Ransom v. Smith et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE by District Judge Martha Vazquez re 1 Petition for 2254 Relief. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that, within thirty (30) days of entry of this Order, Ransom shall show cause in writing why his § 2254 federal petition should not be dismissed for failure to exhaust state court remedies. (gr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
QUINN A. RANSOM,
No. 1:17-cv-00888 MV-GBW
KENNETH SMITH, Warden, and
HECTOR BALDERAS, Attorney
General of the State of New Mexico,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
Before the Court is Quinn Ransom’s habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc.
Ransom challenges his state court convictions for burglary, attempted burglary, and
possession of burglary tools in violation of N.M.S.A. 1978, §§ 30-16-3 and 30-16-05. See Doc. 1,
p. 1. Ransom filed a habeas petition in the state court on January 9, 2017, which was denied about
two months later. See State of New Mexico v. Quinn, D-1226-CR-2013-00240.1 On March 17,
2017, he filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the New Mexico Supreme Court (“NMSC”).
See Doc. 1, p. 2; Ransom v. Mulheron, S-1-SC-36362; Ogden v. Bravo, 35 Fed. App’x 772, 726
(10th Cir. 2002) (explaining that New Mexico state prisoners seek review of the denial of a state
habeas petition by filing a writ of certiorari with the NMSC). In his federal § 2254 petition,
Ransom explains that “certiorari has not been answered.” See Doc. 1, p. 3. This is consistent
with the NMSC docket, which reflects that the Court ordered a response to the writ of certiorari but
The Court took judicial notice of the state court docket. See United States v. Ahidley, 486 F.3d 1184, 1192 n.5 (10th
Cir. 2007) (courts have “discretion to take judicial notice of publicly-filed records ... and certain other courts
concerning matters that bear directly upon the disposition of the case at hand”); Stack v. McCotter, 2003 WL 22422416
(10th Cir. 2003) (unpublished) (finding that a state district court’s docket sheet was an official court record subject to
judicial notice under Fed. R. Evid. 201).
has not yet ruled on the merits. See S-1-SC-36362.
Ransom filed the federal § 2254 petition on August 28, 2017, presumably because the
appellate disposition is still unclear. The Court appreciates Ransom’s diligent attempt to pursue
his habeas claims. However, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A) provides that state prisoners must exhaust
all available state court remedies before this Court can rule on a § 2254 petition. “The exhaustion
requirement is satisfied if the federal issue has been properly presented to the highest state court,
either by direct review of the conviction or in a postconviction attack.” Dever v. Kansas State
Penitentiary, 36 F.3d 1531, 1534 (10th Cir. 1994). The federal court generally cannot rule on a §
2254 petition where, as here, the claims are still pending in the highest state court. See Carbajal v.
Lynn, 640 Fed. App’x 811, 813 (10th Cir. 2016) (“[N]o reasonable jurist could debate the district
court’s conclusion that it would be premature to address [petitioner’s federal § 2254] … challenge
to his Denver County convictions while his direct appeal remains pending.”); Miller v. Glanz, 331
Fed.Appx. 608, 610 (10th Cir. 2009) (unpublished) (explaining that “a collateral federal attack on
the conviction via habeas would still appear to be premature while direct appeal is pending in state
The Court will therefore order Ransom to show cause why his federal § 2254 claims should
not be dismissed without prejudice to allow the NMSC to rule on his petition for writ of certiorari.
If Ransom fails to timely respond or his explanation is insufficient under § 2254(b)(1)(B), the
Court may dismiss the petition without further notice. See Allen v. Zavaras, 568 F.3d 1197, 1202
(10th Cir. 2009) (holding that a § 2254 petition may be dismissed sua sponte if the “failure to
exhaust [is] clear from the face of the petition”). The dismissal would be without prejudice to
Ransom re-filing his § 2254 petition after the NMSC completes the appellate process.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that, within thirty (30) days of entry of this Order, Ransom
shall show cause in writing why his § 2254 federal petition should not be dismissed for failure to
exhaust state court remedies.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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