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Baranco v. Wilson

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

November 16, 2018

ST. JULIAN BARANCO #543093
v.
OFFICER CURTIS WILSON, ET AL.

          NOTICE

          ERIN WILDER-DOOMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have fourteen (14) days after being served with the attached Report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations therein. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge which have been accepted by the District Court.

         ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE=S REPORT.

         MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         Pro se Petitioner, an inmate confined at the Caldwell Correctional Center, Grayson, Louisiana, brought this habeas corpus proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction and three-year sentence of confinement entered in 2017 in the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge on a charge of aggravated flight from an officer. Petitioner asserts that his guilty plea to the above charge was deficient and that the factual basis therefore, as reflected in his Boykin examination, was erroneous. He asserts that this has resulted in a violation of his constitutional rights and he prays that his conviction be invalidated.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) and (c), a claimant seeking federal habeas corpus relief is required to first exhaust his claims by presenting them for review before the courts of the state in which he is confined. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(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 ... the applicant has exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State....”) The Supreme Court has interpreted § 2254(b)(1) to require dismissal of a habeas corpus petition if it contains even a single unexhausted claim - the “total exhaustion” requirement. Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518-19 (1982). The exhaustion requirement is satisfied only when a petitioner's claims have been properly presented to the state's highest court, either on direct review or on post-conviction attack. Rose v. Lundy, supra, 455 U.S. at 522 (1982); Bufalino v. Reno, 613 F.2d 568, 570 (5th Cir. 1980). One of the threshold requirements for a federal habeas corpus application under § 2254 is that, subject to certain limited exceptions not applicable here, a petitioner must have first exhausted in state court all of his claims before presenting them for review before the federal district court.

         Without reaching the merits of Petitioner's claims, it is clear from a review of his application, as amended, that he has not exhausted state court remedies relative to the claims asserted in this proceeding.[1] Specifically, Petitioner fails to assert that he has proceeded with a review of his claims before any state court, much less the Louisiana Supreme Court. To the contrary, he explicitly concedes that he did not pursue a direct appeal of his conviction and sentence, and he acknowledges that he has not filed any post-conviction relief applications in the state courts. See Rec. Doc. 6 at pp. 2-3.[2] Thus, it does not appear that Petitioner has pursued his claims before the courts of the State of Louisiana, through and including the Louisiana Supreme Court, and as a result, his application before this Court is subject to dismissal for this reason.[3]

         Certificate of Appealability

         Pursuant to statute, an appeal may not be taken to the federal court of appeals from a final order in a habeas corpus proceeding “unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A). Although Petitioner has not yet filed a Notice of Appeal, this Court may nonetheless address whether he would be entitled to a certificate of appealability. See Alexander v. Johnson, 211 F.3d 895, 898 (5th Cir. 2000). A certificate of appealability may issue only if a habeas petitioner has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). In cases where the Court has rejected a petitioner's constitutional claims on procedural grounds, a petitioner must demonstrate that “jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of a denial of constitutional right and that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court was correct in its procedural ruling.” Ruiz v. Quarterman, 460 F.3d 638, 642 (5th Cir. 2006) (emphasis in original). In the instant case, the Court finds that reasonable jurists would not debate the denial of Petitioner's § 2254 application or the correctness of the procedural ruling. Accordingly, it is appropriate that, in the event that Petitioner seeks to pursue an appeal in this case, a certificate of appealability be denied.

         RECOMMENDATION

         It is recommended that Petitioner's claims be dismissed, without prejudice, for failure to exhaust state court remedies. It is further recommended that in the event that Petitioner seeks to pursue an appeal in this case, a certificate of appealability be denied.

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