Michigan Court Explains When the Stay of a Habeas Corpus Petition is Appropriate

Just because a person is convicted of a crime does not mean that they no longer have any recourse. Instead, there are often numerous avenues a party can explore in search of a favorable outcome. For example, a person who believes they are being unlawfully detained in prison can file a petition for habeas corpus. While typically, a prisoner will want to obtain a resolution to a habeas corpus case as soon as possible, in some instances, it may be prudent for them to seek a stay while other claims are pending. This was illustrated in a recent ruling issued by a Michigan federal court in which it found that a stay was appropriate until the prisoner’s petitions for remedies in state court were resolved. If you are charged with a criminal offense, it is smart to speak to a Michigan criminal defense attorney about your options for seeking a just result.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the prisoner filed a habeas corpus petition in which he challenged his plea-based assault and weapons offense convictions. In part, he asserted that the state trial court committed an abuse of discretion when it denied his motion to withdraw his plea of no contest. The court ordered the state to file a response to the prisoner’s petition, but before the state responded, the prisoner moved for a stay of proceedings and to have his petition in abeyance so that he could exhaust his state remedies with regard to four other claims.

Grounds for Granting a Stay and Abeyance

The court ultimately found that a stay was appropriate and granted the prisoner’s motion. The court explained that the doctrine of exhaustion of state remedies requires that state prisoners allow the state courts to respond to their claims before they present the claims to a federal court via a habeas corpus petition. This obligation is satisfied if the prisoner invokes a complete round of the state’s process if appellate review, which includes a request for a discretionary review if that is part of the typically appellate procedure in the state.

To adequately exhaust their claims, prisoners must present the legal and factual basis for each claim to a state court of appeals and state supreme court before raising such claims in a habeas corpus petition. Here, the court found that as the petitioner was still pursuing his state remedies, a stay was appropriate.

Meet with a Skilled Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal defendants have numerous rights that arise at the time of the initial investigation and continue until well after they are convicted. If you are charged with the crime and have questions about your rights or potential defenses, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer, and if you engage his services, he will set forth persuasive arguments on your behalf to provide you with a strong chance of a successful outcome. You can reach Mr. Bernstein through the form online or by calling (734) 883-9584 to set up a meeting.

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