Williams v. McBride et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL for failure to state a claim. A separate final judgment will be entered. Signed by District Judge Carlton W. Reeves on 11/23/2011. (JS)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
TERRELL UNDRAE WILLIAMS,
JAMIE MCBRIDE and ANGELA
CAUSE NO. 3:11cv463-CWR-FKB
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL
BEFORE THE COURT is pro se Petitioner Terrell Undrae Williams’s 
Complaint, which the Court construes as a petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. 2241.1 The Court has considered and liberally construed the pleadings and
motion. The case is dismissed.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Petitioner was arrested in May, 2010 and indicted on August 31, charged with
statutory rape. He is currently a pre-trial detainee in the Hinds County Detention
Center awaiting trial.
Petitioner filed a habeas action in this Court on May 20, 2011, styled Williams
v. Mississippi, No. 3:11cv304-CWR-FKB. Petitioner argued the indictment should be
dismissed because it is vague and he is innocent. He filed the instant action on July
Petitioner styled this action as a Section 1983 complaint for malicious
prosecution and false arrest. Since he only seeks release from detention, this action
is properly recognized as one for habeas corpus under Section 2241. See Jones v.
Cain, 600 F.3d 527, 541 (5th Cir. 2010); Dickerson v. Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 224
(5th Cir. 1987).
28, against Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride and investigating officer Angela
Williams. Again, Petitioner seeks dismissal of the indictment based on its alleged
ambiguity and the fact that he is innocent. He further claims the indictment should
be dismissed because there was no probable cause. On August 1, the undersigned
dismissed Williams v. Mississippi for lack of exhaustion and because habeas did not lie
to prevent the State criminal trial.
This Court has already ruled that Petitioner may not bring a habeas challenge
to prevent trial on the statutory rape charge. Williams v. Mississippi, No. 3:11cv304CWR-FKB (S.D. Miss. Aug. 1, 2011). He did not appeal that decision. The holding
applies to this duplicate action filed while the first was still pending.
To the extent that the lack of probable cause claim may not be considered
duplicate in this proceeding, that claim must likewise be dismissed. Petitioner argues
there was no probable cause for his arrest because Defendant Williams left out
exculpatory information from her affidavit to obtain the arrest warrant. As relief, he
seeks dismissal of the indictment. Lack of probable cause would not necessarily lead
to dismissal of the indictment. Even if it did, the Court is without authority to abort
the State criminal trial. Dickerson, 816 F.2d at 226.
Additionally, lack of probable cause is a matter which may be resolved by trial
on the merits of statutory rape.
First, the basis of Petitioner’s probable cause
argument is that he is innocent. Second, he indicates he filed a motion challenging
probable cause in the State trial court. According to the Fifth Circuit:
[A]lthough section 2241 establishes jurisdiction in the federal courts to
consider pre-trial habeas corpus petitions, federal courts should abstain
from the exercise of that jurisdiction if the issues raised in the petition
may be resolved either by trial on the merits in the state court or by other
state procedures available to the petitioner.
Id. at 225. This means he may bring a pre-trial federal habeas claim only if he has
exhausted his State court remedies. Id. at 228. This gives “the State the ‘opportunity
to pass upon and correct’ alleged violations of its prisoners’ federal rights.” Baldwin
v. Reese, 541 U.S. 27, 29 (2004) (quoting Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995)).
In order to exhaust his claim for habeas, he is required to seek relief from the highest
court of the State. O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 840 (1999). See, D.D. v. White,
650 F.2d 749, 750 (5th Cir. 1981).
According to the Mississippi Supreme Court’s docket, Petitioner did apply for a
writ of mandamus to dismiss the indictment. In Re: Williams, No. 2011-M-1209 (Miss.
Oct. 12, 2011) (denying mandamus). The issue he raised, however, was that the
indictment is defective. He did not raise probable cause. Therefore, even if the Court
could prevent the trial based on the probable cause argument, that issue is
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that, for the reasons
stated above, the Court construes this case as one for habeas under 28 U.S.C. 2241.
The Clerk of Court is directed to change the case classification accordingly.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the case is
DISMISSED. A separate final judgment shall issue pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
THIS the 23rd day of November, 2011.
s/Carlton W. Reeves
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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