United States District Court, D. Maryland
November 19, 2014
TAVON MEALY, #406970 Petitioner,
FRANK B. BISHOP and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND Respondents.
RICHARD D. BENNETT, District Judge.
On November 14, 2014, the Clerk received the instant case filed on a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas form. Petitioner Tavon Mealy (hereinafter referred to as "Mealy"), a state inmate confined at the North Branch Correctional Institution, seemingly states that he was convicted of a non-violent offense and as he was previously released and convicted of a new crime the "old and new sentences [should] never aggregate..." He claims that his sentence is incorrectly calculated under Maryland case law,  that he should be receiving additional credits against his sentence, and that the "Rule of Lenity" is implicated and requires resolution in his favor. ECF No. 1. Mealy challenges the execution of his sentence. Because he appears indigent, his Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis shall be granted.
Federal law is clear that a state prisoner must exhaust available state court remedies as to each and every ground upon which he claims entitlement to habeas relief whether pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 or § 2254(b). See Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973). Dickerson v. Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 225 (5th Cir. 1987); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509 (1982). A total exhaustion rule promotes comity and such a rule does not unreasonably impair a prisoner's right to relief. Rose, 455 U.S. at 523. This consolidated matter must be dismissed because there is no evidence that Mealy has exhausted available state court remedies. See Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973).
A prisoner challenging the DOC's failure to calculate properly his good time credits and/or release date has two possible avenues for relief in the state courts. Regardless of whether he believes he is entitled to an immediate release, a prisoner may challenge the calculation of his sentences and/or diminution credits through administrative proceedings by:
1. Filing a request under the administrative remedy procedure, Division of Correction Directive 185-001 et seq., to the Warden of the institution where he is confined;
2. Appealing a denial of the request by the Warden to the Commissioner;
3. Filing a complaint with the Inmate Grievance Office, ("IGO");
4. Appealing a final decision of the IGO to the Circuit Court; and
5) Filing an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Special Appeals from the decision of the Circuit Court. If the Court of Special Appeals grants the application for leave to appeal, but denies relief on the merits, a prisoner must then seek certiorari to the Court of Appeals.
A prisoner claiming an entitlement to an immediate release can also seek relief directly from the state courts by:
1. Filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus in a Circuit Court;
2. Appealing a decision by the Circuit Court to the Court of Special Appeals; and
3. Seeking certiorari to the Court of Appeals from a decision by the Court of Special Appeals.
Petitioner has failed to show that he has fully utilized either of these procedures. Therefore, his consolidated Petition for writ of habeas corpus shall be dismissed without prejudice for the failure to exhaust available state court remedies. A separate Order follows.