Picard v. Connor 8212 96, No. 70

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRENNAN
Citation404 U.S. 270,30 L.Ed.2d 438,92 S.Ct. 509
PartiesPhilip J. PICARD, Petitioner, v. James J. CONNOR. —96
Docket NumberNo. 70
Decision Date20 December 1971

404 U.S. 270
92 S.Ct. 509
30 L.Ed.2d 438
Philip J. PICARD, Petitioner,

v.

James J. CONNOR.

No. 70—96.
Argued Nov. 17, 1971.
Decided Dec. 20, 1971.

Syllabus

A grand jury returned a murder indictment against a named individual 'and John Doe, the true name and a more particular description of the said John Doe being to the said Jurors unknown.' After respondent's arrest the indictment was amended pursuant to state law to substitute respondent's name for 'John Doe.' The highest state court affirmed respondent's subsequent conviction, rejecting his challenge to the legality of the indictment made on the ground that the amending procedure did not comply with the statute. Respondent subsequently filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the District Court, which dismissed the petition. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the procedure by which respondent was brought to trial was violative of equal protection. The court rejected petitioner's contention that respondent, who had not previously raised the equal protection issue, had not exhausted available state judicial remedies as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254, holding that respondent had presented the state court with 'an opportunity to apply controlling legal principles to the facts bearing upon (his) constitutional claim.' Held: The substance of a federal habeas corpus claim must in the first instance be fairly presented to the state courts, and since on the record and argument before it the State's highest court had no fair opportunity to consider and act upon the equal protection claim, the Court of Appeals erred in holding that respondent had exhausted his state remedies. Pp. 275 278.

434 F.2d 673, reversed and remanded.

John J. Irwin, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Boston, Mass., for petitioner.

Page 271

James J. Twohig, Boston, Mass., for respondent.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, reversing the District Court's dismissal of respondent's petition for a writ of federal habeas corpus,1 held that 'the procedure by which (respondent) was brought to trial deprived him of the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the laws.' 434 F.2d 673, 674 (1970). The Court of Appeals acknowledged that respondent had not attacked his conviction on the equal protection ground, either in the state courts or in his federal habeas petition:

'(Respondent) did not present the constitutional question to the Massachusetts court in the particular focus in which this opinion is directed. We suggested it when the case reached us, and invited the Commonwealth to file a supplemental brief. Not unnaturally its first contention was to assert that (respondent) had not exhausted his state remedy * * *.' Ibid.

The Court of Appeals rejected that contention and held that respondent had exhausted available state judicial remedies, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254, 2 because he

Page 272

had 'presented the (state) court with 'an opportunity to apply controlling legal principles to the facts bearing upon (his) constitutional claim." Ibid. We granted certiorari to consider that ruling in light of the command of § 2254. 402 U.S. 942, 91 S.Ct. 1620, 29 L.Ed.2d 110 (1971). We hold that the State's objection should have been sustained, and we therefore reverse for further proceedings, see Slayton v. Smith, 404 U.S. 53, 92 S.Ct. 174, 30 L.Ed.2d 209 (1971), without reaching the merits of the constitutional question decided by the Court of Appeals.3

A Massachusetts grand jury returned an indictment for murder against Donald Landry 'and John Doe, the true name and a more particular description of the said John Doe being to the said Jurors unknown.' After respondent's arrest, the indictment was amended in a proceeding pursuant to a fictitious-name statute, Mass.Gen.Laws Ann., c. 277, § 19,4 to substitute respond-

Page 273

ent's name for 'John Doe.' The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed respondent's subsequent conviction, sub nom. Commonwealth v. Doherty, 353 Mass. 197, 229 N.E.2d 267 (1967). Among other grounds of appeal, respondent challenged the legality of the indictment. The gist of respondent's argument, which he also asserted during various trial proceedings, was that the amending procedure did not comply with the statute as construed by the Massachusetts courts, with the result that he had not been lawfully indicted for the crime. See Commonwealth v. Gedzium, 259 Mass. 453, 156 N.E. 890 (1927).5 The only suggestions of a claimed denial of a federal right were statements in respondent's brief questioning the continuing validity of the holding in Gedzium that the provision of the Fifth Amendment that '(n)o person shal be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury' was inapplicable to the States. Id., at 457, 156 N.E., at 891; see Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516, 4 S.Ct. 292, 28 L.Ed. 232 (1884).6 We have examined the

Page 274

pretrial, trial, and appellate papers and do not discover any indication of an attack upon the prosecution under the indictment as violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.7

Page 275

It has been settled since Ex parte Royall, 117 U.S. 241, 6 S.Ct. 734, 29 L.Ed. 868 (1886), that a state prisoner must normally exhaust available state judicial remedies before a federal court will entertain his petition for habeas corpus. See, e.g., Nelson v. George, 399 U.S. 224, 229, 90 S.Ct. 1963, 1966, 26 L.Ed.2d 578 (1970); Irvin v. Dowd, 359 U.S. 394, 404—405, 79 S.Ct. 825, 831—832, 3 L.Ed.2d 900 (1959); Ex parte Hawk, 321 U.S. 114, 64 S.Ct. 448, 88 L.Ed. 572 (1944). The exhaustion-of-state-remedies doctrine, now codified in the federal habeas statute, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2254(b) and (c),8 reflects a policy of federal-state comity, Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 419—420, 83 S.Ct. 822, 838—839, 9 L.Ed.2d 837 (1963); Bowen v. Johnston, 306 U.S. 19, 27, 59 S.Ct. 442, 446, 83 L.Ed. 455 (1939), 'an accommodation of our federal system designed to give the State an initial 'opportunity to pass upon and correct' alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights.' Wilwording v. Swenson, 404 U.S. 249, at 250, 92 S.Ct. 407, at 408, 30 L.Ed.2d 418. We have consistently adhered to this federal policy, for 'it would be unseemly in our dual system of government for a federal district court to upset a state court conviction without an opportunity to the state courts to correct a constitutional violation.' Darr v. Burford, 339 U.S. 200, 204, 70 S.Ct. 587, 590, 94 L.Ed. 761 (1950) (overruled in other respects, Fay v. Noia, supra, 372 U.S., at 435 436, 83 S.Ct., at 847—848). It follows, of course, that once the federal claim has been fairly presented to the state courts, the exhaustion requirement is satisfied. See e.g., Wilwording v. Swenson, supra, 404 U.S., at 250, 92 S.Ct., at 407; Roberts v. LaVallee, 389 U.S. 40, 42—43, 88 S.Ct. 194, 196—197, 19 L.Ed.2d 41 (1967); Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 447—450, 73 S.Ct. 397, 402 404, 97 L.Ed. 469 (1953).

We emphasize that the federal claim must be fairly presented to the state courts. If the exhaustion doctrine is to prevent 'unnecessary conflict between courts equally bound to guard and protect rights secured by the Constitution,' Ex parte Royall, supra, 117 U.S., at 251, 6 S.Ct., at 740, it is not sufficient merely that the federal habeas applicant has

Page 276

been through the state courts. The rule would serve no purpose if it could be satisfied by raising one claim in the state courts and another in the federal courts. Only if the state courts have had the first opportunity to hear the claim sought to be vindicated in a federal habeas proceeding does it make sense to speak of the exhaustion of state remedies. Accordingly, we have required a state prisoner to present the state courts with the same claim he urges upon the federal courts. See Darr v. Burford, supra, 339 U.S., at 203, 70 S.Ct., at 589; Davis v. Burke, 179 U.S. 399, 401 403, 21 S.Ct. 210, 211—212, 45 L.Ed. 249 (1900).

Respondent challenged the validity of his indictment at every stage of the proceedings in the Massachusetts courts. As the Court of Appeals pointed out, 434 F.2d, at 674, this is not a case in which factual allegations were made to the federal courts that were not before the state courts, see, e.g., United States ex rel. Boodie v. Herold, 349 F.2d 372 (CA2 1965); Schiers v. California, 333 F.2d 173 (CA9 1964), nor a case in which an intervening change in federal law cast the legal issue in a fundamentally different light, see, e.g., Blair v. California, 340 F.2d 741 (CA9 1965); Pennsylvania ex rel. Raymond v. Rundle, 339 F.2d 598 (CA3 1964). We therefore put aside consideration of those types of cases. The question here is simply whether, on the record and argument before it, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had a fair opportunity to consider the equal protection claim and to correct that asserted constitutional defect in respondent's conviction. We think not.

Until he reached this Court,9 respondent never contended that the method by which he was brought to trial

Page 277

denied him equal protection of the laws. Rather, from the outset respondent consistently argued that he had been improperly indicted under Massachusetts law and, to the extent he raised a federal constitutional claim at all, that the indictment procedure employed in his case could not be approved without reference to whether the Fifth Amendment's requirement of a grand jury indictment applied to the States. He adverted to the Fourteenth Amendment solely as it bore upon that submission. 10 The equal protection issue entered this case only because the Court of Appeals injected it.

We...

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9069 practice notes
  • Vance v. Warden, Noble Corr. Inst., CASE NO. 2:19-CV-00687
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • November 7, 2019
    ...to dismissal for failure to exhaust state remedies. Id.; Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 6 (1982) (per curiam) (citing Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275-78 (1971)). Where a petitioner has failed to exhaust claims but would find those claims barred if later presented to the state courts, ......
  • Griffin v. Padula, C.A. No. 2:07-0874-PMD-RSC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • July 6, 2007
    ...28 U.S.C. § 2254(b); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 490-491, 93 S.Ct. 1123, 35 L.Ed.2d 443 (1973); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 92 S.Ct. 509, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971); Schandelmeier v. Cunningham, 819 F.2d 52, 53 (3rd Cir.1986) (exhaustion required under § 2241). Altho......
  • Brumfield v. Stinson, No. 98-CV-0233E(F).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of New York
    • December 4, 2003
    ...prisoner's habeas petition, the prisoner must exhaust all available state court remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A); see Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275, 92 S.Ct. 509, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971), citing cases. In order to satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a habeas petitioner "must fairly p......
  • Moore v. Quarterman, Civil No. SA-03-CA-405-RF.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Texas
    • December 20, 2007
    ...S.Ct. 1728, 1731, 144 L.Ed.2d 1 (1999); Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365, 115 S.Ct. 887, 888, 130 L.Ed.2d 865 (1995); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275, 92 S.Ct. 509, 512, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). To provide the State with this necessary "opportunity," the prisoner......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9064 cases
  • Vance v. Warden, Noble Corr. Inst., CASE NO. 2:19-CV-00687
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • November 7, 2019
    ...to dismissal for failure to exhaust state remedies. Id.; Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 6 (1982) (per curiam) (citing Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275-78 (1971)). Where a petitioner has failed to exhaust claims but would find those claims barred if later presented to the state courts, ......
  • Griffin v. Padula, C.A. No. 2:07-0874-PMD-RSC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • July 6, 2007
    ...28 U.S.C. § 2254(b); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 490-491, 93 S.Ct. 1123, 35 L.Ed.2d 443 (1973); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 92 S.Ct. 509, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971); Schandelmeier v. Cunningham, 819 F.2d 52, 53 (3rd Cir.1986) (exhaustion required under § 2241). Altho......
  • Brumfield v. Stinson, No. 98-CV-0233E(F).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of New York
    • December 4, 2003
    ...prisoner's habeas petition, the prisoner must exhaust all available state court remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A); see Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275, 92 S.Ct. 509, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971), citing cases. In order to satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a habeas petitioner "must fairly p......
  • Moore v. Quarterman, Civil No. SA-03-CA-405-RF.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Texas
    • December 20, 2007
    ...S.Ct. 1728, 1731, 144 L.Ed.2d 1 (1999); Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365, 115 S.Ct. 887, 888, 130 L.Ed.2d 865 (1995); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275, 92 S.Ct. 509, 512, 30 L.Ed.2d 438 (1971); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). To provide the State with this necessary "opportunity," the prisoner......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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