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Michael v. Morgan

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division

November 25, 2014

MICHAEL MOMENT, #371-430 Petitioner,
v.
JOSEPH P. MORGAN, Warden, et al. Respondents.

MEMORANDUM

WILLIAM D. QURLES, Jr., District Judge.

Respondents' seek dismissal of this 28 U.S.C. § 2254[1] petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, arguing that the claims presented are not cognizable on federal habeas review and have not been exhausted by fully presenting each claim to the state courts. ECF No. 5. Petitioner Michael Moment, pro se, has filed an opposition. ECF No. 7. No hearing is necessary. Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the following reasons, the Court will dismiss the Petition without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and deny a Certificate of Appealability.[2]

I. Background

In August 2011, a jury sitting in the Circuit for Montgomery County convicted Moment of multiple counts of intimidating or corrupting an officer of the court and threatening a state official. ECF Nos. 5, 5-1, 5-2, 5-5. On November 7, 2011, the Circuit Court sentenced Moment to serve five years of incarceration, to be followed by five years of probations. See id.

Moment filed a direct appeal to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, requesting review of three claims:

1. Did the trial court err in failing to conduct a competency evaluation as required by statute?
2. Did the trial court commit plain error by allowing the State to repeatedly elicit and introduce prejudicial and inadmissible evidence throughout the trial?
3. Was the evidence legally insufficient to support Appellant's convictions?

ECF Nos. 5, 5-2 at 2; see also ECF Nos. 5-3, 5-4, 5-5.

By an August 19, 2013 unreported opinion, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed the judgment of conviction. ECF No. 5-5. On March 27, 2014, the Court of Appeals of Maryland granted Moment's Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, and the matter was remanded to the Court of Special Appeals for further consideration. See id. On May 12, 2014, the Court of Special Appeals issued a second opinion affirming Moment's judgment of conviction. Id. Moment's appellate counsel filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, asking the Court of Appeals to review the intermediate appellate court's resolution of the competency question. ECF No. 5-6. In a separately filed pro se petition, Moment asked the Court of Appeals to review issues not previously raised in his direct appeal. Id. On August 28, 2014, both requests for further review were denied. Id.

On March 5, 2012, Moment initiated post-conviction proceedings in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. ECF No. 5-1, Docket Entry 169. Moment states in his § 2254 Petition that he has raised the following claims in his Petition for State Post-Conviction relief: 1) the prosecution and the trial judge did not have jurisdiction over his case, and 2) the prosecution tampered with evidence to obtain his conviction. ECF No. 1 at 4.

In August 2012, the Circuit Court for Montgomery County transferred venue to the Circuit Court for Prince George's County for hearing purposes. ECF No. 5-1, Docket Entries 173, 183. On September 10, 2014, the defense requested a hearing in the case. Reference to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website indicates a hearing date has yet to be scheduled.[3] ECF No. 1 at 4.

II. Analysis

A. Cognizability of ...


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