United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JOHN ALBERT CASTEEL, also known as Tayr Kilaab al Ghashiyah, Petitioner,
BRIAN FOSTER and DANIEL J. GABLER, Respondents.
DECISION AND ORDER
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
John Albert Casteel, who is incarcerated at Waupun
Correctional Institution, a restricted filer, and also known
as Tayr Kilaab al Ghashiyah, filed a petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which has
since been recharacterized as a petition brought under §
2254. Currently before the court is a motion by Respondents
to dismiss the habeas petition as procedurally defaulted.
Petitioner also filed a motion requesting bail pending the
outcome of his habeas petition. For the reasons that follow,
Respondents’ motion to dismiss will be granted and
Petitioner’s motion for bail will be denied.
was convicted of armed robbery of two different banks on
separate occasions and in two different trials; he was
sentenced to fifty years in prison. See State v.
Casteel, 2001 WI App. 188, ¶ 1, 247 Wis.2d 451, 634
N.W.2d 338. Since his incarceration, Petitioner has filed
numerous motions and appeals challenging his convictions,
including at least thirteen sets of motions before the
circuit court challenging the robbery convictions alone.
Id. at ¶ 12. In his eighth appeal before the
Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the court dismissed his
arguments, as it had in each previous appeal, and concluded
that Petitioner knew or should have known his appeal was
“without any reasonable basis in law or equity”
and “not supported by a good faith argument for an
extension, modification or reversal of existing law.”
Id. at ¶ 19.
filed a writ of habeas corpus with this court on September
27, 2018. His petition was initially denied, but the judgment
was vacated and the case remanded by the United States Court
of Appeals for this court to resolve the ambiguity of whether
the Seventh Circuit’s 2009 sanction against Petitioner,
see Al Ghashiyah v. Huibregtse, No. 09-2775, slip
op. at 2 (7th Cir. Oct. 26, 2009), applies to the present
petition. Upon remand, the court determined that Petitioner
appeared to challenge the denial of an application for parole
rather than an underlying conviction, and directed
Respondents to file an answer or otherwise respond.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss the habeas petition as
application for parole was denied by the Wisconsin Department
of Corrections on October 25, 2017. Dkt. No. 50 at 2. In
denying Petitioner parole until at least March 2021, the
parole commission considered Petitioner’s: (1) 68 minor
and 76 major conduct reports during his incarceration; (2)
failure to return a completed release plan to his social
worker in advance of the parole hearing; and (3) “unmet
treatment needs, conduct issues, and a poor history of
community supervision” that continue to present an
“unreasonable risk.” Dkt. No. 2 at 3. Following
the denial of parole, Petitioner states he asked the
Wisconsin Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus on
January 3, 2018; the court denied review. Dkt. No. 1 at 22.
did not challenge his adverse parole decision before the
state courts in the manner and within the time prescribed by
statute. This is a procedural default that cannot be cured as
the time to bring such a claim has since expired; he cannot
return to the state courts to exhaust claims that are now
time-barred. Petitioner fails to provide any cause to warrant
a finding of prejudice that would otherwise excuse his
procedural default. For these reasons, Respondents’
motion to dismiss shall be granted.
Petitioner failed to present his constitutional claims in the
state court system before filing those
claims in his federal habeas petition
prisoners are required to “exhaust” the remedies
available to them in the state courts before a federal
district court will consider the merits of constitutional
claims in a federal habeas petition. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b)(1)(A); Dressler v. McCaughtry, 238 F.3d 908,
912 (7th Cir. 2001) (noting that if petitioner “either
failed to exhaust all available state remedies or raise all
claims before the state courts, his petition must be denied
without considering its merits”). A federal district
court cannot address the merits of the constitutional claims
raised in a federal habeas petition “unless the state
courts have had a full and fair opportunity to review
them.” Farrell v. Lane, 939 F.2d 409, 410 (7th
Cir. 1991) (citation omitted).
petitioner must raise his constitutional claims in state
court ‘to alert fairly the state court to the federal
nature of the claim and to permit that court to adjudicate
squarely that federal issue.’” Weddington v.
Zatecky, 721 F.3d 456, 465 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Villanueva v. Anglin, 719 F.3d 769, 775 (7th Cir.
2013)). A petitioner exhausts his constitutional claim when
he has presented it to the highest state court for a ruling
on the merits. O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526
U.S. 838, 845 (1999); Arrieta v. Battaglia, 461 F.3d
861, 863 (7th Cir. 2006). A petitioner must fairly present
his claims, which “requires the petitioner to assert
his federal claim through one complete round of state-court
review, either on direct appeal of his conviction or in
post-conviction proceedings. This means that the petitioner
must raise the issue at each and every level in the state
court system, including levels at which review is
discretionary rather than mandatory.” Lewis v.
Sternes, 390 F.3d 1019, 1025–26 (7th Cir. 2004)
(citing O'Sullivan, 526 U.S. at 845) (citation
omitted). Once the state’s highest court has had a full
and fair opportunity to evaluate the merits of the claim, a
prisoner is not required to present it again to the state
courts. Humphrey v. Cady, 405 U.S. 504, 516 n.18
did not exhaust his state court remedies for wrongful denial
of parole. Petitioner cites numerous appeals before the
Wisconsin state courts throughout the materials filed with
his habeas petition, ostensibly to show that he exhausted his
claims in state court. These include the Wisconsin state
court appeals identified as 17AP2209, 2015AP2125-W,
2017XX103-W, and 2017XX159-W. Dkt. No. 51 at 2. Petitioner
also mentions a writ of habeas corpus made to the Wisconsin
Supreme Court on January 3, 2018. Dkt. No. 1 at 22. However,
Petitioner fails to explain how this writ or these appeals
directly relate to the parole denial at issue here. In any
event, none of these cases satisfy Petitioner’s
requirement to properly exhaust his federal claims by first
seeking certiorari in the state circuit court and presenting
his parole challenge before each level in the Wisconsin state
court system. Prior claims on related or unrelated issues
will not suffice.
cases presenting unexhausted claims or mixed claims, the
petition is stayed by the federal district court and returned
to the state courts for total exhaustion. The Supreme Court
has explained that “as a matter of comity, federal
courts should not consider a claim in a habeas corpus
petition until after the state courts have had an opportunity
to act.” Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 515
(1982) (citing In Ex parte Royall, 117 U.S. 241, 251
(1886)). However, as explained in the discussion that
follows, some claims cannot be remanded to the state courts
to be exhausted if the time to meet the state procedural
requirements to raise such claims has expired.
Petitioner’s claims fall in this category, having been
procedurally defaulted by the passage of time.
As Petitioner procedurally defaulted on his claims in the
state court system, theycannot be ...