Gaymon v. Whidden
PRISCS - RULING. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus 1 and 3 Motion for release on bail are DENIED. Signed by Judge Janet C. Hall on 5/24/11. (Corriette, M.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
PRISONER CASE NO.
MAY 24, 2011
RULING ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS [Doc. No. 1]
AND PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR RELEASE ON BAIL [Doc. No. 3]
Petitioner, Joseph Gaymon, currently confined at the Carl Robinson Correctional
Institution in Enfield, Connecticut, commenced this action for writ of habeas corpus pro
se pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Gaymon previously filed two habeas corpus actions
challenging this same conviction. Both were dismissed because Gaymon failed to
exhaust his state remedies before commencing a federal habeas corpus action. See
Gaymon v. Strange, 3:09-cv-982 (JCH) (dismissed Aug. 21, 2009); Gaymon v.
Tarascio, 3:10-cv-653 (JCH) (dismissed Oct. 26, 2010). In this third federal petition,
Gaymon concedes that he has not yet exhausted his state remedies and seeks, in the
Petition and Motion for Release on Bail, release on bond or his own recognizance while
he continues the exhaustion process. For the reasons that follow, the request for
release is denied.
It is settled law in the Second Circuit that the federal courts have inherent
authority to admit to bail individuals properly within their jurisdiction. Ostrer v. United
States, 584 F.2d 594, 596 n.1 (2d Cir. 1978) (“district court has inherent power to enter
an order affecting the custody of a habeas petitioner who is properly before it contesting
the legality of his custody”); see also Boyer v. City of Orlando, 402 F.2d 966, 968 (5th
Cir. 1968) (ordering the release of a habeas petitioner on bail pending exhaustion of
state and federal remedies). This power, however, should be exercised only in special
cases. See Mapp v. Reno, 241 F.3d 221, 226 (2d Cir. 2001)
Exhaustion of state court remedies is required before the federal court can
entertain a challenge to a state conviction on the merits. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1).
Gaymon concedes that he has not exhausted his state court remedies. See Pet. at 25.
Thus, the court questions whether his Petition is properly before the court to enable the
court to entertain his request for release. See United States ex rel. Williams v. La
Vallee, 276 F.2d 645, 648 (2d Cir. 1960) (noting that unexhausted claim was not
properly before the district court); Bartholomew v. Mendoza-Powers, No. 08-CV-1270IEG(NLS), 2009 WL 1459443, at *4 (S.D. Cal. May 26, 2009) (“A habeas petitioner
must exhaust his state court remedies before a habeas petition is properly before the
federal court.”). The court need not resolve this question because, even if Gaymon
were properly before the court, his request for release should be denied.
As the Second Circuit explained in Ostrer, “a habeas petitioner should be
granted bail only in unusual cases, or when extraordinary or exceptional circumstances
exist which make the grant of bail necessary to make the habeas remedy effective.”
584 F.2d at 596 n.1 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The standard is
difficult to meet. The petitioner must demonstrate first, that the habeas petition raises
substantial claims and, second, that extraordinary circumstances exist that make the
grant of bail necessary to make the habeas remedy effective. Grune v. Coughlin, 913
F.2d 41, 44 (2d Cir. 1990). To satisfy the first part of the test, the petitioner must
“present merits that are more than slightly in petitioner's favor.” Richard v. Abrams, 732
F. Supp. 24, 25 (S.D.N.Y. 1990); see also Rado v. Meachum, 699 F. Supp. 25, 26-27
(D. Conn. 1988) (holding that the relevant factors are whether (1) “substantial claims”
are set forth in the petition; (2) there is a “demonstrated likelihood the petition will
prevail”; and (3) there are “extraordinary circumstances” attending the petitioner's
situation which would “require” the grant in order to make the writ of habeas corpus
“effective,” presumably if granted) (citations omitted).
In this case, judgment entered pursuant to Gaymon’s guilty plea. Gaymon
argues that he is incarcerated pursuant to an information to which he did not plead
guilty. He raised this argument in his motion to correct illegal sentence. The motion
was denied. See State Court Ruling (Doc. No. 1-6) at 3. Gaymon’s continued
incarceration pending resolution of his state habeas petition enforces an apparently
valid judgment. Filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus does not render the
conviction invalid. Thus, Gaymon remains subject to incarceration. If this were not the
case, any inmate could avoid his sentence indefinitely simply by filing repeated petitions
for habeas corpus. See Rado, 699 F. Supp. at 27 (citing Stepney v. Lopes, 597 F.
Supp. 11, 13 (D. Conn. 1984)).
The court concludes that Gaymon has not demonstrated a likelihood that he will
prevail in his petition for writ of habeas corpus or the existence of extraordinary
circumstances that required release on bond to render habeas corpus relief effective.
The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [Doc. No. 1] and the Motion for Release
on Bail [Doc. No. 3] are DENIED.
Because reasonable jurists would not find it debatable that Gaymon was denied
a constitutional right, a certificate of appealability will not issue. See Slack v. McDaniel,
429 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). The Clerk is directed to enter judgment and close this case.
SO ORDERED this 24th day of May 2011, at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
/s Janet C. Hall
Janet C. Hall
United States District Judge
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