Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burbage v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 8, 2018

ERNEST RECE DALE BURBAGE, Petitioner,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Respondent.

          Rambo, Judge.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Martin C. Carlson United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. Statement of Facts and of the Case

         This is a pro se state prisoner habeas corpus petition which now comes before us for our consideration. In its current form, Burbage's habeas corpus petition demands a great deal of the reader. This petition is far from a model of clarity, but this confusion may be a product of Burbage's circumstances, since it appears that Burbage has in recent years faced at least four criminal prosecutions in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Commonwealth v. Burbage, No. CP-28-CR-0000766-2016; Commonwealth v. Burbage, No. CP-28-CR-0001513-2016; Commonwealth v. Burbage, No. CP-28-CR-0001977-2016; Commonwealth v. Burbage, No. CP-28-CR-0002091-2017. From state court dockets it appears that three of these cases are pending trial in July of 2018.[1] The remaining case appears to have resulted in a conviction, and it seems that Burbage is currently serving a state sentence in this case.[2]

         Burbage's pro se habeas corpus petition seems to relate to one of these pending state cases, which is scheduled for trial this summer. Commonwealth v. Burbage, No. CP-28-CR-0000766-2016. To the extent that it can be understood, Burbage's petition seems to attempt to litigate some search and seizure issues in this state case, and complains about alleged delays in the scheduling of this trial. The petition also suggests that Burbage has pursued an erratic and eccentric course in attempting to litigate these issues. Not content to fully litigate these claims in a straightforward fashion in the course of this pending state criminal case, it appears that Burbage has on occasion filed some sort of writs or extraordinary petitions with the Court of Common Pleas and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, all of which appear to have been rebuffed by the courts.

         These efforts, while random, eccentric and imaginative, in our view do not constitute full and proper exhaustion of these legal claims in state court. One of the statutory prerequisites to a state prisoner seeking habeas corpus relief in federal court is that the prisoner must ''exhaust[] the remedies available in the courts of the State.'' 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A). Therefore, the instant case presents a model of an unexhausted petition, since the petitioner seeks federal habeas corpus review of a state case which has not yet been fully adjudicated at trial.

         In light of the fact that this is undeniably an unexhausted federal habeas corpus petition, the question before this Court is how best to address what is currently a premature and procedurally flawed petition. For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that this petition be dismissed without prejudice to renewal of the petition once the petitioner has properly exhausted his state remedies.

         II. Discussion

         Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts provides in pertinent part: ''If it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner.'' Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Court.

         In order to obtain federal habeas corpus relief, a state prisoner seeking to invoke the power of this Court to issue a writ of habeas corpus must satisfy the standards prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 2254, which provides in part as follows

(a) The Supreme Court, a Justice thereof, a circuit judge, or a district court shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.
(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 remedies available in the courts of the State;
(2) An application for a writ of habeas corpus may be denied on the merits, notwithstanding the failure of the applicant to exhaust the remedies ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.