United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. SCHWAB CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
reviewing the petition, we concluded that petitioner Hanna
Laurie Taylor had not exhausted state remedies. We ordered
Taylor to show cause, if there is any, why her habeas corpus
petition should not be dismissed without prejudice because
she failed to exhaust state remedies. Taylor has failed to
show cause; therefore, we recommend that her case be
dismissed without prejudice.
Factual Background and Procedural History.
April 17, 2019, Taylor filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Doc 1. In
accordance with Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts, we reviewed the
petition to determine whether it plainly appears from the
petition that Taylor is not entitled to relief. Because it
appeared from the petition that Taylor had not exhausted
state remedies, we ordered Taylor on April 25, 2019, to show
cause, if there is any, why her habeas corpus petition should
not be dismissed without prejudice because she failed to
exhaust state remedies. Doc. 4. In the order to show
cause, we recommended Taylor file a petition under
Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act
(“PCRA”). 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9541, et
that order, we have received four letters from Taylor. Each
letter generally states the actions Taylor has taken such as
calling and mailing the Bradford County Public Defender's
Office (See, e.g., docs 5, 6, 7,
8). One letter also shows dates relevant to her
sentence. Doc. 7 at 3-9. Taylor also includes
various correspondence, in relation to her sentence, between
her public defender, Patrick Lee Beirne, Esq., and President
Judge Maureen T. Beirne. Doc. 5 at 3-8. In her last
letter dated May 3, 2019, Taylor states that she is no longer
with counsel and that her previous public defender last filed
a “motion ‘PCRA.'” Doc. 8 at
State prisoners must ordinarily exhaust state remedies before
bringing a federal habeas corpus petition.
habeas courts reviewing the constitutionality of a state
prisoner's conviction and sentence are guided by rules
designed to ensure that state-court judgments are accorded
the finality and respect necessary to preserve the integrity
of legal proceedings within our system of federalism.”
Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1, 9 (2012). One of those
rules is that a state prisoner must exhaust available state
remedies before filing a petition for habeas corpus in
federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) and (c).
exhaustion requirement serves the interests of comity between
the federal and state systems by allowing the state an
initial opportunity to determine and correct any violations
of a prisoner's federal rights. O'Sullivan v.
Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 844 (1999). “The
exhaustion rule also serves the secondary purpose of
facilitating the creation of a complete factual record to aid
the federal courts in their review.” Walker v.
Vaughn, 53 F.3d 609, 614 (3d Cir. 1995). A habeas corpus
petitioner bears the burden of demonstrating that she has
exhausted state remedies. O'Halloran v Ryan, 835
F.2d 506, 508 (3d Cir. 1987).
petitioner “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.” O'Sullivan, 526 U.S. at
845. To exhaust state remedies for federal habeas corpus
purposes, a petitioner must show that she fairly presented
her federal claim to the state courts. Picard v.
Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275-76 (1971). The
fair-presentation requirement provides the State the
opportunity to consider and correct an alleged violation of a
prisoner's federal rights. Duncan v. Henry, 513
U.S. 364-65 (1995). “If state courts are to be given
the opportunity to correct alleged violations of
prisoners' federal rights, they must surely be alerted to
the fact that the prisoners are asserting claims under the
United States Constitution.” Id. at 365-66.
“It is not enough that all the facts necessary to
support the federal claim were before the state courts, or
that a somewhat similar state-law claim was made.”
Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 6 (1982) (citations
omitted). Rather, for a claim to have been fairly presented
to the state courts, both the legal theory and the facts
supporting the claim must have been presented to the state
courts. O'Halloran, 835 F.2d at 508.
exhaustion requirement may be excused where the opportunity
to obtain relief in state court was lacking or if the
corrective process was so clearly deficient as to render
futile any effort to obtain relief.” McGurl v.
Pennsylvania, No. 3:18-CV-2176, 2019 WL 294558, at *2,
n. 2 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 23, 2019); see also 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b)(1)(B) (providing that exhaustion is required
unless “there is an absence of available State
corrective process; or . . . circumstances exist that render
such process ineffective to protect the rights of the
certain circumstances, a stay may be appropriate while a
habeas petitioner exhausts state remedies. In Rose v.
Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 522 (1982), the Supreme Court held
that because a total-exhaustion rule promotes comity and does
not unreasonably impair a prisoner's right to relief, a
district court must dismiss mixed habeas petitions,
i.e., petitions containing both unexhausted and
exhausted claims. Later, however, the habeas statute was
amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
of 1996 (AEDPA) by, among other things, imposing a one-year
statute of limitations on habeas petitions. The limitations
period is tolled during the time a “properly filed
application for State post-conviction or other collateral
review” is pending, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2), but
the statute is not tolled by the filing of a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus in federal court, Duncan v.
Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 181-82 (2001).
Rhines v. Weber, the Supreme Court recognized that
“[a]s a result of the interplay between AEDPA's
1-year statute of limitations and Lundy's
dismissal requirement, petitioners who come to federal court
with ‘mixed' petitions run the risk of forever
losing their opportunity for any federal review of their
unexhausted claims.” 544 U.S. 269, 275 (2005).
“If a petitioner files a timely but mixed petition in
federal district court, and the district court dismisses it
under Lundy after the limitations period has
expired, this will likely mean the termination of any federal
review.” Id. The Court held that district
courts have discretion to stay a petition containing both
exhausted and unexhausted claims to allow the petitioner to
present her unexhausted claims to the state court in the
first instance and then to return to federal court for review
of her perfected petition. ...