United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge
Carlton Freeman filed this pro se action pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254 seeking a writ of habeas corpus. The
Court conducted a preliminary review of the petition pursuant
to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases and
entered a Show Cause Order directing Petitioner to show cause
why his petition should not be dismissed for failure to
exhaust his state court remedies. Upon review of
Petitioner's response to the Show Cause Order (DN 21) and
other filings by Petitioner following the Show Cause Order
(DNs 19, 20, 23, and 24), the Court concludes that Petitioner
failed to properly exhaust his state court remedies and that
the petition must be dismissed.
challenges the revocation of his parole. As grounds for his
motion, he states, “Due-process violation by Kentucky
Parole Board & Chairman Lee A. Vanhoose. Parole officer
Eric Stagner failed to do his job.” He alleges
violations of the “United States Constitution, General
Assembly, Universal Declaration of Rights . . . Due-Process
violation.” (Emphasis by Petitioner omitted.)
Petitioner states that he appealed twice through the Kentucky
Parole Board's appeal procedure. He states that he did
not seek review in any state court. He states,
“Kentucky Parole Board Laws only apply.” As
relief, Petitioner aske to be placed back on parole, given a
new parole officer, and be placed in a “better
halfway-house & staff and drug-free.” He
additionally asks for “assistance” and placement
in programs, medication, and monetary damages.
federal court may not grant habeas corpus relief unless the
petitioner has exhausted all available state remedies or
demonstrated their inadequacies. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b); Martin v. Mitchell, 280 F.3d 594,
603 (6th Cir. 2002) (“Habeas corpus relief is available
only if the applicant first exhausts remedies available in
state court.”). “[T]he doctrine of exhaustion of
state remedies has developed to protect the state courts'
opportunity to confront initially and resolve constitutional
issues arising within their jurisdictions and to limit
federal judicial interference in state adjudicatory
processes.” Atkins v. Michigan, 644 F.2d 543,
546 (6th Cir. 1981); see also Rose v. Lundy, 455
U.S. 509, 518 (1982). “A rigorously enforced total
exhaustion rule will encourage state prisoners to seek full
relief first from the state courts, thus giving those courts
the first opportunity to review all claims of constitutional
error.” Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S.at 518-19.
Unless unusual or exceptional circumstances make it
appropriate to reach the merits of a claim not first
exhausted in the state court, the habeas petition should be
dismissed. Granberry v. Greer, 481 U.S. 129, 134
(1987); O'Guinn v. Dutton, 88 F.3d 1409, 1413
(6th Cir. 1996) (en banc). 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. 1994).
the petition showed that Petitioner exhausted his
administrative remedies through the Kentucky Parole Board,
but not in the Kentucky court system. The remedy for a
prisoner who wishes to challenge the actions of the Kentucky
Parole Board is to bring a mandamus action in state court.
Allen v. Wingo, 472 S.W.2d 688 (Ky. 1971); Evans
v. Thomas, 372 S.W.2d 798 (Ky. 1963). See also
Muhammad v. Ky. Parole Bd., 468 S.W.3d 331, 345 (Ky.
2015) (“Our law has long provided that a mandamus
action against the Parole Board . . . will lie to challenge a
parole revocation.”) (citing Shepherd v.
Wingo, 471 S.W.2d 718 (Ky. 1971); Mahan v.
Buchanan, 221 S.W.2d 945 (Ky. 1949)); Brockett v.
Ky. Parole Bd., Justice & Pub. Safety
Cabinet, No. 2008-CA-002345-MR, 2010 Ky. App. Unpub.
LEXIS 261, at *3 (Ky. Ct. App. Mar. 26, 2010) (“A
parole board's alleged abuse of its authority may be
addressed through a circuit court proceeding seeking a writ
of mandamus to compel the Board to proceed properly.”).
did not file any such action in state court, and the petition
is subject to dismissal on this basis. See Seaton v.
Kentucky, 92 Fed.Appx. 174, 175 (6th Cir. 2004) (finding
that § 2241 petition was properly dismissed for failure
to exhaust state court remedies because the petitioner
“never challenged the decision of the Parole Board
denying him parole pursuant to a mandamus action in state
courts”). However, before dismissing the action, the
Court gave Petitioner the opportunity to show cause why the
action should not be dismissed.
responded to the Show Cause Order by filing a motion (DN 21)
in which he requests the Court “to correct the error on
document #18. Which states, that the Plaintiff/ Petitioner
didn't file a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action with his 28
U.S.C. § 2254 action. Which the Plaintiff/Petitioner
must do, and did.” Petitioner further describes his parole
revocation hearing and states as follows:
Thus, the Kentucky Parole Board is part of the Kentucky
courts system. Plaintiff/Petitioner is stating that the
Kentucky Parole is a part of the Kentucky Government Justice
system. So when Plaintiff/Petitioner filed two appeals with
the Kentucky Parole Board entity, Plaintiff/Petition had his
appeal heard. Any other procedure by these entity's would
of been futile. Plaintiff/Petitioner did try to file this
matter with Kentucky Small Claims Court in Frankfort,
Kentucky. But the Circuit Court keep giving the
Plaintiff/Petitioner the run-around. By say they never got
the complete. Or the complete wasn't filed right.
Plaintiff/Petitioner did try two times to fix the problem
with the defendant, Ms. Lee A. VanHoose.
regard to Petitioner's request that the Court correct an
error in the Show Cause Order, the Court presumes that
Petitioner is making reference to the final paragraph of the
Order which states that money damages cannot be recovered in
a habeas corpus proceeding and that if Petitioner seeks money
damages in connection with the alleged constitutional
violations, he must do so through a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action. To the extent Petitioner is arguing that he filed a
separate 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, there is no disputing
that he filed such an action, see Carlton Freeman v. Lee
A. VanHoose, Civil Action No. 5:17cv-71-GNS, and the
Show Cause Order is not intended to suggest otherwise.
Therefore, the motion to correct an error (DN 21) is
review of Petitioner's response to the Show Cause Order,
it is evident that he did not file a mandamus action in state
court as he is required to do to exhaust his claims. His
argument that the Kentucky Parole Board is part of the
Kentucky justice system and that his appeal to the parole
board should satisfy the exhaustion requirement is without
merit. Petitioner's attempt to file a case in Small
Claims Court likewise does not satisfy the exhaustion
requirement. Petitioner's other filings since the entry
of the Show Cause Order do not bear on Petitioner's
failure to exhaust his state court remedies. Nor do
Petitioner's allegations give rise to special
circumstances warranting federal intervention without
exhaustion in this case.
the Court finds that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to § 2254 must be dismissed.
event that Petitioner appeals this Court's decision, he
is required to obtain a certificate of appealability. 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A); Fed. R. App. P. 22(b). A
district court must issue or deny a certificate of
appealability and can do so even though the petitioner has
yet to make a request for such a certificate. Castro v.
United States,310 F.3d 900, 903 (6th Cir. 2002). When a
district court denies a petition on procedural grounds
without addressing the merits of the petition, a certificate
of appealability should issue if the petitioner shows
“that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether
the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a
constitutional right and that jurists of reason would find it
debatable whether the district court was correct in its
procedural ruling.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529
U.S. 473, 484 (2000). When a plain procedural bar is present
and the district court is correct to invoke it to dispose of
the matter, a reasonable jurist could not conclude either
that the court erred in dismissing the ...