United States District Court, D. Maryland
Catherine C. Blake United States District Judge.
Deangleo Dingle, a state inmate, seeks to attack his 2018
convictions for possession of narcotics and a firearm offense
entered in the Circuit Court for Cecil County. Pet., ECF 1.
In a limited answer, respondent argues that the
petitioner's claims are unexhausted and/or procedurally
defaulted. Limited Answer, ECF 7. Mr. Dingle has not filed a
reply. After reviewing these papers, I find no need for an
evidentiary hearing., See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts;
see also 28 U.S.C. 2254(e)(2). For reasons set forth
herein, the Petition will be denied without prejudice.
15, 2017, Mr. Dingle pled guilty in the Circuit Court for
Cecil County to possession of narcotics with intent to
distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Circuit Ct. Case Summ., ECF 7-1 at 7. He was sentenced on
January 16, 2018, to a 20-year term of confinement, with all
but seven years suspended. Id. at 10. He did not
file an application for leave to appeal his conviction, nor
has he instituted state post-conviction proceedings. See
Id. at 14.
this court may consider the merits of claims raised under 28
U.S.C. § 2254, which challenge the validity of a state
court conviction, those claims must be exhausted before the
state courts. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) and (c);
see also Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 491-92
(1973). This exhaustion requirement is satisfied by seeking
review of the claim in the highest state court with
jurisdiction to consider it. For a person convicted of a
criminal offense in Maryland this may be accomplished either
on direct appeal or in post-conviction proceedings.
exhaust a claim on direct appeal, it must be raised in an
appeal, if one is permitted, to the Maryland Court of Special
Appeals and then to the Maryland Court of Appeals by way of a
Petition for Writ of Certiorari. See Md. Code Ann.,
Cts. & Jud. Proc, § 12-201 and § 12-301. If an
appeal of right is not permitted, as in Mr. Dingle's case
where a guilty plea is entered, exhaustion can be
accomplished by filing an application for leave to appeal to
the Court of Special Appeals. See Md. Code Ann.,
Cts. & Jud. Proc, § 12-302(e)(2). If the Court of
Special Appeals denies the application, there is no further
review available and the claim is exhausted. See Md.
Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc, § 12-202. However, if
the application is granted but relief on the merits of the
claim is denied, Mr. Dingle must file a Petition for Writ of
Certiorari to the Maryland Court of Appeals. See Williams
v. State, 292 Md. 201, 210-11 (1981).
Mr. Dingle must also avail himself of state post-conviction
proceedings for claims that are not appropriate for relief on
direct appeal. To exhaust a claim through postconviction
proceedings, it must be raised in a petition filed in the
Circuit Court where Mr. Dingle was convicted and, if
unsuccessful, must also be raised in an application for leave
to appeal to the Court of Special Appeals. See Md.
Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 7-109. If the Court of Special
Appeals denies the application, there is no further review
available and the claim is exhausted. See Md. Code
Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 12-202. However, if the
application is granted but relief on the merits of the claim
is denied, the petitioner must file a petition for writ of
certiorari to the Court of Appeals. See Williams,
292 Md. at 210-11.
Dingle must also comply with a one-year filing deadline to
file a petition with this Court following exhaustion of his
claims. Mr. Dingle is forewarned that the one-year filing
deadline begins to run on the date his conviction is final.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The one-year period is
"tolled" during the time a properly filed
post-conviction petition is pending in state court. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(2). This means that until a properly filed
post-conviction petition is filed, the one-year time
limitation for federal habeas corpus continues to run. Once
postconviction proceedings are completed through state court
appellate review, whatever time is left on the one-year time
limit is the period of time Mr. Dingle has to seek federal
habeas corpus review. Given these constraints, the instant
petition will be dismissed without prejudice to accord Mr.
Dingle adequate time and notice to comply with both the
exhaustion and filing deadline requirements.
district court dismisses a habeas petition solely on
procedural grounds, a certificate of appealability ("CO
A") 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 reason would find it debatable whether the
district court was correct in its procedural
ruling.'" Rouse v. Lee,252 F.3d 676, 684
(4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S.
473, 484 (2000)). A litigant seeking a COA must demonstrate
that a procedural ruling barring relief is itself debatable
among jurists of reason; otherwise, the appeal would not
"deserve encouragement to proceed further." See
Buck v. Davis,137 S.Ct. 759, 777 (2017) (quoting
Slack, 529 U.S. at 484). Denial of a COA does not
preclude a petitioner from seeking permission to file ...