Miles v. Holladay
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION recommending that 13 the petition be dismissed without prejudice and the relief requested be denied; and recommending that a certificate of appealability be denied. Objections due within 14 days of this Recommendation. Signed by Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris on 4/9/2018. (kdr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
DOC HOLLADAY, Sheriff,
Pulaski County, Arkansas
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
The following recommended disposition has been sent to United States District Judge Billy
Roy Wilson . You may file written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do so,
those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and
(2) be received by the Clerk of this Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation.
By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.
Allen Miles (“Miles”) filed a pleading styled as “Motion to Compel Evidence, Dismiss Case
for Lack of Jurisdiction” with this Court on February 8, 2018. Docket entry no. 1. This pleading
was docketed as a petition for writ of habeas corpus. In it, Miles alleged violations of the 1st, 6th, 8th,
9th, and 14th Amendments, resulting in his false imprisonment and inability to receive a fair trial.
He wrote, “Therefore, he has now been in-prisoned by false statements and unfair justice system and
now he request this court to use a in-camera review concerning his case, jurisdiction, and evidence
that was used to charge him.” Docket entry no. 1, page 1. Miles gives as his address the Pulaski
County Detention Facility. As a result, his custodian is Doc Holladay (“Holladay”), the Sheriff of
Holladay responded to Miles’ petition by filing a motion to dismiss, with an accompanying
brief. Docket entry nos. 13 & 14. The brief and attached documents reflect that on November 1,
2017, Miles was charged in Pulaski County with second-degree sexual assault. Miles was in federal
custody when charged with the state offense. On November 27, December 12, and December 15,
2017, and again on January 29, 2018, the Pulaski County Circuit Judge executed writs of habeas ad
prosequendum requesting the federal prison having custody of Miles to release him to Pulaski
County related to court appearances on the state charge. It is unclear at what point Miles was
actually moved from federal custody to the Pulaski County Detention Facility. In any event, Miles
was transported to the Pulaski County Detention Facility on or before February 6, 2018, which is
the date he signed the petition which initiated this lawsuit. Miles was awaiting trial on the state
charge at the time he brought this action, and apparently continues to await trial.
Holladay contends this case should be dismissed. We agree, for the following reasons.
First, although Miles does not identify the statutory authority for his lawsuit, the typical
avenue for seeking habeas corpus relief is via 28 U.S.C. § 2241 or 2254. Under either of these
provisions, the question in issue is whether the federal Constitution, laws, or treaties have been
violated, not whether state courts are correctly determining state law questions. Estelle v. McGuire,
502 U.S. 62, 67 (1991). Accordingly, Miles’ complaint about the pre-trial procedures in state court
do not state a cognizable claim in a federal habeas action under either § 2241 or § 2254.
Second, state prisoners must exhaust state remedies before seeking federal habeas relief.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A). Here, Miles offers no evidence that he has pursued his claims in state
court, either with the trial court or an appellate court. See, e.g., Sacco v. Falke, 649 F.2d 634, 63537 (8th Cir. 1981) (petitioner asking a federal court to declare a state indictment void and prevent
prosecution required to exhaust state remedies); and Davis v. Muellar, 643 F.2d 521, 525 (8th Cir.
1981) (tribal sovereignty not a special circumstance which obviates the need for exhaustion in state
court). Since Miles has not yet proceeded to trial on the pending state criminal charge, he has not
exhausted his state court remedies. Thus, he is seeking to collaterally attack in federal court
unresolved criminal charges that are pending in Pulaski County Circuit Court. Absent exhaustion
of state court remedies, he may not utilize federal habeas corpus in this manner.
The third and final reason to dismiss this petition is also due to the pending state criminal
charge. Since Miles’ trial is pending in state court, this Court must abstain from considering these
claims pursuant to Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). Under the rule of Younger, “the normal
thing to do when federal courts are asked to enjoin pending proceedings in state courts is not to issue
such injunctions.” Id. at 45. Injunctive relief is generally unavailable unless a petitioner can show
that he will suffer “irreparable injury” absent injunction. Where a federal injunction is sought against
ongoing state proceedings, the standard is even higher:
[I]n view of the fundamental policy against federal interference with state criminal
prosecutions, even irreparable injury is insufficient unless it is both great and immediate.
Certain types of injury, in particular, the cost, anxiety, and inconvenience of having to
defend against a single criminal prosecution, could not by themselves be considered
‘irreparable’ in the special legal sense of that term. Instead, the threat to the plaintiff's
federally protected rights must be one that cannot be eliminated by his defense against a
single criminal prosecution.
Id. at 46 (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).
Younger applies if the state proceeding is (1) presently pending; (2) involves an important
state interest; and (3) affords petitioner an adequate opportunity to raise his constitutional claims.
Middlesex County Ethics Committee v. Garden State Bar Ass'n., 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982). Miles’
case is pending and the charge of second-degree sexual assault involves an important state interest.
There is no showing by Miles that his circumstances are so unusual that they warrant deviation from
the abstention rule of Younger.
For the reasons stated above, we recommend the petition be dismissed without prejudice and
the relief requested be denied.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253 and Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2554 Cases in the
United States District Court, the Court must determine whether to issue a certificate of appealability
in the final order. In § 2254 cases, a certificate of appealability may issue only if the applicant has
made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)-(2). The
Court finds no issue on which petitioner has made a substantial showing of a denial of a
constitutional right. Thus, we recommend the certificate of appealability be denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 9th day of April, 2018.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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