Mills v. Morales et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS denying 2 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Aaron Mills. Objections to R&R due by 10/5/2016. Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 9/21/16. (jlm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
Case No. CV416-242
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Petitioner Aaron Mills is incarcerated at Coastal State Prison in
the State of Georgia. Invoking 28 U.S.C. § 2254, he seeks dismissal of a
Florida detainer 1 lodged against him and release from custody.
The Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (IADA) is a
congressionally sanctioned interstate compact which establishes a
procedure for a prisoner incarcerated in one state to demand the speedy
disposition of “any untried indictment, information, or complaint” that is
A detainer is a request filed by a criminal justice agency with the institution in
which a prisoner is incarcerated, asking the institution either to hold the prisoner for
the agency or to notify the agency when release of the prisoner is imminent. See
Cuyler v. Adams , 449 U.S. 433, 436 n.3 (1981). Detainers generally are based on
outstanding criminal charges, outstanding parole or probation-violation charges, or
additional sentences already imposed against the prisoner. Carchman v. Nash , 473
U.S. 716, 719 (1985).
the basis of a detainer lodged against him by another state. If the
prisoner makes such demand, this section requires the authorities in the
prosecuting state to bring the person to trial within 180 days, or that
court must dismiss the indictment, information, or complaint, and the
detainer will cease to be of any force or effect. The IADA requires a
prisoner to “cause to be delivered to the prosecuting officer and the
appropriate court of the prosecuting officer’s jurisdiction written notice
of the place of his imprisonment and his request for a final disposition to
be made of the indictment.” IADA, art. III(a).
Mills’ petition is deficient. First, he has filed for federal habeas
relief in the district of his incarceration, which is the wrong venue. 28
U.S.C. § 1406(a).
See Carchman , 473 U.S. at 722. Venue lies in the
prosecuting state which lodged the detainer against him, Florida.
Petitioner should refile his petition in either the Northern, Middle, or
Southern District of Florida ( i.e. , in the federal district where his state
prosecution is pending).
Second, the IADA requires that written notice of the place of
imprisonment and request for a final disposition be delivered through his
custodian to the prosecuting officer in the receiving state. Id ., art. III(b).
It is unclear from the petition whether Mills followed these
requirements, thereby bringing the ‘timely trial’ provisions of the IADA
into play. Assuming he did so, it also is unclear whether the State of
Florida failed to bring Petitioner to trial within the 180 day period
required by the IADA.
See doc. 2 at 10 (Georgia Department of
Corrections letter dated February 8, 2016, acknowledging a detainer was
filed against Mills). This information is necessary for relief to be granted
by the Florida District Courts.
Accordingly, Petitioner Aaron Mill’s habeas petition 2 should be
DENIED without prejudice to his refiling in an appropriate venue.
SO REPORTED AND RECOMMENDED, this 21st day of
UNITED STATES MAGISTRA[E JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
It is worth noting that remedies other than habeas relief may be available to
Petitioner if he seeks to refile his case in a district court in the State of Florida. See,
e.g., Taylor v. Johns , 2014 WL 5426885, at *2 (S.D. Ga. 2014) (observing that a
petition for writ of mandamus is appropriate to compel a trial court to rule on a
motion or petition within a reasonable time under Florida law). There is a split over
the question of an IADA violation’s cognizability on habeas, and it has been
suggested that a sending State’s failure can be better addressed through a suit under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 or a mandamus action. See, e.g., Fex v. Michigan , 507 U.S. 43 n.1
(1993). See also Phillips v. Jarrell, 281 F. App’x 885, 886 (11th Cir. 2008) (“[IADA]
violations are not cognizable in habeas proceedings absent a showing that the
violation prejudiced the rights of the accused by affecting or impugning the integrity
of the fact-finding process”).
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