Madison v. Warden, Pickaway Correctional Institution
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Jeffrey S. Madison, Jr. The Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS that this action be DISMISSED. Objections to R&R due by 12/14/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura on 11/30/2017. (kpt)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
JEFFREY S. MADISON, JR.,
CASE NO. 2:17-CV-1023
JUDGE MICHAEL H. WATSON
Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura
TIMOTHY BRADLEY, WARDEN,
PICKAWAY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION,
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Petitioner, a state prisoner, brings this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254. This matter is before the Court on its own motion to consider the sufficiency of
the petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts. For the reasons that follow, the Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS that this
action be DISMISSED.
Facts and Procedural History
Petitioner challenges his September 2015 convictions pursuant to his guilty plea in the
Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on vehicular assault and aggravated vehicular assault.
He asserts that the trial court improperly imposed maximum consecutive sentences in violation
of state and federal law (claim one); and that the sentence is “contrary to law” and the trial court
“used improper findings” in imposing consecutive terms of incarceration (claim two). Petitioner
presented the following claims on direct appeal:
THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN
SENTENCING APPELLANT TO THE MAXIMUM
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF
APPELLANT BY IMPROPERLY SENTENCING HIM
TO CONSECUTIVE TERMS OF INCARCERATION IN
State v. Madison, Nos. 15AP-994, 15AP-995, 2016 WL 5720378, at *2 (Ohio App. 10th Dist.
Sept. 30, 2016). On September 30, 2016, the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial
court, but sustained the second assignment of error, in part, and remanded the case to the trial
court for the issuance of nunc pro tunc entries incorporating the statutory findings that the trial
court made at sentencing for imposition of consecutive terms of incarceration. Id. Petitioner did
not file a timely appeal. On July 26, 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court denied his motion for a
delayed appeal. State v. Madison, 150 Ohio St.3d 1406 (Ohio 2017). On November 22, 2017,
Petitioner filed this federal habeas corpus petition.
In order to satisfy the exhaustion requirement in habeas corpus, a petitioner must fairly
present the substance of each claim to the state courts as a federal constitutional claim. Anderson
v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 6 (1982); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1971). Although this fair
presentment requirement is a rule of comity, not jurisdiction, see Castille v. Peoples, 489 U.S.
346, 349 (1989); O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 844–45 (1999), it is nevertheless rooted
in principles of federalism designed to allow state courts the opportunity to correct the State's
alleged violation of a federal constitutional right that threatens to invalidate a state criminal
judgment. In the Sixth Circuit, a petitioner can satisfy the fair presentment requirement in any
one of four ways: (1) reliance upon federal cases employing constitutional analysis; (2) reliance
upon state cases employing federal constitutional analysis; (3) phrasing the claim in terms of
constitutional law or in terms sufficiently particular to allege a denial of a specific constitutional
right; or (4) alleging facts well within the mainstream of constitutional law. McMeans v.
Brigano, 228 F.3d 674, 681 (6th Cir. 2000). General allegations of the denial of a constitutional
right, such as the right to a fair trial or to due process, are insufficient to satisfy the “fair
presentment” requirement. Id.
Here, Petitioner failed to present his claims to the state courts as issues of federal
constitutional magnitude. Further, it does not appear that Petitioner can establish cause for this
failure. Petitioner therefore has waived this Court’s review of any such federal claim in these
Petitioner also has procedurally defaulted his claims by failing to file a timely appeal to
the Ohio Supreme Court. Congress has provided that state prisoners who are in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States may apply to the federal
courts for a writ of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). In recognition of the equal obligation of
the state courts to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants, and in order to prevent
needless friction between the state and federal courts, a state criminal defendant with federal
constitutional claims is required to present those claims to the state courts for consideration. 28
U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c). If he fails to do so, but still has an avenue open to him by which he may
present his claims, then his petition is subject to dismissal for failure to exhaust state remedies.
Id.; Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 6 (1982) (per curiam) (citing Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S.
270, 275–78 (1971)). Where a petitioner has failed to exhaust his claims but would find those
claims barred if later presented to the state courts, “there is a procedural default for purposes of
federal habeas....” Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 735 n. 1 (1991). This Court may sua
sponte raise the issue of procedural default when conducting preliminary review of the habeas
corpus petition under Rule 4. See Watkins v. Warden, Dayton Corr. Inst., No. 2:16-cv-00501,
2016 WL 4394138, at *2 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 18, 2016) (“[A]lthough federal courts are not required
to raise procedural default sua sponte, neither are they precluded from doing so.”).
The term “procedural default” has come to describe the situation where a person
convicted of a crime in a state court fails (for whatever reason) to present a particular claim to
the highest court of the State so that the State has a fair chance to correct any errors made in the
course of the trial or the appeal before a federal court intervenes in the state criminal process.
This “requires the petitioner to present ‘the same claim under the same theory’ to the state courts
before raising it on federal habeas review.” Hicks v. Straub, 377 F.3d 538, 552–53 (6th Cir.
2004) (quoting Pillette v. Foltz, 824 F.2d 494, 497 (6th Cir. 1987)). One of the aspects of “fairly
presenting” a claim to the state courts is that a habeas petitioner must do so in a way that gives
the state courts a fair opportunity to rule on the federal law claims being asserted. That means
that if the claims are not presented to the state courts in the way in which state law requires, and
the state courts therefore do not decide the claims on their merits, neither may a federal court do
so. In the words used by the Supreme Court in Wainwright v. Sykes, 433 U.S. 72, 87 (1977),
“contentions of federal law which were not resolved on the merits in the state proceeding due to
respondent's failure to raise them there as required by state procedure” also cannot be resolved
on their merits in a federal habeas case-that is, they are “procedurally defaulted.”
In the Sixth Circuit, a four-part analysis must be undertaken when the state argues that a
federal habeas claim is waived by the petitioner's failure to observe a state procedural rule.
Maupin v. Smith, 785 F.2d 135, 138 (6th Cir. 1986). “First, the court must determine that there
is a state procedural rule that is applicable to the petitioner's claim and that the petitioner failed to
comply with the rule.” Id. Second, the Court must determine whether the state courts actually
enforced the state procedural sanction.
Third, it must be decided whether the state
procedural forfeiture is an adequate and independent state ground upon which the state can rely
to foreclose review of a federal constitutional claim. Id. Finally, if the Court has determined that
a state procedural rule was not complied with, and that the rule was an adequate and independent
state ground, then the petitioner must demonstrate that there was cause for him not to follow the
procedural rule, and that he was actually prejudiced by the alleged constitutional error. Id. This
“cause and prejudice” analysis applies to failures to raise or preserve issues for review at the
appellate level. Leroy v. Marshall, 757 F.2d 94 (6th Cir. 1985).
If, after considering all four factors of the Maupin test, the court concludes that a
procedural default occurred, it must not consider the procedurally defaulted claim on the merits
unless “review is needed to prevent a fundamental miscarriage of justice, such as when the
petitioner submits new evidence showing that a constitutional violation has probably resulted in
a conviction of one who is actually innocent.” Hodges v. Colson, 727 F.3d 517, 530 (6th Cir.
2013) (citing Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 495–96 (1986)).
Petitioner failed to file a timely appeal of the appellate court's decision denying his
claims to the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Ohio Supreme Court denied his motion for a delayed
appeal. Petitioner therefore has procedurally defaulted his claims. See Rhodes v. Warden, Ross
Correctional Institution, No. 2:16-cv-0074, 2017 WL 1295480, at *4 (S.D. Ohio April 7, 2017)
(citing Bonilla v. Hurley, 370 F.3d 494, 497 (6th Cir. 2004)); Stone v. Ohio, No. 16-3126, 2017
WL 3594953, at *2 (6th Cir. April 19, 2017) (“The Ohio Supreme Court's denial of a motion for
leave to file a delayed appeal is an adequate and independent state-law ground barring federal
habeas review[.]”) (citing Bonilla v. Hurley, 370 F.3d at 496-97). Further, it does not appear that
Petitioner can establish cause for this procedural default or that he is actually innocent so as to
permit a merits review of his claims. Souter v. Jones, 395 F.3d 577, 589-90 (6th Cir. 2005).
State Law Claims
Moreover, to the extent that Petitioner presents issues regarding the alleged violation of
state law, such claims do not provide a basis for federal habeas corpus relief. A federal court
may review a state prisoner's habeas petition only on the ground that the challenged confinement
is in violation of the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A
federal court may not issue a writ of habeas corpus “on the basis of a perceived error of state
law.” Pulley v. Harris, 465 U.S. 37, 41 (1984); Smith v. Sowders, 848 F.2d 735, 738 (6th Cir.
1988). Further, this Court defers to a State's interpretation of its own laws. See Calhoun v.
Tibbals, No. 2:15-cv-03026, 2017 WL 914737, at *9 (S.D. Ohio March 8, 2017)(citing Machin
v. Wainwright, 758 F.2d 1431, 1433 (11th Cir. 1985)); Beavers v. Franklin County Adult
Probation, No. 2:13-cv-00404, 2016 WL 5660275, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 29, 2016) (citation
Therefore, for all of the foregoing reasons, the Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS that
this action be DISMISSED.
Procedure on Objections
If any party objects to this Report and Recommendation, that party may, within fourteen
(14) days of the date of this report, file and serve on all parties written objections to those
specific proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made, together with
supporting authority for the objection(s). A judge of this Court shall make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations
to which objection is made. Upon proper objections, a judge of this Court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made herein, may receive further
evidence or may recommit this matter to the magistrate judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
The parties are specifically advised that failure to object to the Report and
Recommendation will result in a waiver of the right to have the district judge review the Report
and Recommendation de novo, and also operates as a waiver of the right to appeal the decision of
the District Court adopting the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140
(1985); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981).
The parties are further advised that, if they intend to file an appeal of any adverse
decision, they may submit arguments in any objections filed, regarding whether a certificate of
appealability should issue.
/s/ Chelsey M. Vascura___
CHELSEY M. VASCURA
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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