United States District Court, D. Idaho
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER AND ORDER OF
E. BUSH CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Lloyd Hardin McNeil has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus challenging his Idaho state court convictions. (Dkt.
1.) The Court now reviews the Petition to determine whether
it is subject to summary dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2243 and Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases (“Habeas Rules”).
Standard of Law
habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is available
to petitioners who show that they are held in custody under a
state court judgment and that such custody violates the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). The Court is required
to review a habeas corpus petition upon receipt to determine
whether it is subject to summary dismissal. Habeas Rule 4.
Summary dismissal is appropriate where “it plainly
appears from the face of the petition and any attached
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the
district court.” Id.
Review of Petition
a jury trial in the Fourth Judicial District Court in Ada
County, Idaho, Petitioner was convicted of voluntary
manslaughter, first-degree arson, and grand theft. The
judgment of conviction was entered on April 16, 2012.
Petitioner received a unified sentence of 54 years in prison
with 25 years fixed. Petitioner pursued a direct appeal, as
well as state post-conviction relief. Dkt. 13 at 1-5.
Petitioner's post-conviction proceedings remain pending
before the Idaho Supreme Court. Id. at 5.
appears from the face of the Petition that at least some of
Petitioner's claims are unexhausted and, therefore,
potentially subject to dismissal. A habeas petitioner must
exhaust his remedies in the state courts before a federal
court can grant relief on constitutional claims.
O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842
(1999). This means that the petitioner must invoke one
complete round of the state's established appellate
review process, fairly presenting all constitutional claims
to the state courts so they have a full and fair opportunity
to correct alleged constitutional errors at each level of
appellate review. Id. at 845. In a state that has
the possibility of discretionary review in the highest
appellate court, like Idaho, the petitioner must have
presented all of his federal claims in at least a petition
seeking review before that court. Id. at 847.
Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 277 (2005), the Court
determined that federal district courts have discretion to
stay a mixed habeas petition containing exhausted and
unexhausted claims to allow the petitioner to present his
unexhausted claims to the state court and then to return to
federal court for review of his perfected petition. In
determining whether to exercise discretion to grant a stay, a
district court should consider whether the petitioner had
good cause for his failure to exhaust, whether his
unexhausted claims are potentially meritorious, and whether
there is any indication that the petitioner engaged in
intentionally dilatory litigation tactics. Id. at
277-78. Although the Rhines case involved a mixed
petition (one that includes both exhausted and unexhausted
claims), the Ninth Circuit has extended Rhines and
determined that “a district court may stay a petition
that raises only unexhausted claims.” Mena
v. Long, 813 F.3d 907, 908 (9th Cir. 2016).
post-conviction petition remains pending in the Idaho Supreme
Court, and he has not requested a Rhines stay.
Therefore, this case is subject to dismissal without
prejudice. If Petitioner intends to file a motion to stay,
Petitioner must do so within 28 days after entry of this
TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
has requested in forma pauperis status. Good cause appearing,
Petitioner's Application shall be granted, which allows
Petitioner to pay the filing fee when and as Petitioner can
afford to do so, rather than at the time of filing.
Petitioner is ordered to pay the $5.00 filing fee when
Petitioner next receives funds in Petitioner's prison
Petitioner's Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
(Dkt. 1) is GRANTED. Petitioner must pay the $5.00 filing fee
when he ...