Crumley v. Jackson
OPINION and ORDER Granting Petitioner's 14 Motion to Withdraw the 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. Signed by District Judge Gershwin A. Drain. (TMcg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 2:17-cv-12497
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER’S MOTION TO
WITHDRAW THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS [#14]
Matthew Crumley (“Petitioner”), presently incarcerated at the Kinross
Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan, filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 2254. ECF No. 1. Petitioner challenges his
conviction for armed robbery, MICH. COMP. LAWS § 750.529; and third degree
fleeing and eluding a police officer, MICH. COMP. LAWS § 257.602(a)(3)(a). Id. at
Presently before the Court is Petitioner’s Motion to Withdraw the Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus. ECF No. 14. For the reasons that follow, the Court will
GRANT Petitioner’s Motion [#14] and will dismiss his Petition without prejudice.
Petitioner was convicted by a jury in the Macomb County Circuit Court.
People v. Crumley, No. 325712, 2016 WL 3542340, at *1 (Mich. Ct. App. June 28,
2016). Petitioner filed an appeal of right, raising claims that are included in his
current habeas petition. Id. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction,
but remanded the case to the Macomb County Circuit Court for the judge to
determine whether Petitioner should be re-sentenced, in light of the Michigan
Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Lockridge, 870 N.W.2d 502, 521 (Mich.
2015). In Lockridge, the Michigan Supreme Court held that Michigan’s Sentencing
Guidelines scheme violates the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. Id. Petitioner
claims that his application for leave to appeal was rejected as being untimely filed
by the Michigan Supreme Court. See ECF No. 1, PageID.2; see also People v.
Crumley, 880 N.W.2d 541 (Mich. 2016).
Petitioner claims that the trial court on remand denied his request to be resentenced. ECF No. 1, PageID.7. Petitioner has filed an appeal from the denial of
his request to be re-sentenced with the Michigan Court of Appeals, which remains
pending with that court. Id.
On July 28, 2017, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus.1
Petitioner seeks habeas relief on the four grounds that he raised before the Michigan
Court of Appeals on his appeal of right. Id. at PageID.6–11. In his instant Motion,
Petitioner seeks to withdraw his case. ECF No. 14.
LAW & ANALYSIS
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41, a plaintiff may voluntarily
dismiss a suit “upon order of the court and upon such terms and conditions as the
court deems proper” after an answer or motion for summary judgment has been filed.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2).
“[A] voluntary dismissal without prejudice leaves the
situation as if the action had never been filed.”
Sherer v. Construcciones
Aeronauticas, S.A., 987 F.2d 1246, 1247 (6th Cir. 1993) (citation omitted). A
decision to grant or deny a voluntary dismissal is committed to the sound discretion
of the district court. See Grover v. Eli Lilly & Co., 33 F.3d 716, 718 (6th Cir. 1994).
“Generally, an abuse of discretion is found only where the defendant would suffer
‘plain legal prejudice’ as a result of a dismissal without prejudice, as opposed to
facing the mere prospect of a second lawsuit.” Id. (citing Cone v. West Virginia Pulp
& Paper Co., 330 U.S. 212, 217 (1947); Kovalic v. DEC Int'l, Inc., 855 F.2d 471,
473 (7th Cir. 1988)). Rule 41(a) applies to habeas corpus proceedings. See Williams
Under the prison mailbox rule, this Court assumes that Petitioner filed his
habeas petition on July 28, 2017, the date that it was signed and dated. See Towns v.
U.S., 190 F. 3d 468, 469 (6th Cir. 1999).
v. Clarke, 82 F.3d 270, 272–73 (8th Cir. 1996); Doster v. Jones, 60 F.Supp.2d 1258,
1259 (M.D. Ala. 1999) (citing cases); see also Rule 11, Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (“The Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, to the extent that they are not inconsistent with these rules,
may be applied, when appropriate, to petitions filed under these rules.”).
In determining whether or not a habeas petitioner is entitled to voluntarily
dismiss his petition without prejudice, federal courts must “ensure that the
petitioner’s ability to present claims of constitutional violations is not abridged
merely because the petitioner has unwittingly fallen into a procedural trap created
by the intricacies of habeas corpus law.” See Clark v. Tansy, 13 F. 3d 1407, 1409
(10th Cir. 1993); see also Cook v. New York State Div. Of Parole, 321 F. 3d 274,
282 (2d Cir. 2003) (after state prisoner’s § 2241 petition was converted by the court
into a § 2254 petition, prisoner would be allowed the opportunity to withdraw his
petition to avoid unintentionally exhausting his right to petition for habeas relief on
The Court is cognizant that a habeas petitioner should not be permitted to
thwart the limitations on the filing of second or successive habeas petitions by
withdrawing his first habeas petition “as soon as it becomes evident that the district
court is going to dismiss it on the merits.” See Felder v. McVicar, 113 F. 3d 696,
698 (7th Cir. 1997). Unlike the habeas petitioner in Felder, Petitioner filed his
motion to withdraw his habeas petition prior to any decision being rendered by the
Court. There is also no indication that Petitioner’s motion was filed in bad faith.
Accordingly, the Court will permit Petitioner to withdraw his petition for writ of
Petitioner’s voluntary dismissal of his habeas action will completely terminate
the litigation in this case. See Long v. Board of Pardons and Paroles of Texas, 725
F. 2d 306, 306 (5th Cir. 1984). Because Petitioner is seeking to withdraw his habeas
petition pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2), the dismissal will be
without prejudice. See Markham v. Anderson, 465 F. Supp. 541, 543 (E.D. Mich.
CONCLUSION & ORDER
For the reasons discussed herein, it is ORDERED that Petitioner’s Motion to
Withdraw the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [#14].
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner’s petition for writ of habeas
corpus (ECF No. 1) is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Dated: September 17, 2020
/s/Gershwin A. Drain
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
United States District Judge
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
A Copy of this Order was served on Matthew Crumley, No. 869965, Kinross
Correctional Facility, 4533 W. Industrial Park Drive, Kincheloe, Michigan 49786
on September 17, 2020, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
/s/ Teresa McGovern
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