United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
WALTER J. BRZOWSKI, M29120, Petitioner,
THOMAS A. SPILLER, Warden, Pinckneyville Correctional Center, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert M. Dow, Jr., United States District Judge.
Petitioner, an Illinois state prisoner, seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Before the Court are the state’s motion to dismiss  for failure to exhaust state court remedies; Petitioner’s motion to strike the state’s motion to dismiss as untimely ; Petitioner’s motion for release on bond ; and Petitioner’s “Motion for Expedited, Compelled Summary Ruling” . For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the state’s motion to dismiss  and denies Petitioner’s three motions [30, 50, 54].
In 2012, Petitioner was convicted of two counts of violating an order of protection in two separate Will County cases. See Case Nos. 10 CF 1923 and 10 CF 2494. The Circuit Court imposed a sentence in Case No. 10 CF 1923 on May 4, 2012 and a sentence in Case No. 10 CF 2494 on June 1, 2012. Together, the two sentences call for a four-year prison term. Petitioner directly appealed these convictions, both of which remain pending almost three years later.
A. Case 376
Petitioner filed a notice of appeal in Case 376 in May 2012. Case 376, Dkt. Hist. at p. 2. From July to October 2012, the Appellate Court, on its own motion, granted the court reporter three extensions to file the reports of proceedings, which were 2, 425 pages long. Id. at [3-5]. From November 2012 to February 2014, Petitioner, represented by the Office of the State Appellate Defender (“OSAD”), requested eight extensions to file his opening brief, all of which the Appellate Court granted. See id. at [8, 10, 13, 16-20]. OSAD filed its opening brief in March 2014. Id. at p. 2. The state requested one extension, id. at , filing its brief in July 2014, id. at . The case was ready for oral argument by August 2014. Id. at p. 3. That same month, Case 376 was consolidated with Case 477 for oral argument by agreed motion of the parties. Id. at . OSAD declined to waive oral argument, and, on August 19, 2014, the Appellate Court indicated that it would schedule the case for oral argument on the next available docket call. Id. at .
B. Case 477
Petitioner filed a notice of appeal in Case 477 in June 2012. See Case 477, Dkt. at p. 2. From July 2012 through January 2013, the Court granted the court reporter five extensions to file the reports of proceedings, which totaled 2, 790 pages. Id. at [3, 5-8]. OSAD requested and received six extensions to file Petitioner’s opening brief, encompassing a period of approximately one year from March 2013 through March 2014. Id. at [10, 12-18]. The state filed its brief in September 2014, id. at , after two extensions, id. at [17, 18]. OSAD then filed Petitioner’s reply brief in October 2014, id. at 2, and Petitioner again declined to waive oral argument. That same month, the Appellate Court indicated that the case would be scheduled for oral argument on the next available docket call. Id. at .
C. Habeas Petition to the Illinois Supreme Court
Petitioner filed a pro se habeas petition with the Illinois Supreme Court. See People v. Brzowski, No. M13061 (Ill. 2012). The Court denied his motion on November 28, 2012 without reaching the merits.
D. Federal Habeas Petitions
Petitioner has filed at least two pro se federal habeas petitions. His first petition, filed in December 2012 in the Central District of Illinois, was dismissed in June 2013 for failure to exhaust state court remedies. Brzowski v. Austin, 2013 WL 3199835 (C.D. Ill. June 24, 2013). Petitioner filed his current petition in the Central District of Illinois in January 2014. His amended petition appears to allege that the trial courts lost jurisdiction when they improperly denied his motions to substitute judges. After the Central District of Illinois transferred the case to this district pursuant to § 2254’s venue provision, the state again moved to dismiss Petitioner’s petition for failure to exhaust state court remedies.
II. Standard of Review
Generally, a court may not grant an application for a writ of habeas corpus unless a petitioner “has exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A). The exhaustion doctrine “is designed to give the state courts a full and fair opportunity to resolve federal constitutional claims before those claims are presented to the federal courts.” O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999); see also Bintz v. Bertrand, 403 F.3d 859, 863 (7th Cir. 2005). It “serves an interest in federal-state comity by giving state courts the first opportunity to address and correct potential violations of a prisoner’s federal rights.” Perruquet v. Briley, 390 F.3d 505, 513 (7th Cir. 2004) (citing Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1972)). The exhaustion requirement therefore requires a state prisoner to give 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, 526 U.S. at 845; see also Bintz, 403 F.3d at 863; Lewis v. Sternes, 390 F.3d 1019, 1025 (7th Cir. 2004). Relevant here, it requires a petitioner to present each ...