United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
6, 2017, Petitioner Eric Bledsoe filed this pro se
motion seeking to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (the “§ 2254
Motion”). Petitioner challenges his sentence in State
v. Bledsoe, No. W2012-01643-CCA-R3-CD, 2013 WL 3968780 (Tenn.
Crim. App. July 31, 2013), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 14,
the Court are three motions: (1) Petitioner's Motion to
Hold Writ of Habeas Corpus in Abeyance, filed on June 6, 2017
(ECF No. 3); (2) Petitioner's Motion to Check Out
Appellate Record, filed on June 6, 2017 (ECF No. 4); (3)
Respondent Cherry Lindamood's Motion to Dismiss Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus for Failure to Exhaust State
Remedies (“Motion to Dismiss”), filed on August
1, 2017 (ECF No. 12; see also ECF No. 12-1). Petitioner
responded to Respondent's Motion to Dismiss on August 25,
2017. (ECF No. 14.)
following reasons, Respondent's Motion to Dismiss and
Petitioner's Motion to Hold Writ of Habeas Corpus in
Abeyance are DENIED AS MOOT. Petitioner's Motion to Check
Out Appellate Record is RESERVED pending the filing of
Respondent's amended motion.
17, 2012, petitioner was convicted by a jury in the Criminal
Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, of aggravated rape,
aggravated burglary, and theft of property over $1000.
Bledsoe, 2013 WL 3968780, at *1. He was sentenced to 65 years
in prison. Id. The Tennessee Court of Criminal
Appeals affirmed Petitioner's convictions. Id.
6, 2017, Petitioner filed a federal habeas petition under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his convictions. (ECF No. 1.)
Petitioner argues that his convictions are invalid because he
was denied due process, he received ineffective assistance of
counsel, and his convictions violate Jackson v. Virginia, 443
U.S. 307 (1979). (Id. at 4-11.)
June 6, 2017, Petitioner filed a Motion to Hold Writ of
Habeas Corpus in Abeyance and Petitioner's Motion to
Check Out Appellate Record. (ECF No. 3; ECF No. 4.) The
Motion to Hold Writ of Habeas Corpus in Abeyance asks the
Court to “stay his federal case until he has had an
opportunity to present his claims for full consideration to
the Tennessee [Supreme] [C]ourt.” (ECF No. 3 at 23.)
August 1, 2017, Respondent filed the Motion to Dismiss.
Respondent argues that “this Court should deny
[Petitioner's] motion to hold his petition in abeyance
and dismiss his [§ 2254] petition without
prejudice” because “Petitioner's state court
remedies are . . . not fully exhausted.” (ECF No. 12-1
at 35.) Petitioner responded on August 25, 2017. (ECF No.
14.) Petitioner asks the Court to “keep [his] Writ of
Habeas Corpus Held in Abeyance due to continual lockdowns at
this prison facility . . . which cause [a] delay in working
on [the] case.” (Id. at 60.)
is correct that, “[a]s a general rule, state prisoners
seeking federal habeas relief must first exhaust all of their
available state court remedies.” (ECF No. 12-1 at 36.)
When Petitioner filed his § 2254 Motion, he had not
exhausted his state court remedies. Petitioner's Rule 11
application for permission to appeal his conviction was
pending before the Supreme Court of Tennessee. (Id.
at 36.) This Court lacked authority to grant Petitioner's
§ 2254 motion. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b); see Hannah v.
Conley, 49 F.3d 1193, 1195 (6th Cir. 1995).
August 18, 2017, shortly after Respondent had filed her
Motion to Dismiss, the Supreme Court of Tennessee issued an
Order denying Petitioner's application for permission to
appeal. Bledsoe v. Tennessee, No. W2016-00419-SC-R11-PC
(Tenn. Aug. 18, 2017) (per curiam). The Supreme Court denied
Petitioner's last available state court remedy.
Petitioner has exhausted his state court remedies.
Motion to Dismiss is DENIED AS MOOT. To the extent Respondent
continues to believe that Petitioner's § 2254 Motion
should be dismissed, Respondent shall file an amended motion
by November 6, 2017.