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Crandle v. Oliver

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

January 23, 2018

JAMES DLESTER CRANDLE (Jail ID #063209), Petitioner,
v.
NOAH PRICE OLIVER, Warden, Mobile County Metro Jail, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          KATHERINE P. NELSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Petitioner James Dlester Crandle, an Alabama pretrial detainee proceeding pro se, initiated the above-styled action by filing a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1). The petition has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge who, under S.D. Ala. GenLR 72(a)(2)(R), is authorized to require responses, issue orders to show cause and any other orders necessary to develop a complete record, and to prepare a report and recommendation to the District Judge as to appropriate disposition of the petition, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Rules 8(b) and 10 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.[1] See S.D. Ala. GenLR 72(b); (12/27/2017 electronic referral).

         Having conducted preliminary review of the petition under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, the undersigned finds that it “plainly appears” that Crandle is not entitled to relief in this Court because he has not shown he is entitled to habeas relief on some of his claims, and because has failed to exhaust his state court remedies as to the rest. Thus, the petition is due to be DISMISSED without prejudice as to the unexhausted claims, and otherwise DISMISSED, without first ordering an answer from the Respondent. The undersigned also finds that, in conjunction with the dismissal of his petition, Crandle should be DENIED both a Certificate of Appealability and leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.

         I. Background

         Per the allegations in Crandle's petition (Doc. 1), [2] he is currently being detained in the Metro Jail of Mobile, Alabama, while awaiting trial on a charge of capital murder, previously upgraded from felony murder, pursuant to the order of Judge James T. Patterson of the Circuit Court of Mobile County (Case No. CC-2017-3964). Crandle claims that he has been denied his right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. He also alleges violations of the “Fourth Amendment” “due to a prior on [his] record that [he] ha[s] already served time for 2 years ago” (the undersigned construes this claim as alleging a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment); various constitutional violations based on insufficiency of the evidence against him, which he claims consist only of “hearsays, and no concret [sic] evidence like a weapon, DNA, video/audio and etc.[;]” and that Judge Patterson improperly revoked his bond after his charge was upgraded. As relief, he requests that he “be granted a reasonable bond, ” and that he receive “a dismissal of charges…”

         Crandle filed motions for speedy trial and to set or reduce bond on October 31, 2017, which Judge Patterson denied on November 30, 2017. Crandle claims his appointed counsel told him Judge Patterson “have the rights to do what he done on 11/30/17” and that Crandle “can't do nothing about it.” Crandle admits he has not pursued any appeals of Judge Patterson's decision, claiming he doesn't “know how to file an appeal, and [his] appointed counsel will not help [him] again to get back in front of a Judge or file a speedy trial…”

         II. Analysis

         A. § 2241 Petition

         A state pretrial detainee may seek habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See Hughes v. Attorney Gen. of Fla., 377 F.3d 1258, 1261-62 (11th Cir. 2004) (“The present habeas petition was initially brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. However, because this petition for habeas relief is a pre-trial petition it would only be properly asserted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.” (citing Medberry v. Crosby, 351 F.3d 1049, 1060 (11th Cir. 2003)); Tooten v. Shevin, 493 F.2d 173, 175 n.1 (5th Cir. 1974)[3] (“A prejudgment petition for a writ of habeas corpus is filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Prisoners in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court file habeas corpus petitions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.”). However, the petitioner detainee must “exhaust[] all available state remedies as a prelude to th[e] action.” Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of Ky., 410 U.S. 484, 489 (1973). See also Tooten, 493 F.2d at 175 & n.6 (“Although federal courts have the power to release state prisoners before trial, the exhaustion requirement must be fulfilled.” (citing Braden, 410 U.S. 484; Fain v. Duff, 488 F.2d 218 (5th Cir. 1973); Ex parte Royall, 117 U.S. 241 (1886)); Hughes, 377 F.3d at 1262 & n.4 (citing Fain v. Duff as controlling “the exhaustion requirements necessary to obtain relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241”). “The Exhaustion doctrine is a judicially crafted requirement, now considered jurisdictional, which is firmly rooted in sound considerations of federal-state comity.” Tooten, 493 F.2d at 175 (footnote omitted). See also Hughes, 377 F.3d at 1262 n.4 (“In Fain v. Duff, the former Fifth Circuit explained that ‘[t]he exhaustion of state remedies ... was [originally] left in the discretion of the district court, [but] the requirement soon became known as a jurisdictional one.' ” (quoting Fain, 488 F.2d at 223)).[4]

Two significant interests have been identified which are protected by the policy of exhaustion.
First, exhaustion preserves the role of the state courts in the application and enforcement of federal law. Early federal intervention in state criminal proceedings would tend to remove federal questions from the state courts, isolate those courts from constitutional issues, and thereby remove their understanding of and hospitality to federally protected interests. Second, exhaustion preserves orderly administration of state judicial business, preventing the interruption of state adjudication by federal habeas proceedings. It is important that petitioners reach state appellate courts, which can develop and correct errors of state and federal law and most effectively supervise and impose uniformity on trial courts.
These fundamental interests underlying the exhaustion doctrine are satisfied by giving the state an initial opportunity to pass upon and correct alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights.

Tooten, 493 F.2d at 175-76 (footnote omitted). “Federal habeas corpus should not be used as a pretrial motion forum for state prisoners.” Id. at 177 (quotation omitted).

         Moreover,

in Braden…, 410 U.S. 484, 93 S.Ct. 1123, 35 L.Ed.2d 443[, t]he Court there reiterated the long established principle that ‘federal habeas corpus does not lie, absent ‘special circumstances', to adjudicate the merits of an affirmative defense to a state criminal charge prior to a judgment of conviction by a state court.' Id. at 490, 93 S.Ct. at 1127, 35 L.Ed.2d at 449. The Court held, however, that there was an important distinction between a petitioner who seeks to ‘abort a state proceeding or to disrupt the orderly functioning of state judicial processes' by litigating a speedy trial defense to a prosecution prior to trial, and one who seeks only to enforce the state's obligation to bring him promptly to trial. See Smith v. Hooey, 393 U.S. 374, 89 S.Ct. 575, 21 L.Ed.2d 607 (1969). This distinction apparently turns upon the type of relief sought: an attempt to dismiss an indictment or otherwise prevent a prosecution is of the first type, while an attempt to force the state to go to trial is of the second. While the former ...

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