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Ross v. Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

October 20, 2014

LAQUANDRA ERICA ROSS, Petitioner,
v.
ALBEMARLE-CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL JAIL, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

MICHAEL F. URBANSKI, District Judge.

Petitioner LaQuandra Erica Ross, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se , filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the execution of her sentence imposed by the Charlottesville Circuit Court. The court finds that Ross did not fully exhaust her state remedies before filing this federal habeas petition and, therefore, will dismiss this action without prejudice.

On May 28, 2014, after Ross pled guilty, the Charlottesville Circuit Court convicted her of violating her probation. According to her petition and confirmed by online state court records, Ross has not yet appealed or filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in state court.

A federal court cannot grant a habeas petition unless the petitioner has exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the state in which he was convicted. Preiser v. Rodriguez , 411 U.S. 475 (1973). If the petitioner has failed to exhaust state court remedies, the federal court must dismiss the petition. Slayton v. Smith , 404 U.S. 53 (1971). In Virginia, a non-death row felon ultimately must present his claims to the Supreme Court of Virginia and receive a ruling from that court, before a federal district court may consider his claims. See Va. Code § 8.01-654. In this case, it is clear that Ross has yet to pursue her instant claim in the Supreme Court of Virginia. Accordingly, the court will dismiss Ross's habeas petition, without prejudice, as unexhausted.[1]


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