United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
SHARION AYCOCK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the pro se petition
of David Earl Lyons for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The State has moved to dismiss
the petition for failure to exhaust state court remedies. The
petitioner has responded to the motion, and the matter is
ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the
State's motion will be granted, and the instant petition
for a writ of habeas corpus will be dismissed
without prejudice for failure to exhaust state remedies.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1), a prisoner seeking habeas
corpus relief must first exhaust state remedies. Section
2254 provides, in relevant part:
(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 state 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 appellant
. . .
(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
fundamental prerequisite to federal habeas relief
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is the exhaustion of all claims
in state court under ' 2254(b)(1) prior to requesting
federal collateral relief." Sterling v. Scott,
57 F.3d 451, 453 (5th Cir. 1995) (citing Rose
v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509 (1982)). A finding of exhaustion
requires the petitioner to have “fairly presented the
substance of his claims to the state courts." Sones
v. Hargett, 61 F.3d 410, 414-15 (5th Cir.
1995) (citing Vela v. Estelle, 708 F.2d 954, 958
(5th Cir. 1983)). Further, exhaustion
“requires that normally a state prisoner's entire
federal habeas petition must be dismissed unless the
prisoner's state remedies have been exhausted as to all
claims raised in the federal petition." Graham v.
Johnson, 94 F.3d 958, 968 (5th Cir. 1996)
(citing Rose, 455 U.S. at 518-19). The exhaustion
doctrine serves the salutary purpose of “giving the
state courts the first opportunity to review the federal
constitutional issues and to correct any errors made by the
trial courts, [and thus] 'serves to minimize friction
between our federal and state systems of justice.'"
Satterwhite v. Lynaugh, 886 F.2d 90, 92
(5th Cir. 1989) (quoting Rose, at 518)
Earl Lyons is in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections and is housed at the Mississippi State
Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi. Lyons was convicted of
D.U.I. - 3rd Offense in the Circuit Court of
Monroe County, Mississippi and sentenced to serve a term of
five years, as a habitual offender, in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections. Lyons appealed his
conviction and sentence to the Mississippi Supreme Court,
which assigned the case to the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
On July 26, 2016, the court of appeals affirmed Lyons'
conviction and sentence. Lyons v. State, 196 So.3d
1131 (Miss. Ct. App. 2016)(Cause No. 2014-KA-00861-COA).
Lyons did not seek rehearing, which prevented him from
seeking certiorari review in the Mississippi Supreme
Court. On August 16, 2016, the court of appeals' mandate
issued. On November 9, 2015, prior to the conclusion of his
direct appeal, Lyons filed an application for permission to
proceed with a motion for post-conviction collateral relief
in Mississippi Supreme Court Cause No. 2015-M-01678. On April
6, 2016, the Mississippi Supreme Court dismissed Lyons'
application without prejudice as premature, noting that
Lyons' direct appeal was still pending at the time. At
present, Lyons has not filed a proper application for
permission to proceed with a motion for post-conviction
collateral relief in the Mississippi Supreme Court following
the conclusion of his direct appeal.
Mr. Lyons still has the remedy of state post-conviction
collateral relief which he may pursue in state court. As
such, the instant petition for a writ of habeas
corpus must be dismissed for failure to exhaust state
remedies. The court cautions the petitioner that the one-year
federal habeas corpus limitations period has been
running during the pendency of this federal petition, and the
petitioner needs to move with diligence to ensure that he
exhausts state remedies prior to the expiration of the
federal habeas corpus deadline. A final judgment
consistent with this memorandum opinion will issue today.