United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
ADAM C. POULTON, Petitioner,
WARDEN, ROSS CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, Respondent.
A. SARGUS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER
Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers United States Magistrate Judge
August 8, 2016, the Court issued an Opinion and
Order granting Petitioner's Motion to Stay
(ECF No. 9), and staying proceedings pending Petitioner's
exhaustion of his claims. (ECF No. 24.) Petitioner has filed
a Motion to Terminate Stay and Motion to Supplement the
State Court Record (ECF No. 32); Motion for Leave to
Amend/Correct (ECF No. 33); Motion to Appoint
Counsel (ECF No. 34); and Motion to Limit
Discovery (ECF No. 35).
reasons that follow, Petitioner's Motion to Terminate
Stay and Motion to Supplement the State Court Record
(ECF No. 32), are GRANTED. The Motion
for Leave to Amend/Correct (ECF No. 33), is
GRANTED, with the exception of
Petitioner's additional claims regarding alleged errors
in post-conviction proceedings. Petitioner's Motion
to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 34), is
DENIED. Petitioner's Motion to Limit
Discovery (ECF No. 35) is DENIED,
without prejudice to renewal.
stay is terminated, and proceedings are reinstated.
shall file a Response to the amended petition in accordance
with the provisions of Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the United States District Courts within
twenty-one (21) days. Petitioner may file a Traverse within
fifteen (15) days thereafter.
to Terminate Stay and Amend Petition
August 8, 2016, the Court granted Petitioner's request
for a stay pending Petitioner's completion of state
post-conviction proceedings and exhaustion of his claims. On
January 9, 2017, however, the Ohio Fifth District Court of
Appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of
Petitioner's petition for post conviction relief.
State v. Poulton, No. CT2016-0023, 2017 WL 90630
(Ohio App. 5th Dist. Jan. 9, 2017). On May 31, 2017, the Ohio
Supreme Court declined to accept jurisdiction of the appeal.
State v. Poulton, 149 Ohio St.3d 1421 (Ohio 2017).
Based on the present record, Petitioner therefore has now
exhausted his claims.
motion to terminate the stay (ECF No. 32) is
GRANTED. The stay is terminated, and
proceedings are reinstated.
has filed a Motion for Leave to Amend/Correct Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (ECF No. 33.) In it,
Petitioner asserts that he was denied due process because of
the improper admission of statements he made during the
course of plea negotiations (claim one); that he was denied
due process because the trial court refused to permit defense
counsel to withdraw after a complete breakdown in the
attorney-client relationship (claim two); that he was denied
the right to the effective assistance of trial counsel
because his attorney failed to investigate and interview
potential witnesses (claim three); and that he was denied due
process when the state trial court denied Petitioner's
motion for the appointment of counsel and expert assistance
(claim four). Respondent opposes Petitioner's motion to
amend the Petition to the extent that it raises any claim of
an alleged error in post-conviction proceedings.
correctly notes that errors in state post-conviction
proceedings do not provide a basis for federal habeas corpus
relief. “The Sixth Circuit has held that claims
challenging state post-conviction proceedings are not subject
to review under the federal habeas corpus statute[.]”
Crockett v. Sloan, No. 1:16-cv-00550, 2017 WL
1058741, at *10 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 9, 2017) (citing Kirby v.
Dutton, 794 F.2d 245, 246-247 (6th Cir. 1986)).
“[T]he essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a
person in custody upon the legality of that custody, and . .
. the traditional function of the writ is to secure release
from illegal custody.” Id. at 246 (quoting
Preiser v. Rodriquez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973)).
Federal habeas review is not available to attack the legality
of post-conviction proceedings because such proceedings are
not related to a petitioner's detention. Kirby,
794 F.2d at 247; see also Cress v. Palmer, 484 F.3d
844, 853 (6th Cir. 2007); Alley v. Bell, 307 F.3d
380, 387 (6th Cir. 2002). Petitioner's claim “must
directly dispute the fact or duration of the
confinement.” Kirby, 794 F.2d at 248 (citing
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500, 93 S.Ct.
1827, 36 L.Ed.2d 439 (1973)). A ground for relief that
challenges the correctness of a state judicial proceeding and
does not dispute the detention itself is not cognizable.
See Kirby, 794 F.2d at 247-48.
Wright v. Lazaroff, 643 F.Supp.2d 971, 990-91 (S.D.
Ohio 2009) (footnote omitted). See also Leonard
v. Warden, Ohio State Penitentiary, 846 F.3d 832, 854
(6th Cir. 2017) (federal habeas corpus does not lie for
challenges to a state's scheme of post-conviction relief)
(citing Greer v. Mitchell, 264 F.3d at 681) (citing
Kirby v. Dutton, 794 F.2d at 246; Cress v.
Palmer, 484 F.3d 844, 853 (6th Cir. 2007) (“the
writ is not the proper means” to challenge
“collateral matters” as opposed to “the
underlying state conviction giving rise to the prisoner's
incarceration”) (internal citations omitted)).
“Errors or deficiencies in post conviction proceedings
are not properly considered in habeas corpus
proceedings.” Hayden v. Warden, Marion Correctional
Institution, No. 2:15-cv-2927, 2016 WL 2648776, at *3
(S.D. Ohio May 10, 2016) (citations omitted); see also
Bollar v. Miller, No. 4:09-cv-472, 2009 WL 5217098, at
*8 (N.D. Ohio Dec. 30, 2009) (“Such a request is the
quintessential example of what is not cognizable in a federal
habeas petition.”) (citations omitted). Therefore, to
the extent that Petitioner intends to raise a claim regarding
any alleged errors in post conviction proceedings, his motion
to amend is DENIED.