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Swint v. Bolling

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

March 14, 2019

DARRYL SWINT, # 182201, Petitioner,
v.
LEON BOLLING, et al., Respondents.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CHARLES S. COODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Darryl Swint, an Alabama prisoner acting pro se, filed this action on January 9, 2017.[1] The case is now before the court on Swint's amended § 2254 petition.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Swint's Initial Pleading

         Swint's initial pleading (Doc. # 1), [2] a handwritten document captioned “Memorandum Brief of Amend, ”[3] comprised piecemeal and disjointed recitations of various constitutional amendments, legal principles, and state and federal procedural rules. See Doc. # 1 at 1-5. As best this court could tell, Swint seemed to challenge convictions entered by the Circuit Court of Barbour County, Alabama, although if this was Swint's intention, it was not clear which particular convictions he was challenging or what grounds for relief he was asserting.

         B. Court's Order of February 16, 2017

         Because Swint's initial pleading did not identify the state court judgment he was challenging or his grounds for relief, and because the pleading was largely incomprehensible, this court entered an order on February 16, 2017, directing Swint to submit an amended § 2254 petition using the pre-printed form for use by pro se state prisoners seeking habeas corpus relief under § 2254.[4] Doc. # 5. The court directed Swint to complete the § 2254 form to include identification of (1) the criminal judgment he was challenging, including the court that entered it and when; (2) all grounds for relief and the facts supporting each ground; and (3) the relief requested. Id. at 2. The court cautioned Swint that if he failed to comply with the directives in its order, his action could be dismissed without further notice. Id.

         C. Swint's Amended § 2254 Petition

         In apparent response to this court's February 16, 2017 order, Swint filed an amended pleading using the pre-printed § 2254 form.[5] Doc. # 6. Attached to that form was another handwritten document containing an abbreviated version of the piecemeal and disjointed recitations contained in Swint's initial pleading.[6] See Id. at 1-3. Hereinafter, this Recommendation refers to Swint's amended pleading (the pre-printed § 2254 form plus Swint's handwritten attachment) as Swint's amended § 2254 petition.

         Swint's amended § 2254 petition is, like his initial pleading, mostly incomprehensible. In the spaces on the pre-printed § 2254 form for setting forth grounds for relief and supporting facts, Swint identifies Ground One, and the supporting facts, only as “Waiting to hear back from them.” Id. at 8. No. other grounds for relief are asserted on the § 2254 form, nor can any grounds for relief be discerned from Swint's handwritten attachment. On the first page of the § 2254 form, Swint identifies the judgment of conviction he is attacking as “United States 11th Circuit Court-Barbour Clayton County-Chambers County-Northern District in Birmingham Alabama, ” with a case number of “2:16-CV-00517-MHH-JEO.” Doc. # 6 at 4. That case number corresponds to a § 2254 action Swint initiated on March 22, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, in which Swint challenged his 2001 convictions in the Circuit Court of Barbour County, in case numbers CC-2000-163 and CC-2000-164, on charges of first-degree assault and promoting prison contraband.[7] Although he does not specifically list them as the convictions he now challenges, Swint appears to reference these same Barbour County cases on the § 2254 form he filed with this court, indicating that he challenged these convictions on direct appeal. See Doc. # 6 at 5. This court takes notice that on June 14, 2017, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama denied Swint's § 2254 petition in Civil Action No. 2:16-CV-00517-MHH-JEO, finding that Swint failed to support his claims for relief (to the extent they were understandable) and that, in any event, his petition was time-barred under AEDPA's one-year limitation period, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).[8]

         For the reasons that follow, this court recommends that Swint's amended § 2254 petition be dismissed without an evidentiary hearing.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Swint's Failure to Comply with Directives of Court's Order

         As noted above, in its order of February 16, 2017, this court cautioned Swint that if he failed to comply with the directives in the order, his action could be dismissed without further notice. See Doc. # 5 at 2. Among those directives were that Swint file an amended § 2254 petition using a pre-printed § 2254 form properly completed to include (1) identification of the criminal judgment he is challenging, including the court that entered it and when; (2) identification of all grounds for relief and the facts supporting each ground; and (3) identification of the relief requested. Id. Swint has failed to comply with these directives. In his amended § 2254 petition, he does not specifically identify a state court criminal judgment he challenges, but instead refers to “United States 11th Circuit Court- Barbour Clayton County-Chambers County-Northern District in Birmingham Alabama, ” with the case number 2:16-CV-00517-MHH-JEO. That is the case number of a § 2254 action Swint initiated in March 2016 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, in which Swint challenged Barbour County convictions in case numbers CC-2000-163 and CC-2000-164. Thus, Swint fails to identify the state court judgment he is challenging. Even if this court assumes that it is his Barbour County convictions that Swint challenges in this court, ...


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