United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is William Henderson's petition for federal
habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2254. The Magistrate Judge recommends that
Henderson's petition be dismissed without prejudice for
failure to exhaust state court remedies. In response,
Henderson does not dispute the Magistrate Judge's
conclusion that several of the claims presented in his
petition are unexhausted. Instead, Henderson moves the Court to
stay these proceedings to allow petitioner to litigate his
unexhausted claims in state court. The Court has reviewed
de novo the petition, the record, the applicable
law, and the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation, and it finds that the Magistrate Judge's
recommended ruling is correct and that a stay is
federal habeas petition should typically be dismissed if the
petitioner has failed to exhaust all available state
remedies. Piller v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 227 (2004)
(“[F]ederal district courts must dismiss
‘mixed' habeas corpus petitions- those containing
both unexhausted and exhausted claims.”) (citing
Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509 (1982)). The dismissal
without prejudice of a “mixed” petition, however,
may result in a subsequent petition being barred by the
one-year statute of limitations set forth in 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d). See Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 181-82
(2001) (holding that section 2244(d)'s one-year
limitation period is not tolled during the pendency of
federal habeas proceedings). In light of this dilemma,
federal courts are authorized to stay a habeas petition and
hold it in abeyance while a petitioner exhausts his claims in
state court. Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 277
(2005). Such stays, however, are available only in limited
circumstances. Id. A district court should stay
federal habeas proceedings to allow a petitioner to exhaust
state remedies only when the district court finds that (1)
the petitioner has good cause for failure to exhaust his
claim, (2) the claim is not plainly meritless, and (3) the
petitioner has not engaged in intentional delay.
Schillereff v. Quarterman, 304 Fed.Appx. 310, 314
(5th Cir. 2008) (citing Rhines, 544 U.S. at 277-78).
Henderson does not dispute that he has failed to exhaust his
state court remedies as to all but one of the claims raised
in his federal habeas petition. The only explanation that he
provides for his failure to exhaust is that he filed his
application for post-conviction relief in state court pro
se. A petitioner's pro se status,
however, does not constitute good cause to excuse a failure
to exhaust. Thompson v. Tanner, No. 14-924, 2014 WL
5325027, at *5 (E.D. La. Oct. 17, 2014) (citing Bonilla
v. Hurley, 370 F.3d 494, 498 (6th Cir. 2004)).
Accordingly, the Court finds that Henderson has failed to
demonstrate good cause to excuse his failure to exhaust, and
that a stay and abeyance is unwarranted. See Byrd v.
Thaler, No. 10-21, 2010 WL 2228548, at *4 (N.D. Tex.
June 3, 2010) (finding it unnecessary to address remaining
Rhines factors when petitioner fails to demonstrate
the Court recognizes that dismissing Henderson's petition
without prejudice would effectively preclude federal review
of his exhausted claim because any subsequent petition would
be barred by Section 2244(d)'s one-year limitations
period. Under these circumstances, district courts
are instructed to allow a petitioner to withdraw the
unexhausted claims and litigate the exhausted claim properly
before the court. See Rhines, 544 U.S. at 278
(“[I]f a petitioner presents a district court with a
mixed petition and the court determines that a stay and
abeyance is inappropriate, the court should allow the
petitioner to delete the unexhausted claims and to proceed
with the exhausted claims if dismissal of the entire petition
would unreasonably impair the petitioner's right to
obtain habeas relief.”). Accordingly, the Court will
allow Henderson 30 days from the entry of this order to amend
his federal habeas petition to state only the claim that he
has already exhausted, as identified by the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation, and to withdraw those
unexhausted claims that he wishes to pursue in state court.
foregoing reasons, the Court adopts the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation as its opinion herein.
It DENIES Henderson's motion to stay the proceedings. IT
IS HEREBY ORDERED that Henderson has 30 days from the entry
of this order to amend his petition to allege only the claim
that the Magistrate Judge has determined is exhausted and
thus properly before the Court.
 R. Doc. 1.
 R. Doc. 18.
 See R. Doc. 19.
 Id.; see also R.
 R. Doc. 19 at 4; R. Doc. 21 at 2