United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Michael Reeves brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254 in order to challenge his 2007
convictions in Massac County, Illinois (Case No. 00-CF-91).
(Doc. 1). This matter is now before the Court for a
preliminary review of the § 2254 Petition pursuant to
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in United
States District Courts. Rule 4 provides that upon preliminary
consideration by the district court judge, “[i]f it
plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits
that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district
court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the
clerk to notify the petitioner.” After carefully
reviewing the § 2254 Petition, the Court concludes that
it warrants further review.
December 14, 2007, Reeves was convicted in Massac County of 1
count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, 1 count of
aggravated kidnapping, and 2 counts of criminal sexual
assault. (Doc. 1, p. 1). On March 22, 2008, he was sentenced
to 52 years of imprisonment, including consecutive sentences
of 22 years, 18 years, 6 years, and 6 years, respectively.
Id. Reeves is currently serving his sentence at
Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”).
seeks to overturn his conviction on five separate grounds
related to the ineffective assistance of his counsel and the
denial of a fair trial. (Doc. 1, pp. 9-20). This is neither
the first time that Reeves has attempted to bring a federal
habeas action in this District, nor the first time that he
has asserted these grounds for relief. See also Reeves v.
Rednour, No. 10-cv-00869-DRH-DGW (S.D. Ill. 2010)
(“First Petition”); Reeves v. Atchison,
No. 12-cv-00630-DRH (S.D. Ill. 2012) (“Second
Petition”). With one exception, the prior habeas
petitions were dismissed without prejudice because of
Reeves' failure to exhaust state court remedies before
pursuing federal habeas relief. Reeves v. Rednour,
No. 10-cv-00869-DRH-DGW (S.D. Ill. 2010) (dismissed entire
petition without prejudice for failure to exhaust state court
remedies on Dec. 21, 2011); Reeves v. Atchison, No.
12-cv-00630-DRH (S.D. Ill. 2012) (dismissed Grounds 1-7 and
9-12 without prejudice for failure to exhaust state court
remedies on Aug. 28, 2012). To the extent he reasserts these
grounds for relief, Petitioner indicates that he has now
exhausted his state court remedies.
Court notes a single exception. Reeves was already allowed to
proceed with one challenge to his Massac County convictions
in his Second Petition, i.e. Ground 8. Reeves v.
Atchison, No. 12-cv-00630-DRH (S.D. Ill. 2012) (Doc. 4).
This Court considered Ground 8, a claim that Reeves was
denied a speedy trial. However, the Court ultimately entered
an order dismissing the claim with prejudice on January 6,
2014. Reeves v. Atchison, No. 12-cv-00630-DRH (S.D.
Ill. 2012) (Doc. 20). In the same Order, the Court declined
to issue Reeves a certificate of appealability. Id.
The Court will not revisit this decision.
being said, the Court finds that further review of this
matter is warranted. Respondent will be ordered to answer the
§ 2254 Petition or otherwise file a responsive pleading.
This Order should not be construed as a decision regarding
the merits of any particular claim asserted in the §
2254 Petition. In addition, the Order does not preclude the
Government from making whatever argument it wishes to
present, be it waiver, exhaustion, forfeiture, timeliness,
etc. See, e.g., 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b)-(c); O'Sullivan v. Bourke, 526 U.S. 838,
839 (1999); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275
(1971); Urawa v. Jordan, 146 F.3d 435, 440 (7th Cir.
closing note, it has come to the Court's attention that
Jacqueline Lashbrook has replaced Jeffrey Hutchinson as the
Warden of Menard. The proper respondent is the warden of the
facility where the prisoner is being held. See Rule
2(a) of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United
States District Courts. Reeves is still housed at Menard. In
accordance with Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and Rule 25 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, Jeffrey Hutchinson will be dismissed and replaced
with Jacqueline Lashbrook as the Respondent in this action.
Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 3) shall be REFERRED to
United States Magistrate Judge CLIFFORD J. PROUD for a
Motion to Supplement Writ of Habeas Corpus with Memorandum of
Law and Exhibits (Doc. 6) is GRANTED. Although the Court does
not normally accept piecemeal amendments to the Petition, the
request was made early in the case. The Clerk shall be
directed to refile the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
(Doc. 1, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, and 1-4), along with the Supplement
(Doc. 6), as the “First Amended Petition” in
Clerk is directed to REFILE the Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus (Doc. 1, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, and 1-4) and Supplement (Doc.
6) together as the “First Amended Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254” in
HEREBY ORDERED that Respondent JEFFREY HUTCHINSON, the state
official who had custody of Reeves at the time of filing, is
no longer Warden of Menard Correctional Center and is
therefore DISMISSED from this action. In his place, the Clerk
is directed to ADD Respondent JACQUELINE ...