Jackson v. Houk
Opinion & Order signed by Judge James S. Gwin on 11/20/17. IMPORTANT: The Court orders petitioner to file a proposed amended § 2254 petition by 1/31/18 for the reasons set forth in this order. (Related Docs. 57 and 59 ) (D,MA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
MARC HOUK, Warden,
CASE NO. 4:07-CV-880
OPINION & ORDER
[Resolving Docs. No. 57, 59]
JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
Nearly a decade ago, the Court stayed this death penalty habeas corpus petition so that
Petitioner Nathaniel Jackson could exhaust his state court remedies. Now, Jackson has finally
exhausted his state court remedies and seeks to amend his federal habeas corpus petition to
reflect claims that arose during the last ten years of state court proceedings.1 He has not,
however, submitted a proposed amended habeas petition for the Court to consider.
On April 18, 2008, this Court stayed Petitioner Nathaniel Jackson’s § 2254 habeas corpus
petition challenging his state court conviction and his death penalty.2 The Court did this so that
Jackson could exhaust his state court remedies based on arguable judicial misconduct in his
original sentencing.3 At that original sentencing, the Ohio sentencing judge asked the prosecutor
for assistance with drafting the death penalty opinion without giving Jackson’s attorney notice.
Since that time, Jackson’s sentence has been overturned and re-imposed, and the re-imposition of
that sentence has been appealed through all levels of the Ohio courts.4
Doc. 57. The Warden opposes. Doc. 58. Petitioner Jackson moves to supplement. Doc. 59. The
Warden opposes that motion. Doc. 60.
See Doc. 33.
Id. at 1-2.
See generally Appellant Nathaniel Jackson’s App. For Reopening Pursuant to S. Ct. Prac. R. 11.06,
State of Ohio v. Nathaniel Jackson, 2012-1644 (Ohio 2017).
Case No. 4:07CV880
Now, Jackson seeks to amend his federal habeas corpus petition to reflect the claims that
have arisen since the Court originally granted a stay.5
Jackson’s current motion for leave to amend, however, is deficient. Although Jackson
states that he seeks to amend his petition “to reflect the changes that have taken place in State
court,”6 he did not file a proposed amended petition reflecting those changes.
After a decade of substantive litigation in the Ohio courts, even the Warden expects an
amended petition in this Court.7 But without a proposed amendment, neither the Warden nor the
Court can evaluate whether “justice [ ] requires” granting leave to amend.8
The Court therefore ORDERS Petitioner Jackson to file a proposed amended § 2254
petition by January 31, 2018.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: November 20, 2017
James S. Gwin
JAMES S. GWIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
See Doc. 57.
Id. at 2.
See Doc. 58 at 2.
See Roskam Baking Co., Inc. v. Lanham Machinery Co., Inc., 288 F.3d 895, 906 (6th Cir. 2002) (“[T]he
district court must be able to determine whether ‘justice so requires,’ and in order to do this, the court
must have before it the substance of the proposed amendment.”).
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