Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Harden v. Fields

United States District Court, N.D. New York

July 12, 2017

ANTHONY C. HARDEN, Petitioner,
v.
LEROY FIELDS, Respondent.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          Lawrence E. Kahn, U.S. District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner Anthony C. Harden filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and exhibits pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Dkt. No. 1 (“Petition”); Dkt. No. 1-1 (“Exhibits”).[1] He paid the filing fee. For the reasons that follow, the Petition is dismissed as premature.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner challenges his 2013 conviction in Albany County for two counts of second degree assault. Pet. at 1. The Appellate Division affirmed the conviction on December 3, 2015, and the New York Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal on June 7, 2016. Id. at 2; People v. Harden, 21 N.Y.S.3d 730, 736 (App. Div. 2015), lv. denied 27 N.Y.3d 1133 (2016).

         Petitioner argues that he is entitled to “[i]mmediate release from prison, ” Pet. at 15, because his trial counsel was ineffective (Grounds One, Two, Three, Four, and Six), the trial court sentenced him to unlawful consecutive terms of imprisonment (Ground Five), and his appellate counsel was ineffective (Grounds Seven through Nine). Pet. at 5-12; Ex. K at 45-48. Petitioner has raised his appellate counsel claims in a state court application for a writ of coram nobis, which is currently pending in the Appellate Division. Pet. at 12; Ex. K at 46-48.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A court may not grant an application for a writ of habeas corpus until the applicant has exhausted all available state court remedies unless “there is an absence of available State corrective process” or “circumstances exist that render such process ineffective to protect the rights of the applicant.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The exhaustion requirement “is principally designed to protect the state courts' role in the enforcement of federal law and prevent disruption of state judicial proceedings.” Jimenez v. Walker, 458 F.3d 130, 149-50 (2d Cir. 2006) (quoting Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982)).

         To fully exhaust his state court remedies, a petitioner must “fairly present” each claim for habeas relief in “each appropriate state court (including a state supreme court with powers of discretionary review), thereby alerting that court to the federal nature of the claim.” Baldwin v. Reese, 541 U.S. 27, 29 (2004). In other words, habeas petitioners “must give the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the State's established appellate review process.” O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999). The petitioner must also use the proper procedural vehicle so that the state court may pass on the merits of his claims. Dean v. Smith, 753 F.2d 239, 241 (2d Cir. 1985).

         As noted above, Petitioner has a pending state court action in which he raises the appellate counsel claims set forth in Grounds Seven through Nine of his Petition. Pet. at 12. Because that action remains pending, Petitioner has not exhausted his state court remedies with respect to his ineffective assistance of appellate counsel claims.

         There is no basis to conclude that either of the § 2254(b)(1) exceptions applies here. Petitioner does not indicate that he lacks an available state corrective process or allege circumstances that render the state court process ineffective to protect his rights. § 2254(b)(1)(B); Lurie v. Wittner, 228 F.3d 113, 124 (2d Cir. 2000). As Petitioner notes, he has state court remedies available to him, and is availing himself of those remedies by pursuing his coram nobis application. He must exhaust his state court remedies before pursuing a federal habeas petition.

         Based on the foregoing, the Petition is premature and is therefore dismissed without prejudice. Petitioner may re-filing a single complete petition once he has pursued and exhausted all the claims he wants to raise in the state courts. See Diguglielmo v. Senkowski, 42 F.App'x 492, 496 (2d Cir. 2002) (“[B]ecause the New York Court of Appeals has not yet had an opportunity to address DiGuglielmo's federal claims, comity requires that we allow that court an opportunity to do so. Accordingly, we dismiss DiGuglielmo's petition without prejudice. This will allow DiGuglielmo to pursue any procedural options available to him in New York state court, and then take whatever steps may be appropriate to return to federal court if necessary.”).[3]

         IV. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.