Ozment v. Armbrister
NOTICE AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE ENTERED: Petitioner is directed to show cause, in writing, on or before October 11, 2021, why this matter should not be summarily dismissed without prejudice under the Younger abstention doctrine or on the independent basis of failure to state a claim cognizable in a federal habeas action. Signed by U.S. Senior District Judge Sam A. Crow on 9/9/2021. Mailed to pro se party Matthew G. Ozment by regular mail. (jal)
Case 5:21-cv-03209-SAC Document 2 Filed 09/09/21 Page 1 of 6
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
MATTHEW G. OZMENT,
CASE NO. 21-3209-SAC
NOTICE AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
This matter is before the Court on Petitioner’s petition for
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1.)
Petitioner, who is proceeding pro se, is detained in Leavenworth
County Jail facing state criminal charges pending in Douglas County,
Kansas. The Court has conducted a preliminary review of the petition
and will direct Petitioner to show cause, in writing, why this
action should not be dismissed.
In May 2018, Petitioner was criminally charged in Douglas
District Court Online Records Search. In July 2018, Petitioner began
serving a 19-to-48-month criminal sentence in Nevada for crimes he
committed in Nevada. See Nevada Department of Corrections Online
Inmate Search. On April 15, 2019, while still incarcerated in
Nevada, Petitioner “filed a 180-day writ” under the Interstate
Agreement on Detainers (IAD). (Doc. 1, p. 2, 6.) The IAD governs
“[t]he statutory right to a speedy trial of an inmate who is
confined in a penal or correctional institution in another state.”
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State v. Waldrup, 46 Kan. App. 2d 656, 669 (Kan. App. 2011), rev.
denied Feb. 20, 2013. Kansas and Nevada have both entered into the
IAD. K.S.A. 22-4401; N.R.S. 178.620. Highly summarized, when a
prisoner is incarcerated in a state that is party to the IAD (the
sending state) and faces untried charges in another party state
(the receiving state), the prisoner may notify the receiving state
of his or her place of imprisonment and request for a final
disposition of the charges against him or her. K.S.A. 22-4401, Art.
III(a); N.R.S. 178.620, Art. III(a). After the notification, the
receiving state must bring the prisoner to trial within 180 days.
Petitioner alleges that the Douglas County District Court did not
comply with the IAD to timely bring him to trial on the charges in
case number 18-CR-565. (Doc. 1, p. 2.) According to Petitioner, his
IAD filing generated no response. Id.
Leavenworth County District Court online records reflect that
Petitioner returned to custody in Kansas by August 2019. See
number 18-CR-538. In December 2019, Petitioner filed a motion to
dismiss in Douglas County District Court, arguing that the failure
to bring him to trial within 180 days required dismissal of the
him. 1 (Doc.
Disposition of Detainers Act (UMDDA) is Kansas’ intrastate parallel
to the IAD under which a prisoner incarcerated in one county may
seek disposition of charges pending against him or her in another
county. See K.S.A. 22-4301(a). Once again, Petitioner alleges, he
With the Douglas County District Court’s permission, Petitioner by this point
was proceeding pro se in his criminal proceedings in that court. See Douglas
County District Court Online Records Search, case number 2018-CR-000565.
Case 5:21-cv-03209-SAC Document 2 Filed 09/09/21 Page 3 of 6
received no response from the Douglas County District Court. (Doc.
1, p. 3.) In March 2020, Petitioner filed another motion to dismiss
in the Douglas County District Court, but received no response. Id.
On September 7, 2021, Petitioner filed the petition for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 that is presently
before the Court. (Doc. 1.) He names as respondent Douglas County
Sheriff Jay Armbrister. Id. at 1. His asserted grounds for relief
are that the Douglas County District Court’s failure to bring him
to trial within the time limits set by the IAD and the UMDDA deprived
the Douglas County District Court of jurisdiction in his criminal
case. Id. at 6-7. Petitioner also points out that he has attempted
to resolve this through motion practice in the state court but the
state court has not ruled on his motions. Id. Petitioner asks this
Court to dismiss Douglas County District Court case number 18-CR565 with prejudice and void any outstanding detainer. Id. at 7.
This matter is governed by Habeas Corpus Rule 4 and 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Rule 4 requires the Court to undertake a preliminary review
of the petition and “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief
. . . the judge must dismiss the petition.” Habeas Corpus Rule 4.
The United States district courts are authorized to grant a writ of
Constitution or laws and treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
The Younger Doctrine
Although § 2241 may be an appropriate avenue to challenge
pretrial detention, see Yellowbear v. Wyoming Atty. Gen., 525 F.3d
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921, 924 (10th Cir. 2008), principles of comity dictate that absent
unusual circumstances, a federal court is not to intervene in
ongoing state criminal proceedings unless “irreparable injury” is
“both great and immediate.” Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 46
(1971). Under Younger, federal courts must abstain when “(1) the
state proceedings are ongoing; (2) the state proceedings implicate
important state interests; and (3) the state proceedings afford an
challenges.” Phelps v. Hamilton, 122 F.3d 885, 889 (10th Cir. 1997).
extraordinary circumstances,’ if the three conditions are indeed
satisfied.” Brown ex rel. Brown v. Day, 555 F.3d 882, 888 (10th
Cir. 2009) (quoting Amanatullah v. Co. Bd. of Med. Examiners, 187
F.3d 1160, 1163 (10th Cir. 1999)).
The three conditions in Younger are satisfied here. The Douglas
County criminal case against Petitioner appears to be ongoing, the
State of Kansas has an important interest in prosecuting crimes
charging the violation of Kansas laws, and the state courts provide
understands the significance of Petitioner’s allegation that the
Douglas County District Court is not addressing his pending motions,
but such inaction does not necessarily close all avenues of statecourt relief. See Kan. Const. Art. 3, § 3 (“The supreme court shall
have original jurisdiction in proceedings in . . . mandamus”);
K.S.A. 60-801 (“Mandamus is a proceeding to compel some inferior
court . . . to perform a specified duty, which duty results from
the office, trust or official station of the party to whom the order
is directed, or from operation of law.”); Kan. Sup. Ct. Rule 9.01
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(describing procedures related to bringing an original action of
mandamus in the Kansas Supreme Court).
Although “[t]he Younger abstention doctrine does not apply ‘in
case 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,’” a petitioner asserting such circumstances
must make “‘more than mere allegations of bad faith or harassment.’”
Amanatullah, 187 F.3d at 1165. Petitioner has not done so here.
Petitioner is therefore directed to show cause, in writing, on
or before October 11, 2021, why this matter should not be summarily
dismissed without prejudice under Younger. The failure to file a
timely response will result in this matter being dismissed without
further prior notice to Petitioner.
Failure to State a Claim
Even if Younger does not bar this Court from intervening in
the ongoing Douglas County criminal case, the petition should
nevertheless be dismissed because it does not state a claim upon
which federal habeas relief may be granted. To obtain relief under
§ 2241, Petitioner must establish that “[h]e is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United
States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). But Petitioner’s claims rest solely
on the alleged violation of the IAD and the UMDDA, which are state
laws. 2 As
Although the petition refers in passing to a violation of Petitioner’s
“constitutional rights,” Petitioner makes no further argument that his federal
constitutional right to a speedy trial has been violated. Nor has Petitioner
demonstrated that he raised or exhausted a constitutional speedy trial argument
in state court, which would be required before pursuing federal habeas relief
on that ground. See Montez v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 866 (10th Cir. 2000) (“A
habeas petitioner is generally required to exhaust state remedies.”).
Case 5:21-cv-03209-SAC Document 2 Filed 09/09/21 Page 6 of 6
violations are not cognizable in a federal habeas action.” Montez
v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 865 (10th Cir. 2000).
For the reasons stated above, it appears that the petition is
subject to dismissal in its entirety under the Younger doctrine or,
in the alternative, because the petition is based solely on alleged
state-law violations, so it fails to state a claim upon which
federal habeas relief can be granted.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Petitioner is directed to show
cause, in writing, on or before October 11, 2021, why this matter
should not be summarily dismissed without prejudice under the
Younger abstention doctrine or on the independent basis of failure
to state a claim cognizable in a federal habeas action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
This 9th day of September, 2021, at Topeka, Kansas.
S/ Sam A. Crow
SAM A. CROW
U.S. Senior District Judge
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