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Mansfield v. Carter

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division

January 30, 2019

PAUL MANSFIELD, # 303430, Petitioner,
v.
DERRICK CARTER, et al., Respondents.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          STEPHEN M. DOYLE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This case is before the court on a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by state inmate Paul Mansfield. Doc. 1.[1] Mansfield challenges his guilty plea convictions for two counts of failing to register as a sex offender entered against him by the Circuit Court of Houston County, Alabama. See Docs. 8-2 & 8-5. In March 2016, that court sentenced Mansfield to concurrent terms of 10 years in prison. See Doc. 8-1 at 2-3; Doc. 8-4 at 2-3. Under the Alabama Split Sentence Act, the sentences were split, with Mansfield to serve two years in prison concurrently with time he was serving for a Florida conviction. See Doc. 8-1 at 3; Doc. 8-4 at 3. Mansfield took no appeal from his Alabama convictions.

         On November 14, 2016, Mansfield initiated this action by filing a § 2254 petition arguing that the State of Alabama violated the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (“IADA”) by not trying him within 180 days after he demanded a final disposition in October 2014.[2] Doc. 1 at 5 & 16-18.

         Respondents filed an answer in which they contend that the claim in Mansfield's § 2254 petition is procedurally defaulted because Mansfield failed to present the claim to the state courts in accordance with the State's procedural rules. Doc. 8 at 6-8.

         Mansfield took advantage of the opportunity granted him to respond to Respondents' answer. See Docs. 9 & 10. After reviewing the § 2254 petition, Respondents' answer, and Mansfield's response, the court concludes that no evidentiary hearing is required and that Mansfield's petition is due to be denied under the provisions of Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Procedural Default

         The procedural default doctrine ensures that “state courts have had the first opportunity to hear the claim sought to be vindicated in a federal habeas proceeding.” Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1971). Before a § 2254 petitioner may obtain federal habeas corpus review, he must “exhaust” his federal claims by raising them in the appropriate court, giving the state courts an opportunity to decide the merits of the constitutional issue raised. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1) & (c); Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 178-79 (2001). To exhaust a claim fully, a petitioner must “invok[e] one complete round of the State's established appellate review process.” O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999).

         In Alabama, a complete round of the established appellate review process includes an appeal to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, an application for rehearing to that court, and a petition for discretionary review-a petition for a writ of certiorari-filed in the Alabama Supreme Court. See Smith v. Jones, 256 F.3d 1135, 1140-41 (11th Cir. 2001); Ala.R.App.P. 39 & 40 The exhaustion requirement applies to state post-conviction proceedings and to direct appeals. See Pruitt v. Jones, 348 F.3d 1355, 1359 (11th Cir. 2003).

         Habeas claims not properly exhausted in the state courts are procedurally defaulted if presentation of the claims in state court would be barred by state procedural rules. Gray v. Netherland, 518 U.S. 152, 161-62 (1996); Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 735 n.1 (1991). “[I]f the petitioner failed to exhaust state remedies and the court to which the petitioner would be required to present his claims in order to meet the exhaustion requirement would now find the claims procedurally barred[, ] . . . there is a procedural default for purposes of federal habeas.” Coleman, 501 U.S. at 735 n.1 (citations omitted); see Henderson v. Campbell, 353 F.3d 880, 891 (11th Cir. 2003).

         B. Mansfield's Claim is Procedurally Defaulted.

         Mansfield contends that the State of Alabama violated the IADA by failing to try him within 180 days after he demanded a final disposition of his case in October 2014. Doc. 1 at 5 & 16-18. Respondents assert that Mansfield has procedurally defaulted his claim. Doc. 8 at 6-8. Specifically, Respondents argue that the claim was not exhausted in the state courts in accordance with the State's procedural rules and that the claim is not capable of further presentation to the state courts due to state procedural rules. Id.

         The record reflects that Mansfield raised his IADA claim in a pretrial motion to lift detainer and to dismiss the indictment filed in July 2015. Doc. 8-7. The trial court denied Mansfield's motion on grounds that the State never received the demand for final disposition that Mansfield claimed to have filed in October 2014 and thus Mansfield failed to properly invoke the IADA. Doc. 8-9. When later pleading guilty, Mansfield did not reserve his IADA claim for review on appeal. Further, Mansfield took no appeal from his conviction. Under the circumstances, it is clear that Mansfield failed to ...


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