United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
CRENSHAW CHIEF JUDGE
Lamont Sain, an inmate of the Bledsoe County Correctional
Complex in Pikeville, Tennessee, has filed a pro se, in forma
pauperis motion for habeas corpus relief. (Doc. No. 1 at 1).
filed his motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
(id. at 2) but also refers to his cause of action as
an “appeal” of two Tennessee state criminal
convictions. (Id. at 1, 4). He asks the Court to
“entertain . . . [his] successive petition.”
(Id. at 6). According to Petitioner, he committed
one criminal violation but was charged with violating two
different state statutes; therefore, his convictions are
“illegal.” (Id. at 4). He alleges that
he received ineffective of assistance in counsel when his
attorney advised him to enter guilty pleas. (Id. at
5). As relief, he asks the Court to invalidate his sentences
and award him pre-trial credits. (Id. at 6).
a second or successive petition for a writ of habeas corpus
may be adjudicated in the district court, a petitioner must
move in the appropriate court of appeals for an order
authorizing the district court to consider the petition. 28
U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). The Court has been unable to
locate records of any prior petitions filed by Petitioner
challenging a state or federal conviction. As the instant
petition appears to be Petitioner's first petition
challenging his state court convictions, Petitioner need not
request permission to file a second or successive habeas
2255, the statute under which Petitioner filed his motion,
pertains only to federal prisoners. However, Petitioner's
motion only mentions state criminal convictions. Because
Petitioner appears to be a state prisoner serving a sentence
of imprisonment for one or more state criminal convictions,
§ 2255 is inapplicable.
petition brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenges the
constitutionality of a conviction and sentence arising out of
a state criminal action. See, e.g., Charles v.
Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 756 (6th Cir. 1999);
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). However, it is axiomatic that one
may not seek federal habeas corpus relief until he has
exhausted all available state remedies or demonstrated their
inadequacies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(B); Hannah v.
Conley, 49 F.3d 1193, 1196 (6th Cir. 1995). Section
2254(b)(1) states in pertinent part:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
shall not be granted unless it appears that-(A) the applicant
has exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the
(B)(i) there is an absence of available State corrective
process; or (ii) circumstances exist that render such process
ineffective to protect the rights of the applicant.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S.
509 (1982). Therefore, any alleged constitutional deprivation
must be asserted through the state appellate process before a
petitioner seeks habeas corpus relief in federal court.
See O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845
(1999). “Because the exhaustion doctrine is designed to
give the state courts a full and fair opportunity to resolve
federal constitutional claims before those claims are
presented to the federal courts, [the Supreme Court]
conclude[s] that state prisoners must give the state courts
one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by
invoking one complete round of the State's established
appellate review process.” Id. The burden is
on the petitioner to demonstrate compliance with the
exhaustion requirement or that the state procedure would be
futile. Rust v. Zent, 17 F.3d 155, 160 (6th Cir.
on the record before the Court, Petitioner has not met his
burden of establishing that he exhausted all available state
court remedies prior to seeking habeas corpus relief in this
Court. His motion fails to identify any state trial court or
appellate action initiated or completed by Petitioner
regarding the claims of his motion. Consequently, his motion,
if construed as a federal habeas petition pursuant to §
2254, must be dismissed without prejudice until the
Petitioner properly exhausts his state court remedies.
Rose, 455 U.S. at 522.
Petitioner's request seeking his immediate release from
custody must be denied. This Court is without authority to
release Petitioner from custody at this time.
summary, Petitioner's motion was inappropriately filed
pursuant to § 2255 because Petitioner is not challenging
a federal conviction. However, even if the Court construes
Petitioner's motion as a petition filed pursuant to§
2254 challenging the constitutionality of a conviction and
sentence arising out of a state criminal action, the record
does not demonstrate that Petitioner has exhausted his state
court remedies prior to seeking relief in this court.
Therefore, the petition must be denied, and this case must be
dismissed without prejudice to ...