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Seals v. Bryant

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

January 22, 2018

GLENN SHERMAN SEALS, JR. Petitioner,
v.
JASON BRYANT, Warden, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SHON T. ERWIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner, a state prisoner appearing pro se, brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking habeas relief from a state court conviction. United States District Judge David Russell has referred this matter to the undersigned magistrate judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, the Petition has been promptly examined, and for the reasons set forth herein, it is recommended that the action be DISMISSED on filing for failure to exhaust state court remedies.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On April 27, 2017, Petitioner pled guilty for failure to comply with the sex offender registration act in violation of state law. (ECF No. 1:1). Petitioner did not seek to withdraw his plea or seek any other type of state court relief. (ECF No. 1:3).[1] Mr. Seals asserts four grounds for relief in his habeas petition, and admits that he has not raised any of these claims in state court. (ECF No. 1:5-11). According to Mr. Seals, he chose not to seek relief in state court due to “state corruption” and “concern for his safety.” (ECF No. 1:7, 9, 12).

         II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         District courts must review habeas petitions promptly and summarily dismiss a petition “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

         III. EXHAUSTION REQUIREMENT

         A “habeas petitioner is generally required to exhaust state remedies whether his action is brought under § 2241 or § 2254.” Montez v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 866 (10th Cir. 2000). To satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a state prisoner must fairly present his federal habeas claims in state court. Fair presentation “requires that the petitioner raise in state court the substance of his federal claims . . . includ[ing] not only the constitutional guarantee at issue, but also the underlying facts that entitle a petitioner to relief.” Williams v. Trammell, 782 F.3d 1184, 1209 (10th Cir. 2015) (internal quotations and citations omitted). “The prisoner's allegations and supporting evidence must offer the state courts a fair opportunity to apply controlling legal principles to the facts bearing upon his constitutional claim.” Demarest v. Price, 130 F.3d 922, 932 (10th Cir. 1997) (citations and internal quotations omitted). “[A]lthough a habeas petitioner will be allowed to present bits of evidence to a federal court that were not presented to the state court that first considered his claim, evidence that places the claims in a significantly different legal posture must first be presented to the state courts.” Id.

         Petitioner admits that he has not fairly presented his habeas claims to any state court due to “state corruption.” See supra. Under similar circumstances, the Western District of Oklahoma has found this excuse to be insufficient to bypass the exhaustion requirement. See Vernon v. Slabosky, No. CIV-11-812-C, 2011 WL 4356319, at *2 (W.D. Okla. Aug. 15, 2011), report and recommendation adopted, No. CIV-11-812-C, 2011 WL 4356237 (W.D. Okla. Sept. 16, 2011) (habeas petitioner's ”unsupported, conclusory, and subjective” belief that that “corruption and lack of an accountable process” in the State court system “preclude[d] [him] from getting a fair appeal threw the state process” was insufficient to bypass the exhaustion requirement for petitions filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254). Accordingly, the Court should dismiss the petition based on Mr. Seals' failure to exhaust his state court remedies.

         IV. RECOMMENDATION AND NOTICE OF RIGHT TO OBJECT

         Based upon the foregoing analysis, it is recommended that the Petition be DISMISSED on grounds of non-exhaustion.

         The parties are advised of their right to file an objection to this Report and Recommendation with the Clerk of this Court by February 8, 2018 in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72. The parties are further advised that failure to make timely objection to this Report and Recommendation waives the right to appellate review of both factual and legal issues contained herein. Casanova v. Ulibarri, 595 F.3d 1120, 1123 (10th Cir. 2010).

         V. ...


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