Morrell v. McCullick
ORDER granting 42 Motion to Stay. Signed by District Judge George Caram Steeh. (BSau)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Civil No. 2:17-CV-10961
HON. GEORGE CARAM STEEH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING THE
MOTION TO STAY PENDING APPEAL (ECF No. 42)
This Court granted petitioner a writ of habeas corpus on his claim that
the judge had violated his Sixth Amendment rights by using factors that had
not been submitted to the jury to score his sentencing guidelines. See Morrell
v. Burton, No. 2:17-CV-10961, 2020 WL 59700 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 6, 2020).
Respondent filed a motion to alter or to amend judgment, which was denied.
Morrell v. Burton, No. 2:17-CV-10961, 2020 WL 746954 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 14,
Respondent filed a notice of appeal from the denial of the motion to
alter or amend judgment. (ECF No. 39). Respondent also filed a motion for
a stay pending appeal. (ECF No. 42).
There is a presumption that a successful habeas petitioner should be
released from custody pending the state’s appeal of a federal court decision
granting habeas relief, but this presumption may be overcome if the judge
rendering the decision, or an appellate court or judge, orders otherwise.
Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 774 (1987); Workman v. Tate, 958 F. 2d
164, 166 (6th Cir. 1992); F.R.A.P. Rule 23(c). Because habeas proceedings
are civil in nature, the general standards of governing stays of civil judgments
should also guide courts when they must decide whether to release a habeas
petitioner pending the state’s appeal. Hilton, 481 U.S. at 776.
The factors regulating the issuance of a stay are:
(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that
he is likely to succeed on the merits;
(2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a
(3) whether the issuance of the stay will substantially injure the
other parties interested in the proceeding; and
(4) where the public interest lies.
Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. at 776; Workman v. Tate, 958 F. 2d at
In determining whether to grant a stay, a federal court may also
consider “[t]he State’s interest in continuing custody and rehabilitation
pending a final determination of the case on appeal ...; it will be strongest
where the remaining portion of the sentence to be served is long, and
weakest where there is little of the sentence remaining to be served.” Hilton,
481 U.S. at 777.
Although this Court disagrees with respondent’s claim that he made a
strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits of the case on
appeal, the Court grants respondent a stay pending appeal;“[i]t would be a
waste of judicial resources for the appeal to proceed in the Sixth Circuit Court
of Appeals, while simultaneously requiring the State to grant relief to
Petitioner.” Williams v. Booker, 715 F. Supp. 2d 756, 770 (E.D. Mich. 2010);
rev’d on other grds, 454 F. App’x. 475 (6th Cir. 2012). Accordingly, the
motion for stay pending appeal is GRANTED.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
The motion for stay pending appeal (ECF No. 42) is GRANTED.
Dated: April 7, 2020
s/George Caram Steeh
GEORGE CARAM STEEH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
Copies of this Order were served upon attorneys of record on
April 7, 2020, by electronic and/or ordinary mail and also on
Ronald Morrell #955782, Richard A. Handlon Correctional
Facility, 1728 Bluewater Highway, Ionia, MI 48846.
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