United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
T. SCHULTZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Blain Warren
Landin's Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of
Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody, ECF No. 1
(Petition). For the reasons provided below, the Court
recommends denying the Petition and dismissing this action
is presently serving two concurrent sentences: (1) a 78-month
term resulting from his pleading guilty to one count of
possessing 6 grams or more of mixtures containing cocaine,
heroin, or methamphetamine; and (2) a 45-month term arising
from his pleading guilty to possessing a firearm or
ammunition following a conviction for a crime of violence.
See Register of Actions, State v. Landin,
No. 46-CR-13-667 (concerning drug-possession conviction)
(Landin I Docket), available at
http://pa.courts .state.mn.us (last accessed June 18, 2019);
Register of Actions, State v. Landin, No.
46-CR-17-60 (concerning conviction for possessing firearm or
ammunition after crime-of-violence conviction) (Landin
II Docket), available at
http://pa.courts.state.mn.us (last accessed June 18, 2019).
His present anticipated release date is in March 2021.
See Minn. Dep't of Corrs., Offender
Locator-Blain Warren Landin, available at https://
coms.doc.state.mn.us (last accessed June 18, 2019).
Court received and filed the Petition on May 28, 2019.
See Pet. 1. It states one ground for relief: Landin
seeks a reduction of his sentence, asserting that he has been
a “model inmate, ” that he wants to be a
productive member of the community, and that he would like to
be able to help his father (who is ill). Id. at 6.
Court sympathizes with Landin, but this Court is not an
appropriate forum for Landin's request, at least not in
the first instance. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A), a
§ 2254 petition “shall not be granted unless it
appears that . . . the applicant has exhausted the remedies
available in the courts of the State.” The U.S. Supreme
Court has explained this requirement as follows:
Before seeking a federal writ of habeas corpus, a state
prisoner must exhaust available state remedies, thereby
giving the State the opportunity to pass upon and correct
alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights. To
provide the State with the necessary opportunity, the
prisoner must fairly present his claim in each appropriate
state court (including a state supreme court with powers of
discretionary review), thereby alerting that court to the
federal nature of the claim.
Baldwin v. Reese, 541 U.S. 27, 29 (2004) (internal
citations and quotation marks omitted); see also,
e.g., Nash v. Russell, 807 F.3d 892, 898 (8th
Cir. 2015) (quoting Baldwin). A claim has been
“fairly presented” to the state courts if
“the state court rules on the merits of [the
petitioner's] claims, or if he presents his claims in a
manner that entitles him to a ruling on the merits.”
Gentry v. Lansdown, 175 F.3d 1082, 1083 (8th Cir.
1999) (citing Castille v. Peoples, 489 U.S. 346, 351
(1989)). In Minnesota, fair presentation requires
presentation to the Minnesota Supreme Court. See,
e.g., Latimer v. Smith, 351 F.Supp.3d 1218,
1224 (D. Minn. 2018).
the Court can tell from the Petition and state-court records
of Landin's convictions, Landin has not brought his
request for a sentence reduction to the Minnesota state
courts in any fashion, much less gone through the mechanisms
needed to exhaust his state-court remedies. See Pet.
4-6; Landin I Docket; Landin II Docket. As
a result, § 2254(b)(1)(A) bars this court from granting
the Petition. The Court thus recommends denying the
Petition and dismissing this action without prejudice.
§ 2254 habeas corpus petitioner cannot appeal an adverse
ruling on his petition unless he is granted a certificate of
appealability (COA). See 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(1)(A). A COA cannot be granted unless the petitioner
“has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.” Id. § 2253(c)(2).
To make such a showing, “[t]he petitioner must
demonstrate that reasonable jurists would find the district
court's assessment of the constitutional claims debatable
or wrong.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473,
484 (2000). In this case, it is highly unlikely that any
other court, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Eighth Circuit, would treat the Petition differently than it
is being treated here. Landin has not identified, and this
Court cannot discern, anything novel, noteworthy, or
worrisome about this case that warrants appellate review. It
is therefore recommended that Landin not be granted a COA in
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED
Petitioner Blain Warren Landin's Petition Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State
Custody, ECF No. 1, be DENIED;
action be DISMISSED ...