Shelton v. Nathaniel Quarterman
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 57 MOTION for Relief from Judgment. No certificate of appealability shall issue. (Signed by Judge Kenneth M Hoyt) Parties notified. (wbostic, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
September 13, 2017
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:09-CV-500
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On November 4, 2009, this Court denied petitioner Dewayne Shelton’s petition for a writ
of habeas corpus. Shelton filed a notice of appeal, but his appeal was eventually dismissed for
failure to prosecute. See Shelton v. Thaler, No. 09-20802 (5th Cir. Mar. 12, 2010).
On November 4, 2016, Shelton filed a motion for relief from the judgment of this Court
under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He amended that motion on March
17, 2017. For the following reasons, Shelton’s motion is denied.
Rule 60(b) allows a losing party to seek relief from judgment under a limited set of
circumstances including fraud, mistake, and newly discovered evidence.
appears to contend that the respondent misrepresented the state habeas court’s disposition of
Shelton’s state habeas corpus application. He contends that this constituted a fraud on this
In denying Shelton’s petition, this Court addressed the merits of Shelton’s claims for
relief. See Docket Entry No. 39. Therefore, the precise procedural aspects of the state habeas
court’s dismissal had no bearing on this Court’s adjudication of Shelton’s claims.
Shelton now also appears to argue that he did not exhaust his state court remedies. This
provides no basis for relief because any attempt to exhaust his state court remedies at this late
date would be futile because Shelton’s unexhausted claims would be procedurally barred as an
abuse of the writ under Texas law. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 11.07 § 4(a). If Shelton’s
assertion that he did not exhaust his remedies is correct, then his claims would be procedurally
defaulted, and this Court would be unable to grant relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1).
Shelton also contends that the State of Texas committed fraud on the Texas state habeas
court with regard to subsequent petitions filed by Shelton challenging his conviction. To the
extent that Shelton wishes to attack the same conviction or sentence challenged in his original
federal petition, this claim constitutes a successive petition. A Rule 60(b) motion is a habeas
claim when it presents a new claim for relief. Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 529 (2005).
Because this motion raises a new claim for relief, it constitutes a successive petition.
The federal habeas corpus statute requires this Court to dismiss any successive habeas
petition. ABefore a second or successive application permitted by this section is filed in the
district court, the applicant shall move in the appropriate court of appeals for an order
authorizing the district court to consider the application.@ 28 U.S.C. ' 2244(b)(3)(A); Felker v.
Turpin, 518 U.S. 651, 664 (1996) (AThe Act requires a habeas petitioner to obtain leave from the
court of appeals before filing a second habeas petition in the district court.@). AIndeed, the
purpose and intent of [28 U.S.C. ' 2244(b)(3)(A)] was to eliminate the need for the district
courts to repeatedly consider challenges to the same conviction unless an appellate panel first
found that those challenges had some merit.@ United States v. Key, 205 F.3d 773, 774 (5th Cir.
2000) (citing In re Cain, 137 F.3d 234, 235 (5th Cir. 1998)). Therefore, this claim must be
dismissed as a successive petition.
Finally, Shelton argues that the state habeas court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate his
state habeas application. This provides no grounds for federal habeas corpus relief. “An attack
on a state habeas proceeding does not entitle the petitioner to habeas relief in respect to his
conviction, as it is an attack on a proceeding collateral to the detention and not the detention
itself. Nichols v. Scott, 69 F.3d 1255, 1275 (5th Cir. 1995) (internal quotation marks and citation
For the foregoing reasons, Shelton’s motion for relief from the judgment (Doc. # 57) is
DENIED. No certificate of appealability shall issue.
SIGNED on this 13th day of September, 2017.
Kenneth M. Hoyt
United States District Judge
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