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Eastman v. State

United States District Court, D. Maine

November 7, 2019

TY B EASTMAN, Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MAINE, Respondent

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON 28 U.S.C. § 2254 PETITION

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         In this action, Petitioner seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Petition, ECF No. 1.) In response to Petitioner's request, the State asked the Court to dismiss the petition without prejudice based on Petitioner's failure to exhaust his state court remedy. Following a review of the parties' filings and the record, I recommend the Court grant the State's request and dismiss the petition without prejudice.

         Factual Background

         On November 28, 2017, after Petitioner pled guilty to a burglary charge, the state court sentenced Petitioner to a four-year period of imprisonment, with all but nine months and one day suspended, to be followed by three years of probation. (State court docket at 5 - 6, ECF No. 6-1.) Petitioner did not appeal from his conviction or sentence. Following his release from prison, the state has moved to revoke Petitioner's probation on more than one occasion. A hearing on the most recent motion is scheduled for January 8, 2020. (State court docket at 14.) On September 9, 2019, the same date Petitioner commenced this action, Petitioner filed in state court a request for post-conviction review of his original conviction. (State court docket at 15-22.)

         Discussion

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) and (c) provide:

(b)(1) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted unless it appears that-
(A) the applicant has exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State; or
(B) (i) there is an absence of available State corrective process; or
(ii) circumstances exist that render such process ineffective to protect the rights of the applicant.
(2) An application for a writ of habeas corpus may be denied on the merits, notwithstanding the failure of the applicant to exhaust the remedies available in the courts of the State.
(3) A State shall not be deemed to have waived the exhaustion requirement or be estopped from reliance upon the requirement unless the State, through counsel, expressly waives the requirement.
(c) An applicant shall not be deemed to have exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State, within the meaning of this section, if he has the right under the law of the State to raise, by any available procedure, the question presented.

         As the statute reflects, “a state prisoner must exhaust available state remedies before presenting his claim to a federal habeas court. § 2254(b)(1)(A). The exhaustion requirement is designed to avoid the ‘unseemly' result of a federal court ‘upset[ting] a state court conviction without' first according the state courts an ‘opportunity to . . . correct a constitutional ...


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