Placencia v. United States of America
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING 1 PETITION for Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed by Michael Lynn Placencia. DENYING as MOOT 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis by Petitioner Michael Lynn Placencia. Signed by Judge Holly A Brady on 1/5/2021. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(lhc)
USDC IN/ND case 1:21-cv-00001-HAB-SLC document 3 filed 01/05/21 page 1 of 3
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
MICHAEL LYNN PLACENCIA
NOBLE COUNTY JAIL 1
CASE NO.: 1:21-CV-01-HAB
OPINION AND ORDER
Petitioner, Michael Lynn Placencia, proceeding pro se, is a federal pretrial detainee housed
in the Noble County Jail. He filed the instant “Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241” (the Petition) along with an application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF Nos.
1, 2). The Petition challenges his incarceration stemming from United States v. Placencia, No.
1:20-CR-68 HAB, a currently pending criminal case in this Court. For the following reasons, the
Court will DISMISS the Petition and DENY as MOOT the application to proceed in forma
As set out above, Petitioner is a defendant in a criminal case pending before this Court. He
is charged with possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1). The Government moved to detain Petitioner without bond.
After a hearing, a Magistrate Judge granted the motion and ordered Petitioner detained pending
When a federal or state prisoner contends that he “is in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States,” § 2241 confers on this Court a general grant
In his filing, the Petitioner listed the United States of America as the Defendant. The only proper defendant in a §
2241 petition is the highest ranking officer at the institution where the Defendant is incarcerated.
USDC IN/ND case 1:21-cv-00001-HAB-SLC document 3 filed 01/05/21 page 2 of 3
of habeas jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); see id. § 2241(a). District courts have jurisdiction
over habeas petitions brought by pretrial detainees. See Neville v. Cavanagh, 611 F.2d 673, 675
(7th Cir. 1979). When considering an application for a writ of habeas corpus, a district court shall
“award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not
be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not
entitled thereto.” 28 U.S.C. § 2243.
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts
(“Habeas Rules”), which is also applicable to § 2241 cases, 2 requires courts to conduct a
preliminary review of each petition for writ of habeas corpus. See Habeas Rule 4. “If it plainly
appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief,” the
district court must summarily dismiss the petition. Id.
Here, Petitioner’s grounds for relief, namely that the arresting officer violated his Due
Process and Fourth Amendment rights, are premature and not ripe for adjudication. Assuming
there is some legal basis to his assertions, they are arguments that must be made in his pending
criminal case through his criminal defense attorney. Indeed, even if Petitioner only challenges his
detention pending trial, he must raise any such argument in a pretrial motion in his criminal
proceedings, not via a § 2241 petition. See, e.g., Reese v. Warden Phila. FDC, 904 F.3d 244, 245
(3d Cir. 2018) (“[A] federal detainee’s request for release pending trial can only be considered
under the Bail Reform Act and not under a § 2241 petition for habeas relief.” (citations omitted));
Fredrickson v. Terrill, 957 F.3d 1379, 1380 (7th Cir. 2020) (per curiam) (same); see also Fassler
v. United States, 858 F.2d 1016, 1018 (5th Cir. 1988) (per curiam) (“[T]he terms of the Bail Reform
Act and the potential for abuse of the writ and for unnecessary duplication of appeals ... should
See Habeas Rule 1(b).
USDC IN/ND case 1:21-cv-00001-HAB-SLC document 3 filed 01/05/21 page 3 of 3
ordinarily provide strong incentive for defendants to employ Section 3145 appeals.”); Jenkins v.
Noonan, No. 20-cv-00921-H-LL, 2020 WL 2745234, at *2 (S.D. Cal. May 27, 2020) (concluding
that federal pretrial detainee could not challenge pretrial detention via a § 2241 habeas petition).
Moreover, “[i]t is well settled that in the absence of exceptional circumstances in criminal
cases the regular judicial procedure should be followed and habeas corpus should not be granted
in advance of a trial.” Jones v. Perkins, 245 U.S. 390, 391–92 (1918) (citations omitted); see
Riggins v. United States, 199 U.S. 547, 551 (1905); see also Medina v. Choate, 875 F.3d 1025,
1029 (10th Cir. 2017) (“If a federal prisoner is ever entitled to relief under § 2241 based on
something that happened before trial, the circumstances are so rare that they have apparently not
yet arisen.”). Petitioner does not present any exceptional circumstances warranting a departure
from this principle.
For the reasons stated herein, the Court DISMISSES the Petition. (ECF No. 1). Petitioner’s
Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2) is DENIED as MOOT.
So ORDERED on January 5, 2021.
s/ Holly A. Brady
JUDGE HOLLY A. BRADY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?