United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
September 18, 2014
DARWIN V. CHRISTIAN, Petitioner,
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, et al., 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 reason, the Petition cannot be further processed.
1. Petitioner fails to indicate that state court remedies have been exhausted as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). 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 See Lassiter v. Lewis, No. 5:11HC2082D , 2012 WL 1965434, at *4-5 (E.D. N.C. May 31, 2012) (unpublished) (citing O'Sullivan v. Boerckel , 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999), and N.C. Gen.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). Here, Petitioner reports that he raised his claims in a MAR in the trial court, but that he then proceeded to the North Carolina Supreme Court, which is not proper, instead of seeking certiorari in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. (Docket Entry 1, §§ 11, 12.) As a result, he did not exhaust his claims.
Because of this pleading failure, 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 return the $5.00 filing fee to Petitioner and 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 if he wishes to raise his claims after he exhausts his state court remedies as explained above.
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 return the $5.00 filing fee to Petitioner and 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 after he exhausts his remedies in the state courts.