United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
MAURICE L. STROUD, Petitioner,
JOSH STEIN, Respondent.
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court upon Petitioner's
Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) (Doc.
No. 6), which he has filed in connection with a pro se
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254
(Doc. No. 1). Federal law requires a petitioner seeking
habeas review of his state conviction and/or sentence in
federal district court pay a $5.00 filing fee or be granted
leave to proceed without prepayment of fees and costs.
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914, 1915(a).
September 16, 2004, Petitioner pled guilty in Mecklenburg
County Superior Court to second degree murder, second degree
kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon. (Pet. 1,
Doc. No. 1.) He was sentenced pursuant to a plea agreement to
consecutive sentences of 251-311 months for second degree
murder, 133-169 months for second degree kidnapping, and
117-150 months for robbery with a dangerous weapon.
See State's Resp. to Pet'r's July 14,
2015 Pet. for Writ of Cert. in the N. C. Court of Appeals,
State v. Stroud, No. P15-387 ( N.C. Ct. App. filed
July 27, 2015), available at the North Carolina Supreme Court
and Court of Appeals Electronic Filing Site and Document
December 11, 2015, Petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this
Court. See Stroud v. Albermarle Correctional,
3:15-cv-00608-FDW (W.D. N.C. ), Doc. No. 1. It was dismissed
as untimely on August 25, 2016. Id. at Doc. No. 6.
His appeal was dismissed by the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals for failure to prosecute. Id. at Doc. No.
September 19, 2016, Petitioner filed a second § 2254
habeas petition in this Court, challenging his 2004 judgment.
Stroud v. Clelland, 3:16-cv-00677-FDW (W.D. N.C. ),
Doc. No. 1. When Petitioner failed, after two deficiency
notices, to pay the $5.00 filing fee or file a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis, the Court dismissed the Petition
without prejudice. Id. at Doc. No. 3. His appeal of
that matter also was dismissed by the Fourth Circuit for
failure to prosecute. Id. at Doc. No. 14.
March 13, 2017, Petitioner filed a motion in the Fourth
Circuit for authorization to file a successive application
for post-conviction relief, see 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3)(A) In re: Maurice L. Stroud, No. 17-167
(4th Cir.), Doc. No. 1. Instead of waiting for the Fourth
Circuit to rule on the motion, on March 30, 2017, Petitioner
filed another § 2254 habeas petition in this Court,
raising the same grounds as those raised in his previous
habeas petitions. Stroud v. Hooks, 3:17-cv-00174-FDW
(W.D. N.C. ), Doc. No. 1. On April 4, 2017, the Fourth
Circuit denied Petitioner's motion for authorization to
file a successive habeas petition, id. at Doc. No.
4, and on April 11, 2017, this Court dismissed
Petitioner's § 2254 habeas petition as unauthorized,
id. at Doc. No. 5. Petitioner did not appeal the
1, 2017, Petitioner filed another unauthorized, successive
habeas Petition. See Stroud v. Stein, No.
3:17-cv-301-FDW (W.D. N.C. ), Doc. No. 1. On June 9, 2017,
Petitioner filed the instant action. (Doc. No. 1.) As with
all of his previous habeas petitions, Petitioner challenges
his 2004 judgments and raises the same grounds for relief.
Once again, he has failed to obtain authorization from the
Fourth Circuit to file a successive § 2254 petition.
practice of filing repetitive, unauthorized habeas petitions
is abusive and should not be encouraged by allowing him to
file free-of-charge. Consequently, the Court shall deny
Petitioner's IFP Motion and order the Clerk of Court to
close this action. Petitioner may refile his § 2254
Petition only if he prepays the entire $5.00 filing fee or
obtains authorization from the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals to file a successive habeas petition.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:
Petitioner's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc.
No. 6) is DENIED;
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 (Doc. No. 1) is DISMSSED without
Clerk of Court shall close this action and terminate any
outstanding motions; and
Pursuant to Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases, the Court declines to issue a certificate of
appealability as Petitioner has not made a substantial
showing of a denial of a constitutional right. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2253(c)(2); Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S.
322, 336-38 (2003) (in order to satisfy § 2253(c), a
petitioner must demonstrate that reasonable jurists would
find the district court's assessment of the
constitutional claims debatable or wrong); Slack v.
McDaniel529 U.S. 474, 484 (2000) (holding that when
relief is denied on procedural grounds, a petitioner must
establish both ...