United States District Court, D. Maryland
EUGENE D. LOUDERMILL, Petitioner,
STATE OF MARYLAND, Respondent.
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner Eugene D.
Loudermill’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) (ECF No. 1).
Loudermill challenges his conviction in the Circuit Court for
Anne Arundel County, Maryland for possession of cocaine with
the intent to distribute. Respondent State of Maryland,
through counsel, moves to dismiss the Petition for failure to
exhaustion state court remedies. (ECF No. 3). The Court
granted Loudermill additional time to reply (ECF No. 4), but
has not done so. No hearing is necessary. See Local
Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons that follow, the
Court will dismiss the Petition without prejudice for lack of
December 2014, Loudermill was found guilty of possession of
cocaine with the intent to distribute. (ECF No. 1). He was
sentenced to ten years of incarceration. (Id.).
Loudermill did not appeal the judgment or file a petition for
post-conviction relief. (ECF No. 3-1).
filed the present Petition for federal habeas corpus relief
on October 19, 2015. (ECF No. 1). He claims he is improperly
in state custody because his trial counsel was ineffective,
the evidence introduced against him at trial was
insufficient, and the prosecutor committed prosecutorial
exhaustion in state court precludes federal habeas relief.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A) (“An
application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person
in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall
not be granted unless it appears that . . . the applicant has
exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State .
. . .”). The exhaustion requirement “is rooted in
considerations of federal-state comity, ” and in
Congressional determination via federal habeas laws
“that exhaustion of adequate state remedies will
‘best serve the policies of federalism.’”
Slavek v. Hinkle, 359 F.Supp.2d 473, 479 (E.D.Va.
2005) (quoting Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475,
491-92 & n.10 (1973)). The purpose of the exhaustion
requirement is “to give the State an initial
opportunity to pass upon and correct alleged violations of
its prisoners’ federal rights.” Picard v.
Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1971) (quoting Wilwording
v. Swenson, 404 U.S. 249, 250 (1971)).
has two requirements. First, the petitioner must utilize
“all available state remedies before he can apply for
federal habeas relief.” Breard v. Pruett, 134
F.3d 615, 619 (4th Cir. 1998) (citing Matthews v.
Evatt, 105 F.3d 907, 910-11 (4th Cir. 1997)). A habeas
petitioner “shall not be deemed to have exhausted the
remedies available in the courts of the State . . . if he has
the right under the law of the State to raise, by any
available procedure, the question presented.” 28 U.S.C.
the petitioner must afford state courts an adequate
opportunity to address the precise constitutional claims
advanced in the federal habeas petition. “To provide
the State with the necessary ‘opportunity, ’ the
prisoner must ‘fairly present’ his claim 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) (quoting Duncan v.
Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365-66 (1995)). The petitioner must
seek review in the highest state court with jurisdiction to
consider the claim. See O'Sullivan v.
Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999); 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b) and (c). In Maryland, this is accomplished
by raising certain claims on direct appeal and by way of
post-conviction proceedings. See Matthews, 105 F.3d
at 911; Spencer v. Murray, 18 F.3d 237, 239 (4th
exhaust a claim on direct appeal in non-capital cases, a
petitioner must appeal to the Maryland Court of Special
Appeals (“COSA”) and then to the Maryland Court
of Appeals by way of a petition for writ of certiorari.
See Md.Code Ann., Cts. & Jud.Proc.
(“CJP”) §§ 12-201, 12-301 (West 2016).
To exhaust a claim through post-conviction proceedings, a
petitioner must file a petition in the Circuit Court and an
application for leave to appeal to COSA. Md.Code Ann.,
Crim.Proc. § 7-109 (West 2016). If COSA denies the
application, there is no further review available and the
claim is exhausted. CJP § 12-202.
Loudermill has failed to exhaust his claims in state court
through direct appeal and post-conviction proceedings.
Accordingly, the Court will dismiss his Petition without
Certificate of Appealability (COA) “may issue ... only
if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial
of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(2). To make such a showing, the petitioner
“must demonstrate that reasonable jurists would find
the district court's assessment of the constitutional
claims debatable or wrong, ” Tennard v.
Dretke, 542 U.S. 274, 282 (2004) (quoting Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)), or that “the
issues presented were ‘adequate to deserve
encouragement to proceed further, ’”
Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003)
(quoting Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 n.4
(1983)). Where, as here, a district court dismisses a habeas
petition solely on procedural grounds, a COA will not issue
unless the petitioner can demonstrate both “(1)
‘that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether
the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a
constitutional right’ and (2) ‘that jurists of