Thompkins v. MacLaren
ORDER transferring successive petition for writ of habeas corpus to the USCA for the Sixth Circuit. Signed by District Judge Matthew F. Leitman. (DPer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
VAN CHESTER THOMPKINS, Jr.
Case No. 17-cv-14106
Hon. Matthew F. Leitman
ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF THE COURT TO TRANSFER
SUCCESSIVE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS TO UNITED
STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
Petitioner Van Chester Thompkins, Jr. is a state prisoner confined at the
Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan. On December 20, 2017,
Thompkins filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
(See ECF #1.) In his pro se petition, Thompkins challenges his 2002 state-court
conviction of one count of first-degree murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.316; one
count of assault with intent to commit murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.83; three
counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 750.227b; one count of felon in possession of a firearm, Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 750.224f; and one count of carrying a concealed weapon in a motor vehicle, Mich.
Compl. Laws § 750.227. Because the Court concludes that the present petition
constitutes a “second or successive petition” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(b)(3), the Court will direct the Clerk of the Court to TRANSFER this matter
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Thompkins was convicted of the state crimes described above following a jury
trial in the Oakland County Circuit Court. After exhausting his state court appellate
remedies, Thompkins filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court. See
Thompkins v. Berghuis, E.D. Mich. Case No. 05-cv-70188-DT. Another judge of
this Court denied Thompkins’ 2005 petition on the merits. See Thompkins v.
Berghuis, 2006 WL 2811303 (E.D. Mich. Sep. 28, 2006). Thompkins appealed that
ruling to the Sixth Circuit, and that court reversed in part and granted Thompkins
habeas relief. See Thompkins v. Berghuis, 547 F.3d 572, 575 (6th Cir. 2008). The
United States Supreme Court subsequently reversed the Sixth Circuit’s ruling and
remanded with instructions to deny Thompkins habeas relief. See Berghuis v.
Thompkins, 560 U.S. 370 (2010); reh. den. 561 U.S. 1046 (2010).
Thompkins thereafter returned to this Court, where he filed a motion for relief
from judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Another judge
of this Court denied Thompkins’ motion. See Thompkins v. Berghuis, 2011 WL
835927 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 8, 2011). The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s
ruling and treated Thompkins’ appeal as a request for permission to file a successive
or second habeas petition, which it denied. See Thompkins v. Berghuis, Case No. 111583 (6th Cir. Jan. 2, 2013).
In Thompkins’ currently-filed petition, he again seeks federal habeas relief
from his state-court convictions. (See ECF #1.)
An individual seeking to file a second or successive habeas petition must first
ask the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to
consider the petition. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A); Stewart v. Martinez-Villareal,
523 U.S. 637, 641 (1998). When a habeas petitioner files a second or successive
petition for relief in the district court without preauthorization from the court of
appeals, the district court must transfer the document to the court of appeals. See In
re Sims, 111 F.3d 45, 47 (6th Cir. 1997) (holding that “when a second or successive
petition for habeas corpus relief or [a] § 2255 motion is filed in the district court
without § 2244(b)(3) authorization from this court, the district court shall transfer
the document to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631.”).
As described above, Thompkins has previously filed a habeas petition with
this Court in which he challenged his state-court convictions. That petition was
denied on the merits. And Thompkins has not received preauthorization from the
Sixth Circuit to file a second or successive habeas petition. Therefore, Thompkins
cannot proceed with the present petition unless and until he first obtains permission
to file a second or successive habeas petition from the Sixth Circuit.
Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that
the Clerk of the Court shall transfer Thompkins’ petition for habeas relief (ECF #1)
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
s/Matthew F. Leitman
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: January 9, 2018
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the
parties and/or counsel of record on January 9, 2018, by electronic means and/or
s/Holly A. Monda
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?