O'Dochartaigh v. Vidal
Judge William G. Young: ORDER entered. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER The petition for writ of habeas corpus is DENIED and this action is DISMISSED.(PSSA, 4)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
OSVALDO VIDAL, Superintendent,
June 4, 2021
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Before the Court is a pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus submitted by petitioner Edward-Jude O’Dochartaigh.
the reasons set forth below, the petition is DENIED and this
action is DISMISSED.
Petitioner Edward-Jude O’Dochartaigh, a pre-trial detainee
in custody at the Middlesex County Jail and House of Correction
in Billerica, Massachusetts, filed his self-prepared petition
for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2241 on May 20,
Four days later, on May 24, 2021, he
filed an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. 2241.
Docket No. 3.
In the cover letter
accompanying the amended petition, petitioner references Section
2242 and states that it is “better for petitioner to include all
of his claims in one habeas corpus action rather than bring
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successive actions raising different points.”
Docket No. 3-1.
On May 26, 2021, he paid the $5.00 filing fee.
Docket No. 4.
The six-page, typewritten amended petition consists
primarily of a recounting of events surrounding the petitioner’s
arrest and prosecution after returning to the United States from
abroad in 2018.
Docket No. 3.
While abroad, petitioner states
that he sought assistance from the United States Embassy and
“discovered that [petitioner] required supplemental education
regarding the United States and [petitioner’s] relationship to
Id. at p. 1.
Upon his return to the United States,
petitioner “reject[ed] any efforts to repatriate [petitioner] as
a United States citizen [and sought to claim his] inherent State
Citizenship for the organic sovereign republic Commonwealth of
Petitioner challenges the “lawfulness of [his] detention
[and] the deprivation of [his] liberty.”
Id. at p. 1.
complains of the violation of his constitutional rights during
court proceedings in Middlesex Superior Court as recently as
March 29, 2021, when he was appointed stand-by counsel.
Petitioner references several sections of the Uniform
Commercial Code in support of the proposition that petitioner
has reserved his “common law right not to be compelled to
perform under any contract that [petitioner] did not enter into
knowingly, voluntarily, and intentionally.”
Id. at p. 3.
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Petitioner refers himself as “In Propria Persona, Sui Juris,”
id. at p 6, and complains that “soon every American will be
required to register his biological property in a National
system designed to keep track of the people that will operate
under the ancient system of pledging.”
Id. at p. 5.
Habeas corpus review is available under § 2241 if a person
is “in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or
treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).
The Petition has not been served pending the Court’s
preliminary review of the amended petition.
See 28 U.S.C. §
2243 (providing that, if “it appears from the application [for a
writ of habeas corpus] that the applicant . . . is not entitled
[to the writ],” the district court is not required to serve the
petition on the respondent); see also Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing Habeas Corpus Cases under Section 2254 (providing
that, if it “plainly appears from the face of the [habeas]
petition . . . that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in
the district court,” the Court “must dismiss the petition”). 1
Rule 4 may be applied at the discretion of the district court to other
habeas petitions. See Rule 1(b) of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases
under Section 2254.
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To the extent that petitioner seeks to challenge his pretrial confinement, he fails to allege facts showing that his
confinement violates federal law.
Petitioner presents several
arguments that are commonly raised by “sovereign citizens.” 2
However, even with a liberal construction, these arguments do
not remotely suggest that petitioner has a viable legal claim.
To the extent that petitioner seeks to assert a habeas
corpus petition to secure his release from pretrial detention,
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), mandates abstention from
the exercise of jurisdiction when a petitioner seeks relief in
federal court from ongoing state criminal proceedings. See
Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs, 571 U.S. 69, 78 (2013)
(noting that Younger “preclude[s] federal intrusion into ongoing
state criminal prosecutions”); In re Justices of Superior Court
Dept. of Mass. Trial Court, 218 F.3d 11, 16 (1st Cir. 2000)
("[F]ederal courts have long recognized ‘the fundamental policy
against federal interference with state criminal proceedings.'"
(quoting Younger, 401 U.S. at 46)).
The criminal proceedings
alleged in the petition are judicial in nature, implicate
Sovereign citizens are a loosely affiliated group who believe that the state
and federal governments lack constitutional legitimacy and therefore have no
authority to regulate their behavior. United States v. Ulloa, No. 11–5368,
511 Fed. Appx. 105, 107, 2013 WL 535776, at n. 1. (2d Cir. 2013); see also
Gauthier v. Kirkpatrick, 2013 WL 6407716, at *17 n.18 (D. Vt. Dec. 9, 2013)
(noting courts have described sovereign citizen ideology as “completely
without merit,” “patently frivolous,” and “having no conceivable validity in
American law”) (citations omitted).
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important state interests associated with the State's
administration of its laws, afford Petitioner an adequate
opportunity to raise federal constitutional challenges, and
allow Petitioner to advocate for pretrial release on the same
grounds he would cite in this Court.
Here, petitioner has not
alleged any facts that would constitute the extraordinary
circumstances necessary to overcome the presumption for
For the foregoing reasons,
The petition for writ of habeas corpus is DENIED and
this action is DISMISSED.
The Clerk shall enter a separate order of dismissal.
/s/ William G. Young
WILLIAM G. YOUNG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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