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Bedwell v. State

United States District Court, D. Alaska

January 7, 2019

STATE OF ALASKA, Respondent.


          James K. Singleton, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

         On November 19, 2018, self-represented prisoner Timothy Bedwell filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging his February 2014 conviction after a jury trial in the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Case Number 4FA-12-02343CR.[1]Bedwell also attached a prisoner account statement to his filing.[2] Bedwell raises the following grounds for relief: 1) “lack of jurisdiction;” 2) “violation of due process;” 3) “deprivation of rights under color of law;” and 4) “fraud upon the court.” Federal law requires the Court to conduct the following preliminary review of this habeas petition.[3]

         Prior Petitions

          Prior to the current petition, on September 21, 2018, a party, claiming to hold Mr. Bedwell's power of attorney, filed a “Mandatory Writ of Habeas Corpus” on behalf of Mr. Bedwell.[4] This Court dismissed that petition without prejudice, because it was neither filed by Mr. Bedwell, nor filed by an attorney on his behalf.[5] Additionally, Mr. Bedwell had not exhausted his state remedies and his petition was filed on California state court forms.[6]

         On November 6, 2018, Bedwell filed another petition that was again filed by an individual that is neither Mr. Bedwell nor a licensed attorney and was written on California state court forms.[7] This Court also dismissed that petition without prejudice for those deficiencies as well as his failure to exhaust state remedies.[8] The Court takes judicial notice[9] of its prior orders in Bedwell v. State of Alaska, 3:18-cv-218-TMB at Docket 4, issued October 29, 2018, and Bedwell v. State of Alaska, 4:18-cv-37-RRB at Docket 6, issued November 16, 2018.

         Review of Mr. Bedwell's Petition

         Mr. Bedwell continues to have not exhausted his state remedies in regards to habeas corpus.[10] A search of the Alaska Court system reveals that the Alaska Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of conviction against Bedwell on May 16, 2018.[11] However, a search also shows that the Alaska Supreme Court still has not ruled on Mr. Bedwell's case, and it is not clear that Bedwell has filed a petition for review in the Alaska Supreme Court.[12] The Court takes judicial notice of the state court proceedings as well.[13]

         This Court could stay the Petition to allow Bedwell to complete state court review and satisfy the exhaustion requirement.[14] However, Bedwell has not requested that this Court stay and hold his Petition in abeyance. Moreover, the Supreme Court has held that it is an abuse of discretion to stay a petition pending exhaustion where: 1) the petitioner has not show good cause for failing to exhaust all available state court remedies; and 2) the unexhausted claim is “plainly meritless.”[15] Even if Bedwell had fully exhausted the claims in the instant Petition, he would not be entitled to relief on the unsupported claims and requests for relief raised in it. Bedwell's Petition recites, for the most part without facts or elaboration, phrases such as “lack of jurisdiction, ” “non valid warrant, ” “non valid stamp, ” “kidnapping, traffic[k]ing in persons, unlawful conversion, unlawful conveyance, unlawful concealment, misappropriations, involuntary servitude, barratry, conspiracy, attempted murder, def[a]mation of character, mistaken identity, col[l]usion, ” “fraud upon the court, ” “jury tampering, conspiracy, bribery, coer[c]ion, void orders/judgement.”[16]

         Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases states that the petition must “specify all grounds for relief available to the petitioner [and] state the facts supporting each ground.” Here, Bedwell fails to articulate his claims or cite facts that would support an inference that his federal constitutional rights may have been violated. Likewise, the Petition refers to an attached document for elaboration, yet Bedwell attached only his prisoner account statement to the Petition.

         This Court would have to engage in a tenuous analysis in order to attempt to identify the claims in the Petition. Although pro se habeas filings must be construed liberally, [17] such leniency should not place on the reviewing court the entire onus of ferreting out grounds for relief, and “[c]onclusory allegations which are not supported by a statement of specific facts do not warrant habeas relief.”[18] Facts must be stated in the petition with sufficient detail to enable the Court to determine, from the face of the petition, whether further habeas corpus review is warranted. Moreover, the allegations should be sufficiently specific to permit the respondent to assert appropriate objections and defenses.[19] The lack of particularity thus bars any meaningful review and consideration in federal court, independent of Bedwell's failure to fairly present the claims to the state courts. To the extent Mr. Bedwell chooses, after he has exhausted his claims in state court, to file another § 2254, he should be mindful of the pleading requirements on federal habeas review.

         For the aforementioned reasons, this petition must be dismissed.


         1. This case is DISMISSED without prejudice. Mr. Bedwell may file a timely new habeas petition in this Court after all federal claims that he seeks to raise have been exhausted in the state courts by presentation first to the Alaska Superior Court and then, if Mr. Bedwell disagrees with that result, to the Alaska Court of Appeals, and ...

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