United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm, United States District Judge.
April 22, 2019, Altee Rice filed the instant 28 U.S.C. §
2254 habeas corpus petition challenging the Maryland Division
of Corrections' computation of his 2017 sentence for
illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a handgun, reckless
endangerment, possession of a controlled dangerous substance,
and manufacturing, distribution, possession, or possession
with intent to distribute entered by the Circuit Court for
Prince George's County, Maryland. ECF 1. Respondents
filed an Answer indicating, among other things, that the
Petition must be dismissed for failure to exhaust state court
remedies. ECF 4. Rice did not reply. For the reasons to
follow, the Petition will be denied and dismissed without
September 12, 2017, Petitioner received the following
sentences in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County
in Case No. CT 150920X:
Count Four, illegal possession of a regulated firearm: five
year term of confinement, with all but four years suspended;
Count Five, carrying a handgun: three year term of
confinement to be served concurrent to Count Four;
Count Six, reckless endangerment: five year term of
confinement with all but four years suspended to run
concurrent to Count Five;
Count Seven, possession of a controlled dangerous substance:
four year term of confinement to run concurrent to Count Six;
Count Eight, manufacturing, distribution, possession, or
possession with intent to distribute: eight year term of
confinement, with all but five years suspended, to run
concurrent to Count Six
ECF 4-1, p. 2.
court credited Petitioner one year, 274 days for time served
and directed that all sentences were to commence on December
15, 2015. Id. The commitment record dated September
25, 2017 mistakenly indicated, "The total time to be
served is: 4 years to begin on 15-Dec-2015."
Id. Petitioner's sentences resulted in a maximum
expiration date of December 15, 2020. ECF 4-2; see
also Md. Code Ann., Corr. Servs. § 3-701(2)(i)
(defining term of confinement); Md. Code Reg.
12.02.06.01.B.12 (defining maximum expiration date).
November 15, 2017, the Circuit Court for Prince George's
County issued an amended commitment order correcting the
error in the September 25, 2017 Commitment Order to reflect
that Petitioner's time to be served was five years. ECF
4-3, p. 3; ECF 4-1, p. 2 (Count Eight -sentence to eight
years with all but five years suspended). The amended
commitment order did not change Petitioner's maximum
expiration date. ECF 4-4, p. 2.
Rice has presented a federal question here, his Petition is
subject to the exhaustion requirement of 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b). Under § 2254, before seeking federal habeas
corpus relief, Rice must exhaust each claim presented by
pursuing remedies available in state court. See Rose v.
Lurufy, 455 U.S. 509, 521 (1982). Each claim must be
fairly presented to the state courts; this means presenting
both the operative facts and controlling legal principles.
See Baker v. Corcoran, 220 F.3d 276, 289 (4th Cir.
2000) (citations omitted). Exhaustion includes appellate
review in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and where
appropriate in the Maryland Court of Appeals. See
Granberry v. Greer, 481 U.S. 129, 134-35 (1987). This
exhaustion requirement affords the state courts the first
opportunity to review federal constitutional challenges to
state convictions in order to preserve the role of the state
courts in protecting federally guaranteed rights. See
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 491 (1973).
may challenge the calculation of his term of confinement by
pursuing both administrative and judicial remedies. He may
file a grievance with the Inmate Grievance Office
("IGO"). See generally Adamson v. Corr. Med.
Servs., Inc., 753 A.2d 501 (Md. 2000); Md. Code Ann.,
Corr. Servs. § 10-206(a). If the grievance is not found
wholly lacking in merit on its face, it is referred to the
Office of Administrative Hearings ("OAH") for a
hearing before an administrative law judge. Id. at
§ 10-207(c). An order of the OAH finding that an
inmate's complaint is lacking in merit constitutes the
final decision of the Secretary of Public Safety and
Correctional Services ("Secretary") for purposes of
judicial review. Id. at § 10-209(b)(1)(ii). If
the OAH finds that the grievance is meritorious, an order is
forwarded to the Secretary. The Secretary may affirm,
reverse, or modify the order of the OAH. Id. at
appeal of the Secretary's decision lies with the
"circuit court of the county in which the complainant is
confined." Id. at § 10-210(b)(2).
Petitioner may thereafter seek review in the Maryland Court
of Special Appeals by application for leave to appeal,
id. at § 10-210(c)(2), and, if the Maryland
Court of Special Appeals grants the application for leave to
appeal but denies relief on the merits, he may then seek
review in the Maryland Court of Appeals by petition for ...