Teneyuque v. Balcarcel
OPINION and ORDER Holding in Abeyance the Petition for for Writ of Habeas Corpus 1 and Administratively Closing the Case. Signed by District Judge Denise Page Hood. (LSau)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Civil No. 2:17-CV-13438
HONORABLE DENISE PAGE HOOD
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER HOLDING IN ABEYANCE THE PETITION FOR
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING THE
Julian Teneyuque, (“Petitioner”), confined at the St. Louis Correctional
Facility in St. Louis, Michigan, filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his convictions for four counts of
second-degree home invasion, M.C.L.A. § 750.110a(3), four counts of
750.110a(3),750.157a, one count of first-degree home invasion, M.C.L.A. §
750.110a(2), one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree home invasion,
M.C.L.A.§§ 750.110a(2),750.157a, three counts of receiving and concealing
stolen goods valued between $ 1,000.00 and $ 20,000.00, M.C.L.A. §
750.535(3)(a), eleven counts of felony-firearm, M.C.L.A. § 750.227b; and five
counts of receiving and concealing stolen firearms, M.C.L.A. § 750.535b.
Petitioner filed a motion to stay the proceedings and to hold the petition
in abeyance to permit him to return to the state courts to present additional
claims that have yet to be exhausted with the state courts and that are not
being raised in the current habeas petition.
The Court grants the motion, holds the petition in abeyance, and stays
the proceedings under the terms outlined in this opinion to permit petitioner
to return to the state courts to exhaust his additional claims. The Court
administratively closes the case.
Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial in the Saginaw County
Circuit Court. Petitioner’s conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v.
Teneyuque, No. 323232, 2016 WL 514366 (Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 9, 2016), lv.
den. 499 Mich. 986, 882 N.W.2d 148 (2016).
On October 12, 2017, petitioner filed his application for writ of habeas
corpus, seeking relief on the grounds that he raised in the state courts on his
Petitioner also filed a motion to hold the habeas petition in
abeyance to return to the state courts to exhaust additional claims.
Under the prison mailbox rule, this Court assumes that petitioner filed his habeas petition on
October 12, 2017, the date that it was signed and dated. See Towns v. U.S., 190 F.3d 468, 469 (6th Cir.
A federal district court has the authority to stay fully exhausted federal
habeas petitions pending the exhaustion of additional claims in the state
courts. See Nowaczyk v. Warden, New Hampshire State Prison, 299 F.3d 69,
77-79 (1st Cir. 2002)(holding that district courts should “take seriously any
request for a stay.”); Anthony v. Cambra, 236 F.3d 568, 575 (9th Cir. 2000);
See also Bowling v. Haeberline, 246 F. App’x. 303, 306 (6th Cir. 2007)(a
habeas court is entitled to delay a decision in a habeas petition that contains
only exhausted claims “when considerations of comity and judicial economy
would be served”)(quoting Nowaczyk, 299 F. 3d at 83); See also Thomas v.
Stoddard, 89 F. Supp. 3d 937, 943 (E.D. Mich. 2015). Indeed, although there
is no bright-line rule which prevents a district court from dismissing a fullyexhausted habeas petition because of the pendency of unexhausted claims
in state court, for a federal court to justify departing from the “heavy obligation
to exercise jurisdiction,” there must be a compelling reason to prefer a
dismissal over a stay. Nowaczyk, 299 F.3d at 82 (internal quotation omitted);
See also Bowling, 246 F. App’x. at 306 (district court erred in dismissing
petition containing only exhausted claims, as opposed to exercising its
jurisdiction over petition, merely because petitioner had independent
proceeding pending in state court involving other claims).
The Court grants petitioner’s motion to hold the petition in abeyance
while he returns to the state courts to exhaust. The outright dismissal of the
petition, albeit without prejudice, might prevent petitioner from re-filing his
habeas petition after the exhaustion of these additional claims due to the
expiration of the one year statute of limitations contained in the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). A
common circumstance calling for abating a habeas petition arises when the
original petition was timely filed, as is the case here, but a second, exhausted
habeas petition could be time barred by the AEDPA’s statute of limitations.
See Hargrove v. Brigano, 300 F.3d 717, 720-21 (6th Cir. 2002).
Other considerations merit holding the petition in abeyance while
petitioner exhaust his new claims in the state courts. Specifically, “the Court
considers the consequences to the habeas petitioner if it were to proceed to
adjudicate the petition and find that relief is not warranted before the state
courts ruled on unexhausted claims. In that scenario, should the petitioner
subsequently seek habeas relief on the claims the state courts rejected, he
would have to clear the high hurdle of filing a second habeas petition.”
Thomas, 89 F. Supp. 3d at 942 (citing 28 U.S.C. 2244(b)(2)). Moreover, “[I]f
this Court were to proceed in parallel with state post-conviction proceedings,
there is a risk of wasting judicial resources if the state court might grant relief
on the unexhausted claim.” Id.
Other considerations support the granting of a stay. This Court is
currently unable to determine whether petitioner’s new claims have any merit,
thus, the Court cannot say that petitioner’s claims are “plainly meritless.”
Thomas, 89 F. Supp. 3d at 943. Nor, on the other hand, can the Court at this
time say that petitioner’s new claims plainly warrant habeas relief. Id. If the
state courts were to deny petitioner post-conviction relief, this Court would still
benefit from the state courts’ adjudication of these claims to determine
whether to permit petitioner to amend his petition to add these claims. Id.
Finally, this Court sees no prejudice to respondent in staying this case,
whereas petitioner “could be prejudiced by having to simultaneously fight two
proceedings in separate courts and, as noted, if this Court were to rule before
the state courts, [petitioner] would have the heavy burden of satisfying 28
U.S.C. § 2244(b)(2)’s second-or-successive-petition requirements” should he
seek habeas relief on his new claims. Thomas, 89 F. Supp. 3d at 943.
However, even where a district court determines that a stay is
appropriate pending exhaustion, the district court “should place reasonable
time limits on a petitioner’s trip to state court and back.” Rhines v. Weber, 544
U.S. 269, 278 (2005). To ensure that there are no delays by petitioner in
exhausting state court remedies, this Court imposes time limits within which
petitioner must proceed with his state court post-conviction proceedings. See
Palmer v. Carlton, 276 F. 3d 777, 781 (6th Cir. 2002).
The Court holds the petition in abeyance to allow petitioner to initiate
post-conviction proceedings in the state courts. This tolling is conditioned
upon petitioner initiating his state post-conviction remedies within ninety days
of receiving this Court’s order and returning to federal court within ninety days
of completing the exhaustion of state court post-conviction remedies.
Hargrove, 300 F. 3d at 721.
Petitioner’s method of properly exhausting these claims in the state
courts would be through filing a motion for relief from judgment with the
Saginaw County Circuit Court under M.C.R. 6.502. See Wagner v. Smith, 581
F. 3d 410, 419 (6th Cir. 2009). Denial of a motion for relief from judgment is
reviewable by the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme
Court upon the filing of an application for leave to appeal. M.C.R. 6.509;
M.C.R. 7.203; M.C.R. 7.302. Nasr v. Stegall, 978 F. Supp. 714, 717 (E.D.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the proceedings are STAYED and the
Court will hold the habeas petition in abeyance. Petitioner must file a motion
for relief from judgment in state court within ninety days of receipt of this
order. He shall notify this Court in writing that such motion papers have been
filed in state court. If he fails to file a motion or notify the Court that he has
done so, the Court will lift the stay and will reinstate the original petition for writ
of habeas corpus to the Court’s active docket and will proceed to adjudicate
only those claims that were raised in the original petition. After petitioner fully
exhausts his new claims, he shall file an amended petition that includes the
new claims within ninety days after the conclusion of his state court
post-conviction proceedings, along with a motion to lift the stay. Failure to do
so will result in the Court lifting the stay and adjudicating the merits of the
claims raised in petitioner’s original 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 Thomas, 89 F. Supp. 3d at 943-944.
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 statistical purposes.
S/Denise Page Hood
Denise Page Hood
Chief Judge, United States District Court
Dated: November 7, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon
counsel of record on November 7, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
S/LaShawn R. Saulsberry
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