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Logan v. State

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

August 15, 2019

COURTNEY R. LOGAN, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE, et al., Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM

          Aleta A. Trauger United States District Judge.

         Presently pending before the court is a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by Courtney R. Logan, a prisoner incarcerated at the Northwest Tennessee Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee (Doc. No. 1), as well as the petitioner's motions for discovery and appointment of counsel (Doc. No. 65) and seeking permission to supplement record (Doc. No. 70). The respondents have filed a motion to dismiss the habeas petition. (Doc. No. 72).

         I. Background

         A Davidson County jury convicted the petitioner of attempted first-degree murder and employment of a firearm for involvement in his codefendant's prison escape and subsequent shooting of a Nashville police officer during a traffic stop. See State v. Logan, No. M2014-01687-CCA-R3- CD, 2015 WL 5883187, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 8, 2015), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Oct. 8, 2015). The trial court sentenced the petitioner to a total effective sentence of thirty-one years imprisonment. Id. On direct appeal, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the judgments of the trial court in all respects, except that it remanded for entry of a corrected judgment showing a conviction for employment of a firearm during the flight or escape from the attempt to attempt a dangerous felony in count 3 and either redacting the word “Violent” and leaving the 100% release eligibility designation or using the “Special Conditions” section of the judgment form to specify that Logan received a sentence of six years at one hundred percent release eligibility for his conviction under Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17324(b)(4). Id. at *17. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied discretionary review. Id.

         While Logan' motion for new trial was still pending in Tennessee, he was transferred to Mississippi, where he was convicted of five counts of kidnapping, one count of aiding escape, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. See Logan v. State, 192 So.3d 1012, 1015 (Miss. Ct. App. 2015). For those crimes, he received seven consecutive sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Id. The Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the judgments, and the Mississippi Supreme Court denied discretionary review. Logan v. State, 202 So.3d 1267 (Miss. 2016).

         The petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this case in 2013, which the court dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust available state court remedies. (See Doc. Nos. 36 & 37). The petitioner later filed a motion to reinstate his habeas corpus proceedings, claiming to have exhausted. (Doc. No. 41). The respondents then filed a motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust (Doc. No. 50) and, on August 9, 2016, the court granted the motion and dismissed this action a second time without prejudice to refile once the petitioner exhausted his state court remedies. (Doc. Nos. 59 and 60).

         On July 22, 2019, the petitioner filed a notice of exhaustion, once again seeking to reopen his federal habeas corpus proceedings. (Doc. No. 64). On July 24, 2019, the court ordered the respondents to provide the state court record and to file a response. (Doc. No. 66). The respondents subsequently filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the petitioner still has not exhausted his state court remedies. (Doc. No. 72).

         II. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

         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 State; or
(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). 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). Any alleged constitutional deprivation must be asserted through the state appellate process. 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 ...


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