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Morgan v. Javois

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

April 8, 2019

REGINALD A. MORGAN, Petitioner,
v.
LAURENT JAVOIS, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN A ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on petitioner Reginald A. Morgan's response to the Court's March 15, 2019 order to show cause. (Docket No. 8). The Court had ordered petitioner to show cause why his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition should not be dismissed for untimeliness and for failure to exhaust state remedies. Having carefully reviewed petitioner's response, and for the reasons discussed below, the Court must dismiss this action as time-barred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244 and because petitioner has failed to demonstrate exhaustion.

         Background[1]

         In 1992, petitioner was charged in Missouri state court with first degree assault, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon. The charges stemmed from petitioner's stabbing of his nephew with a butcher knife. In March of 1994, petitioner was acquitted on the ground of mental disease or defect excluding responsibility.[2] He was thereafter committed to the custody of Missouri's Director of Mental Health. The Court ordered that petitioner was not to be released except in accordance with statutory procedures and court approval. He has been in psychiatric care since that time.

         Over the years, petitioner has applied for relief from the federal courts numerous times, seeking release on various grounds. His petitions have all been dismissed.

         In Morgan v. Javois, No. 4:05-cv-263-HEA (E.D. Mo. Sept. 20, 2005), the Court determined that petitioner's § 2254 petition was untimely as to the original 1994 commitment order. The Court further found that petitioner had failed to exhaust his state remedies. The petition was dismissed and petitioner did not appeal.

         In Morgan v. Javois, No. 4:08-cv-1601-TIA (E.D. Mo. Aug. 24, 2011), the Court dismissed petitioner's § 2254 petition as successive. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately determined that petitioner's petition was not successive. Morgan v. Javois, 744 F.3d 535, 538 (8th Cir. 2013). However, the Court of Appeals noted that petitioner's procedural default in state court barred federal habeas review, absent a showing of "cause and prejudice or a miscarriage of justice." Id. Petitioner failed to make such a showing and the dismissal was affirmed. Id. at 539. The United States Supreme Court denied petitioner's petition for writ of certiorari. Morgan v. Javois, 572 U.S. 1065 (2014).

         In Morgan v. Javois, No. 4:14-cv-150-JMB (E.D. Mo. Nov. 5, 2015), the Court determined that petitioner had exhausted his state court remedies and that his petition was not second or successive. The Court, however, noted that petitioner had procedurally defaulted his federal claim because he did not comply with the procedural requirements of the Missouri Court of Appeals. The Court further found that petitioner made no attempt to show cause for failing to comply with the state court rules. The petition was dismissed. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on November 13, 2015. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied petitioner's application for a certificate of appealability and dismissed the appeal. Morgan v. Javois, No. 15-3683 (8th Cir. 2016).

         In Morgan v. Javois, No. 4:16-cv-1459-RLW (E.D. Mo. Sept. 26, 2016), the Court noted that petitioner had submitted an incomplete petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to § 2254. Petitioner was ordered to complete the form in its entirety and return it to the Court. He failed to comply and the Court dismissed his petition for failure to prosecute on October 18, 2016. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on October 24, 2016. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied petitioner's application for a certificate of appealability and dismissed the appeal. Morgan v. Javois, No. 16-4129 (8th Cir. 2017).

         Finally, in Morgan v. Javois, No. 4:17-cv-1640-SPM (E.D. Mo. Sept. 28, 2017), the Court determined that to the extent that petitioner was challenging his 1994 state court judgment, his petition was successive and untimely. The Court also determined that to the extent petitioner was attempting to seek conditional or unconditional release, his petition was subject to dismissal due to his failure to exhaust state remedies. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on October 4, 2017. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied petitioner's application for a certificate of appealability and dismissed the appeal. Morgan v. Javois, No. 17-3258 (8th Cir. 2018).

         The Petition

         Petitioner is currently being held at the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center in St. Louis, Missouri, pursuant to a civil commitment. The petition in the instant case was filed on October 12, 2018, the day petitioner placed it into the institution's mailing system.[3] Petitioner asserts a single ground for relief, challenging the legality of his 1994 state court judgment. Specifically, he appears to be asserting that his attorney was ineffective for entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. (Docket No. 1 at 4). Petitioner writes: "The public defender entered a not guilty plea due [to] my nephew being stabbed by me after he stabbed me (3) times -.domestic fight." Petitioner provides no further grounds for relief and does not allege that he has recovered his sanity or that he is no longer ill or dangerous.

         Order to Show Cause

         On March 15, 2019, the Court ordered petitioner to show cause why his case should not be summarily dismissed. (Docket No. 7). The Court noted that petitioner's action as to the original commitment appeared to be time-barred under § 2244. The Court further noted that it could find no record of a recently-filed challenge to his confinement in state court, such that this action might be timely. ...


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