhausted claims, Petitioner
wanted to strike his sentencing claim.
On June 23, 2016, Petitioner, acting pro se, moved for a stay of his case.
(Docket No. 30). On July 8, 2016, however, Ms. Sutton moved to strike Petitioner’s pro
se motion for a stay on the basis that she would be filing a motion to stay in Petitioner’s
(Docket No. 31).
On the same day, Ms. Sutton moved to stay these
proceedings so that Petitioner could exhaust state remedies for his claim of innocence.
(Docket No. 32). Additionally, Ms. Sutton moved to withdraw as counsel for Petitioner
on the basis that Petitioner continued to pursue independently his legal options.
(Docket No. 33).
On July 11, 2016, Petitioner moved for appointment of counsel (docket no. 34),
and in a letter to the Court filed on the same day, Petitioner also requested appointment
of counsel. (Docket No. 35). On July 22, 2016, however, Petitioner filed a response in
opposition to Ms. Sutton’s motion to withdraw as counsel and stated that he was
allowing Ms. Sutton to represent him “to the fullest.” (Docket No. 36). Finally, on
August 16, 2016, Petitioner, acting pro se, moved to strike the motions for a stay.
(Docket No. 37).
CONCLUSION & ORDER
To summarize, the Court understands Petitioner to be saying that he no longer
wants a stay or appointment of a new attorney and that he wants to continue having Ms.
Sutton represent him. With this in mind, the Court rules as follows:
Petitioner’s motion to strike the sentencing claim (docket no. 29) is
Petitioner’s motions for a stay (docket nos. 30 and 32) are DENIED, and the
motions to strike the motions for a stay (docket nos. 31 and 37) are DENIED
Ms. Sutton’s motion to withdraw as counsel for Petitioner (docket no. 33) is
Petitioner’s motion for appointment of counsel (docket no. 34) and letter
requesting appointment of counsel (docket no. 35) are DENIED.
The Court will address Petitioner’s habeas claims in a future opinion and order.
There will be no additional stays, and if Petitioner finds it necessary to file any additional
documents in this case, the filings must be submitted through Ms. Sutton.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
S/Sean F. Cox
Sean F. Cox
United States District Judge
Dated: September 15, 2016
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel of
record on September 15, 2016, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
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