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Jordan v. State

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

January 14, 2019

HENRY BOUGARD JORDAN PETITIONER
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI RESPONDENT

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          MICHAEL T. PARKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the pro se Petition of Henry Bougard Jordan for Writ of Habeas Corpus [1] and Respondent's Motion to Dismiss [8]. Having carefully considered the submissions of the parties, the record, and the applicable law, the undersigned recommends that Respondent's Motion to Dismiss [8] be GRANTED and that the Petition [1] be DISMISSED with prejudice.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On June 23, 2015, Petitioner pleaded guilty to felony domestic violence-aggravated assault in the Circuit Court of Harrison County, First Judicial District. He was sentenced as a habitual offender pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-81 to serve an eleven-year term of imprisonment. See Order [8-1] at 4-5.

         On March 9, 2016, Petitioner filed a motion for post-conviction collateral relief in the Harrison County Circuit Court, challenging his conviction and sentence. See PCR Motion [8-4].[1] On October 5, 2017, the circuit court denied Petitioner's PCR motion, finding his grounds for relief to be without merit. See Order [8-2].[2] Petitioner did not file an appeal of the circuit court's order denying post-conviction relief.

         Petitioner, however, filed the instant federal habeas petition on or about July 16, 2018. Thereafter, Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss [8], arguing that Petitioner has failed to exhaust his state court remedies and that the Petition [1] should be dismissed with prejudice because Petitioner's claims are procedurally defaulted. Respondent emphasizes that Petitioner did not appeal the trial court's denial of his motion for post-conviction relief. Respondent also asserts that the time for filing a proper appeal of the trial court's judgment has passed, and, therefore, Petitioner's claims are procedurally barred.

         ANALYSIS

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1), a state prisoner seeking habeas relief is required to 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 States; 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 presented.

         A fundamental prerequisite to federal habeas relief is exhaustion of all claims in state court 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)). 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) (internal quotations and citations omitted).

         “Because the exhaustion doctrine is designed to give the state courts a full and fair opportunity to resolve federal constitutional claims before those claims are presented to the federal courts…state prisoners must give the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the State's established appellate review process.” Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999). “The exhaustion requirement is satisfied when the substance of the federal habeas claim has been fairly presented to the highest state court.” Mercadel v. Cain, 179 F.3d 271, 275 (5th Cir. 1999) (citing Fisher v. Texas, 169 F.3d 295, 302 (5th Cir. 1999); Whitehead v. Johnson, 157 F.3d 384, 387 (5th Cir. 1998)). Further, exhaustion requires a habeas ...


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