Williams v. Brewer
OPINION and ORDER Summarily Dismissing, Without Prejudice, the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Declining to Issue a Certificate of Appealability. Signed by District Judge Linda V. Parker. (RLou)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
HENRY LEE WILLIAMS,
Case No. 17-cv-11904
Honorable Linda V. Parker
OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING, WITHOUT
PREJUDICE, THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
Henry Lee Williams, (“Petitioner”), confined at the G. Robert Cotton
Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan, filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction for armed robbery
and unlawful imprisonment.
On June 19, 2017, Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen issued an “Order to
Correct Deficiency,” to which Petitioner was ordered to submit two copies of his
petition for writ of habeas corpus in order for the Clerk of the Court to effect
service upon the respondent and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
Petitioner was given thirty days to comply with the order. Petitioner was advised
that failure to comply with the order could result in dismissal of his action. To
date, Petitioner has failed to comply with the order of deficiency. For the reasons
stated below, Petitioner’s action is dismissed without prejudice for failure to
comply with an order of the court.
Petitioner’s habeas application shall be dismissed without prejudice, because
he failed to comply with Magistrate Judge Whalen’s order of deficiency requiring
Petitioner to submit two copies of his petition for service upon the respondent and
the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
The habeas rules require the Clerk of the Court to serve a copy of the habeas
petition and a copy of any order requiring responsive pleadings on the respondent
and the Attorney General for the State of Michigan by first class mail as provided
in Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, Rule 4. See Coffee v. Harry, No.
04-71209, 2005 WL 1861943, at * 2 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 2, 2005). Petitioner’s
failure to submit these copies of the petition to the Clerk of the Court rendered his
habeas application deficient. See e.g. Moore v. Hawley, 7 F. Supp. 2d 901, 903
(E.D. Mich. 1998).
A district court is permitted to sua sponte dismiss a habeas action pursuant
to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b) for a habeas petitioner’s failure to prosecute or to comply
with a court order. See Adams v. Justice, 145 F. App’x. 889, 890 (5th Cir. 2005);
Norlander v. Plasky, 964 F. Supp. 39, 41 (D. Mass. 1997). Because Petitioner
failed to comply with the order of deficiency by submitting the required copies, the
Court will summarily dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus without
The Court will also deny Petitioner a certificate of appealability because the
dismissal of the petition based on Petitioner’s failure to cure his filing deficiency
would not be debatable amongst jurists of reason. See Soeken v. Estep, 270 F.
App’x. 734, 735-36 (10th Cir. 2008). In order to obtain a certificate of
appealability, a prisoner must make a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). When a district court denies a habeas
petition on procedural grounds without reaching the prisoner’s underlying
constitutional claims, a certificate of appealability should issue, and an appeal of
the district court’s order may be taken, if the petitioner shows reasonable jurists
would find it debatable whether (1) the petitioner states a valid claim of the denial
of a constitutional right, and (2) the district court was correct in its procedural
ruling. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). When a plain procedural bar
is present and the district court is correct to invoke it to dispose of the case, a
reasonable jurist could not conclude either the district court erred in dismissing the
petition or the petition should be allowed to proceed further. In such a
circumstance, no appeal would be warranted. Id. “The district court must issue or
deny a certificate of appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the
applicant.” Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, Rule 11(a), 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254.
IT IS ORDERED that the Petitioner’s June 12, 2017 “Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus” [ECF No. 1] is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Nothing in this order precludes Petitioner from submitting a new habeas petition
with payment of the filing fee or the in forma pauperis application.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court declines to issue a certificate
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion for Appointment of Counsel
[ECF No. 3] is DENIED AS MOOT.
s/ Linda V. Parker
LINDA V. PARKER
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: October 11, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was mailed to counsel of
record and/or pro se parties on this date, October 11, 2017, by electronic and/or
U.S. First Class mail.
s/ R. Loury
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