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Spikes v. Caplan

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

September 4, 2019

JASON JARRELL SPIKES
v.
MATTHEW CAPLAN

         SECTION I

          ORDER & REASONS

          LANCE M. AFRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is pro se prisoner Jason Jarrell Spikes's (“Spikes”) Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus[1] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the following reasons, the motion is transferred to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals as a successive § 2254 petition.

         I.

         Spikes is a state prisoner, convicted of attempted possession of contraband in a state correctional facility, and is presently incarcerated in the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center where he is serving a twenty-year term of imprisonment without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence.[2] Spikes was sentenced on June 26, 2017; his conviction, habitual offender adjudication, and sentence were affirmed by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal on December 21, 2017.[3]

         On September 21, 2018, Spikes filed his first petition for federal habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, which was docketed as Civil Action No. 18-08884.[4] He filed three additional § 2254 petitions, docketed as Civil Action Nos. 18-09422, 18-10470, and 18-13668, which were consolidated in the above-captioned case because they challenged the same state criminal judgment.[5] Spikes presented seven claims as bases for relief under § 2254:[6]

(1) The assistant district attorney made false statements in his brief on direct appeal;
(2) The assistant district attorney engaged in prosecutorial misconduct at trial;
(3) The trial judge misstated Spikes's sentence;
(4) There was insufficient evidence to support Spikes's conviction;
(5) The state's witnesses committed perjury;
(6) Spikes's trial counsel was ineffective; and
(7) “The supervisor was personally involved.”

         In its response to Spikes's § 2254 petition, the state argued that Spikes failed to meet the exhaustion requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 because he had not sought review of his criminal judgment by the Louisiana Supreme Court.[7] Spikes conceded that he had not exhausted his remedies in state court and asked the court to “keep this case open” until his state court remedies were exhausted.[8] On February 7, 2019, the Magistrate Judge stayed the proceedings as to Spikes's § 2254 petition to allow Spikes an additional opportunity to exhaust his remedies in state court.[9]

         Spikes subsequently filed a writ application with the Louisiana Supreme Court challenging the judgment of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed his conviction, habitual offender adjudication, and sentence. On February 18, 2019, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied consideration of Spikes's writ application because it was untimely filed.[10]

         On February 27, 2019, Spikes moved to reopen the proceedings, which the Magistrate Judge granted.[11] After reviewing the record and the parties' submissions, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation to dismiss with prejudice Spikes's petition for habeas corpus relief.[12] This Court overruled Spikes's objections to the Report and Recommendation and adopted the Report and Recommendation as its own.[13]

         On August 14, 2019, Spikes moved for relief from judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), challenging this Court's order adopting the Report and Recommendation.[14] This Court transferred the motion to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals as a successive ยง 2254 ...


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