Rose v. Lundy

LOCATION:José Aponte de la Torre Airport, formerly Roosevelt Roads Naval Station

DOCKET NO.: 80-846
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 455 US 509 (1982)
ARGUED: Oct 14, 1981
DECIDED: Mar 03, 1982

D. Shannon Smith – on behalf of the Respondent
John C. Zimmermann – on behalf of the Petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for Rose v. Lundy

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – October 14, 1981 in Rose v. Lundy

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – March 03, 1982 in Rose v. Lundy

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment of the Court in Rose against Lundy will be announce by Justice O’Connor.

Sandra Day O’Connor:

The case comes to this Court on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

In the opinion filed today, we hold that the principle of comity underlying the exhaustion requirement of 28 U.S. Code Section 2254 and the policy of avoiding piecemeal litigation in the federal courts require Federal District Courts to dismiss petitions for writs of habeas corpus that contain any claims that have not been exhausted in the state courts.

After the District Court has dismissed a next petition containing both exhausted and unexhausted claims, the prisoner has the choice of returning to a state court to exhaust his claims or of amending or resubmitting his habeas petition to present only the exhausted claims to the District Court.

In Part III-C of the opinion, a plurality of the Court has written that by deleting his unexhausted claims and returning immediately to federal court, thus deliberately setting aside his unexhausted claims, the prisoner risks dismissal of subsequent habeas petitions under Rule 9(b) of the habeas statute.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed.

The case is remanded to the District Court for proceedings consistent with our opinion.

Justice Brennan with whom Justice Marshall joins has joined Parts I, II, III-A, III-B, and IV of the Court’s opinion and has filed a separate opinion in which he disagrees with the plurality in Part III-C.

Justice Blackmun has filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment.

Justice White has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Justice O’Connor.