United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
William E. Smith, Chief Judge.
the Court is Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond's Report
and Recommendations, ECF No. 23, recommending that the Rhode
Island Department of Corrections' (“State”)
Motion to Dismiss the Petition of Norman Beulieu-Bedford for
a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a person in state custody under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 be granted. Petitioner filed timely
objections. For the reasons that follow, Petitioner's
objections are overruled, and the Court adopts Magistrate
Judge Almond's recommendations. The Motion to Dismiss,
ECF No. 13, is GRANTED, and the Petition, ECF No. 1, is
DENIED and DISMISSED.
Norman Beaulieu-Bedford is seeking habeas relief for two
convictions: 1) his 2011 child molestation conviction in No.
P1-1997-1715A; and 2) his 2017 felony assault convictions in
No. P2-2016-1092A. Mem. of Law in Supp. of State of
R.I.'s Mot. to Dismiss 2-3 (“State's
Mem.”), ECF No. 13.
respect to the 2011 conviction, a Rhode Island Superior Court
convicted Beaulieu-Bedford of one count of first-degree child
molestation and one count of second-degree child molestation
in 1998. R. & R. 2, ECF No. 23. The Superior Court then
sentenced Beaulieu-Bedford to “forty years at the Adult
Correctional Institutions (“A.C.I.”), twenty
years to serve, the balance suspended with probation for
first degree child molestation, and twenty years at the
A.C.I., ten years to serve, the balance suspended with
probation for second degree child molestation.”
State's Mem. 1; see Criminal Docket Sheet
Report, ECF No. 13-1.
November 23, 2010, the conviction from 1998 was vacated, and
the case was remanded because the State acknowledged that
Beaulieu-Bedford had been denied his Sixth Amendment right to
counsel during his closing argument at trial. See
R.I. Supreme Court Order, ECF No. 13-2. On October 3, 2011,
Beaulieu-Bedford entered a nolo contendere plea to the
first-degree molestation charge, and received twenty-five
years at the A.C.I., fourteen years to serve, and the balance
suspended with probation. State's Mem. 2. Approximately
six years later, he filed a Post Conviction Relief
application, which the Superior Court dismissed on October
30, 2018. Pet'r's Obj. and Resp. to Magistrate's
R. & R. to Dismiss 2 (“Obj. to R. & R.”),
ECF No. 37. Beaulieu-Bedford did not petition the Rhode
Island Supreme Court to review the dismissal. Resp. to Obj.
to R. & R. 2 (“State's Resp.”), ECF No.
the assault convictions from February 2017, Beau-lieu-Bedford
entered nolo contendere pleas to two counts of felony
assault, and was sentenced to thirteen years at the A.C.I.,
five years to serve, and the balance suspended with
probation. Case Summary for No. P2-2016-1092A 2-3, ECF No.
30-1. On June 14, 2018, he filed a Post Conviction Relief
application, alleging that his convictions violated federal
and state constitutions. State's Resp. 2. The Superior
Court dismissed the application on October 10, 2018. R.I.
Superior Ct. J., ECF No. 30-3. Beaulieu-Bedford did not seek
a review of the dismissal from the Rhode Island Supreme
Court. State's Resp. 2.
Beaulieu-Bedford filed a habeas corpus petition alleging that
he is being illegally detained on each of his sentences.
Compl. 1, ECF No. 1. The State moved to dismiss the Petition
on the basis that Beaulieu-Bedford had not exhausted his
state court remedies as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)
(1) (A). State's Mem. 5. Upon review, Magistrate Judge
Lincoln D. Almond recommended that the State's motion be
granted on those grounds. R. & R. 6.
to Section 2254 (b) (1) (A), an application for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus can only be granted if “the applicant has
exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the
State.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (b) (1) (A). The U.S.
Supreme Court has stated that the purpose of the
“exhaustion” requirement is to give state courts
the opportunity to act on claims before a state prisoner
presents those claims to federal court. O'Sullivan v.
Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999). Thus, a failure to
exhaust in state court is generally “fatal” to
the petition. Jackson v. Coalter, 337 F.3d 74, 86
(1st Cir. 2003).
the Court concurs with Magistrate Judge Almond's finding
that Beaulieu-Bedford's Petition should be dismissed
because he has not exhausted all his state court
remedies. See R. & R. 5. Specifically,
Beaulieu-Bedford did not petition the Rhode Island Supreme
Court for issuance of a writ of certiorari to review the
dismissals of his two applications for Post Conviction
Relief. Beaulieu-Bedford claims that he satisfied the
exhaustion requirement since the state courts “have
been given ample opportunity to act on his claims.”
Obj. to R. & R. 35. However, he fails to refute the fact
that he did not seek to appeal the dismissals of his Post
Conviction Relief applications to the Rhode Island Supreme
Court. State's Resp. 4; see Obj. to R. & R.
record is clear and unrebutted. Beaulieu-Bedford has not
exhausted his state court remedies. Thus, his petition must
overruled Beaulieu-Bedford's objections, the Court
ACCEPTS Judge Almond's Report and Recommendations, ECF
No. 23. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b) (1), the Court
adopts Magistrate Judge Almond's recommendations and
reasoning. The Court therefore GRANTS the State's Motion
to Dismiss, ECF No. 13, and ...