United States District Court, D. Delaware
THOMAS A. MORGAN, Petitioner,
DANA METZGER, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.
A. Morgan. Pro se Petitioner.
L. Arban, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department
of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Respondents.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
CONNOLLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Petitioner Thomas A. Morgan's
Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 ("Petition"). (D.I. 1) The State filed
a Motion for Leave to File a Motion to Dismiss (D.I. 15)
simultaneously with the Motion to Dismiss. (D.I. 15-1) For
the reasons discussed, the Court will grant the State's
Motion for Leave to File a Motion to Dismiss as well as the
Motion to Dismiss, and deny the Petition.
1993, a Delaware Superior Court jury found Petitioner Thomas
A. Morgan ("Petitioner") guilty of two counts of
first degree unlawful sexual intercourse and one count each
of second degree unlawful sexual contact and second degree
kidnapping. (D.I. 15 at 1) The Superior Court sentenced
Petitioner to a total of thirty-six years at Level V,
suspended after thirty-two years for decreasing levels of
supervision. See Morgan v. State, 116A.3d 1244
(Table), 2015 WL 4066768, at *1 (Del. July 1, 2015). The
Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's convictions
and sentences on direct appeal. See Morgan v. State,
645 A.2d 569 (Table), 1994 WL 202272, at *1 (Del. May 5,
1995, Petitioner filed a federal habeas corpus petition
challenging his 1993 convictions. (D.I. 15-2 at 2) The
Honorable Joseph J. Longobardi denied the Petition in January
1996 after determining that the claims raised therein were
meritless or procedurally barred. (D.I. 15-2 at 1-10)
Petitioner did not appeal that decision.
the 1996 dismissal of his first habeas petition, Petitioner
filed in the Delaware state courts at least seven motions for
postconviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court
Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motions"), five motions
to modify his sentence, two petitions for a writ of mandamus,
and a motion to release evidence. (D.I. 15-1 at 2) The
Superior Court denied those motions/petitions, and the
Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the decisions which
Petitioner appealed. (D.I. 15-1 at 2-3)
December 2006, Petitioner filed an application in the Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit requesting authorization to
file a second or successive habeas application. See In
re: Morgan, C.A. No. 06-5157. The Third Circuit denied
the application because Petitioner failed to satisfy the
requirements for such authorization under 28 U.S.C. §
2244. See In re: Morgan, C.A. No. 06-5157, Order (3d
Cir. Mar. 1, 2007); Morgan, 07mc40-UNA (D. Del. Mar.
pending before the Court is Petitioner's new Petition for
habeas corpus relief ("Petition"). (D.I. 1) The
State filed a Motion for Leave to File a Motion to Dismiss,
along with the Motion to Dismiss. (D.I. 15; D.I. 15-1)
GOVERNING LEGAL PRINCIPLES
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
1996 ("AEDPA") "to reduce delays in the
execution of state and federal criminal sentences .. . and to
further the principles of comity, finality, and
federalism." Woodford v. Garceau, 538 U.S. 202,
206 (2003). Pursuant to AEDPA, a federal court may consider a
habeas petition filed by a state prisoner only "on the
ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution
or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). Claims based on errors of state law are not
cognizable on federal habeas review, and federal courts
cannot re-examine state court determinations of state law
issues. See Mullaney v. Wilbur, 421 U.S.
684, 691 (1975) ("[s]tate courts are the ultimate
expositors of state law"); Estelle v. McGuire,
502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991) (holding that claims based on
errors of state law are not cognizable on habeas review).
Additionally, AEDPA imposes procedural requirements and
standards for analyzing the merits of a habeas petition in
order to "prevent federal habeas 'retrials' and
to ensure that state-court convictions are given effect to
the extent possible under law." Bell v. Cone,
535 U.S. 685, 693 (2002).
Second or ...