Solton v. Geary County
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: This matter is liberally construed as a petition for habeas corpus brought under 28 U.S.C. §2241 and is dismissed without prejudice. 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis is granted. Signed by U.S. District Senior Judge Sam A. Crow on 12/22/16. Mailed to pro se party Carlton Wayne Solton by regular mail. (msb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
CARLTON WAYNE SOLTON, JR.,
CASE NO. 16-3236-SAC-DJW
GEARY COUNTY, et al.,
O R D E R
This matter is a civil action filed by a pretrial detainee held
at the Geary County Detention Center. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and
seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff names Geary County, Kansas, as the sole defendant. He
claims broadly of being arrested on “bogus charges”, misrepresented
by appointed attorneys, prosecuted by attorneys who uphold faulty
affidavits and withhold evidence, and bound over for trial by judges
when that decision is not supported by evidence.
As relief, he asks that his innocence be proven, and that he be
provided psychiatric counseling and awarded monetary damages as
compensation for mental suffering and false imprisonment.
A federal court must conduct a preliminary review of any case
in which a prisoner seeks relief against a governmental entity or an
officer or employee of such an entity. See 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a).
Following this review, the court must dismiss any portion of the
complaint that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary damages from a defendant
who is immune from that relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
In screening, a court liberally construes pleadings filed by a
party proceeding pro se and applies “less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007).
Plaintiff’s challenge to the validity of the pending state
criminal proceeding sounds in habeas corpus, and the Court liberally
construes this matter as a petition arising under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
See Walck v. Edmondson, 427 F.3d 1227, 1235 (10th Cir. 1997)(stating
that Section 2241 applies to challenges to pretrial detention).
Section 2241 allows the federal courts to consider pretrial
habeas corpus actions; however, it is settled that the federal courts
should abstain from such review if the claims presented in a pretrial
petition may be resolved by the state trial or other procedures
available under state law. Capps v. Sullivan, 13 F.3d 350, 354 n. 2
(10th Cir. 1993).
Under Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), a federal court
should not intervene in state criminal proceedings brought prior to
the commencement of the federal petition when those proceedings: (1)
are ongoing; (2) implicate important state interests; and (3) provide
an adequate opportunity to present federal constitutional claims.
Winnebago Tribe of Neb. v. Stovall, 341 F.3d 1202, 1204 (10th Cir.
An exception to this rule of abstention is available “in cases
of proven harassment or prosecutions undertaken by state officials
in bad faith without hope of obtaining a valid conviction and perhaps
in other extraordinary circumstances where irreparable injury can be
shown.” Perez v. Ledesma, 401 U.S. 82, 85 (1971). See also Younger,
401 U.S. at 54 (recognizing an exception upon a showing of “bad faith,
harassment, or any other unusual circumstance that would call for
The Court finds the Younger factors are met here. First,
petitioner is the subject of a pending state criminal action filed
before petitioner commenced this action. Next, the prosecution of one
accused of violating state law clearly implicates an important state
interest. See Hicks v. Miranda, 422 U.S. 332, 349 (9175). Third, the
Kansas state courts provide petitioner with an adequate forum to
present his challenges concerning the case against him. Finally,
circumstances that warrant federal court intervention at this stage.
Accordingly, the Court concludes abstention is required in this
matter and will dismiss the matter without prejudice.
IT IS, THEREFORE, BY THE COURT ORDERED this matter is liberally
construed as a petition for habeas corpus brought under 28 U.S.C. §2241
and is dismissed without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED the motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(Doc. #2) is granted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
This 22nd day of December, 2016, at Topeka, Kansas.
S/ Sam A. Crow
SAM A. CROW
U.S. Senior District Judge
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