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Harris v. State

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

June 12, 2014

RAYMOND DAKIM JOINER HARRIS, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, Respondent.

ORDER AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

L. PATRICK AULD, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner, a prisoner of the State of North Carolina, submitted a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody. For the following reasons, the Petition cannot be further processed.

1. The filing fee was not received, nor was an affidavit to proceed in forma pauperis submitted and signed by Petitioner.
2. Petitioner fails to indicate that state court remedies have been exhausted as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). In fact, he affirmatively indicates that he did not exhaust his state court remedies. (Docket Entry § 8-10.) This Court cannot grant relief unless state court remedies have been exhausted. Id . In North Carolina, a petitioner may satisfy the exhaustion requirement of § 2254 by raising his claim(s) in a direct appeal of his conviction and/or sentence to the North Carolina Court of Appeals followed by a petition to the Supreme Court of North Carolina for discretionary review, or by raising his claims in a Motion for Appropriate Relief ("MAR") and petitioning the North Carolina Court of Appeals for a writ of certiorari if the MAR is denied. See Lassiter v. Lewis, No. 5:11HC2082D , 2012 WL 1965434, at *4-5 (E.D. N.C. May 31, 2012) (unpublished) (citing O'Sullivan v. Boerckel , 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999), and N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 7A-31, 15A-1422).
3. Petitioner does not name his custodian as the respondent. Rule 2, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, requires that the petition name the state officer having custody of the applicant as respondent. The Court takes judicial notice that a proper respondent for North Carolina state prisoners challenging their North Carolina judgment of conviction is the Secretary of Public Safety. Naming the wrong custodian is a common point of confusion, and the Court assumes that Petitioner wishes to name the proper custodian as respondent. Accordingly, unless Petitioner objects within eleven days of the issuance of this Order, the Petition is deemed from this point forward to be amended to name Frank Perry, who is currently the Secretary of Public Safety, as Respondent.
4. Petitioner seeks to attack his convictions using nonsensical arguments largely based on commercial and contract law concepts which have no applicability in the habeas arena.

Because of these pleading failures, the Petition should be filed and then dismissed, without prejudice to Petitioner filing a new petition on the proper habeas corpus forms with the $5.00 filing fee, or a completed application to proceed in forma pauperis, and otherwise correcting the defects noted. The Court has no authority to toll the statute of limitation, therefore it continues to run, and Petitioner must act quickly if he wishes to pursue this petition. See Spencer v. Sutton , 239 F.3d 626 (4th Cir. 2001). To further aid Petitioner, the Clerk is instructed to send Petitioner a new application to proceed in forma pauperis, new § 2254 forms, and instructions for filing a § 2254 petition, which Petitioner should follow.

In forma pauperis status will be granted for the sole purpose of entering this Order and Recommendation.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that in forma pauperis status is granted for the sole purpose of entering this Order and Recommendation. The Clerk is instructed to send Petitioner § 2254 forms, instructions, and a current application to proceed in forma pauperis.

IT IS RECOMMENDED that this action be filed, but then dismissed sua sponte without prejudice to Petitioner filing a new petition which corrects the defects of the current Petition.


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