United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STAY AND ABEY PROCEEDINGS
[ECF NO. 30]
JENNIFER A. DORSEY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Edward Wilcock petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for
habeas corpus relief from his state-court conviction for
first-degree murder, burglary with a deadly weapon, robbery,
possession of stolen property, and two deadly weapon
enhancements. Wilcock moves for a stay under Rhines v.
Weber to allow him to return to state court to exhaust
various grounds for relief. Respondents do not oppose the
request. I grant the motion and stay this case
pending Wilcock's exhaustion of state-court proceedings.
Rhines v. Weber,  the United States Supreme Court limited
the district courts' discretion to allow habeas
petitioners to return to state court to exhaust claims. When
a petitioner pleads both exhausted and unexhausted
claims-known as a mixed petition-the district court may stay
the petition to allow the petitioner to return to state court
to exhaust the unexhausted ones only if: (1) the habeas
petitioner has good cause; (2) the unexhausted claims are
potentially meritorious; and (3) petitioner has not engaged
in dilatory litigation tactics.“[G]ood cause turns on
whether the petitioner can set forth a reasonable excuse,
supported by sufficient evidence, to justify [the failure to
exhaust a claim in state court].” “While a
bald assertion cannot amount to a showing of good cause, a
reasonable excuse, supported by evidence to justify a
petitioner's failure to exhaust,
will.” The Supreme Court's opinion in
Pace v. DiGuglielmo,  suggests that this standard is
not particularly stringent, as the High Court held that
“[a] petitioner's reasonable confusion about
whether a state filing would be timely will ordinarily
constitute ‘good cause' to excuse his failure to
meets the standard for a Rhines stay. He explains
that he is currently pursuing Brady claims in state
court related to the state's alleged suppression of
favorable and material evidence regarding the state's key
witness against him. While respondents do not waive any
defenses to Wilcock's second-amended petition, they
indicate that they do not oppose the motion for
stay. Especially in light of respondents'
non-opposition, I find that a Rhines stay is
warranted, and I grant it.
THEREFORE ORDERED that petitioner's motion for issuance
of stay and abeyance of this federal habeas corpus proceeding
[ECF No. 30] is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that this action is STAYED
pending final resolution of petitioner's postconviction
habeas petition. Petitioner must return to federal court with
a motion to reopen this case within 45 days of the issuance
of the remittitur by the Supreme Court of Nevada at the
conclusion of the state-court proceedings on his
postconviction habeas petition.
FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to
ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSE this action.
 ECF No. 30.
 ECF No. 31.
 Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269
Id. at 277; Gonzalez v.
Wong, 667 F.3d 965, 977-80 (9th Cir. ...