Robinson v. Glass
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's motion to treat his motion for writ of mandamus as an amended § 2241 application for writ of habeas corpus [Doc. # 23 ] is GRANTED. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's motions for writ of mandamus and for relief brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 based on violations of speedy trial in his state criminal case [Doc. # 21 and # 22 ] are DENIED and DISMISSED without prejudice.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that petitioner's motion for hearing [Doc. # 24 ] 1s DENIED. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 09/28/2017. (KCB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
HOSEA LEE ROBINSON,
No. 4:17-CV-1628 PLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Before the Court is petitioner's motion for writ of mandamus, as well as his motion for
leave to allow his handwritten writ of mandamus to stand as an amended § 2241 petition. At
petitioner's insistence, the Court will treat the writ of mandamus filed on September 22, 2017 as
an amended § 2241 application for writ of habeas corpus relative to his speedy trial claims in his
underlying state criminal action. After review of the amended § 2241 application for writ of
habeas corpus, the Court will deny and dismiss this action.
On February 7, 2016, a grand jury indicted petitioner in Missouri State Court on one
count of first-degree statutory rape. Missouri v. Robinson, No. 1622-CR00618-01 (City of St.
Louis). Petitioner filed the instant action on June 1, 2017, asserting that his right to speedy trial
had been violated. He sought an order from this Court dismissing his state criminal charges.
Petitioner instantaneously filed a motion for preliminary injunction, asserting that his right to
receive adequate medical care had been denied.
On July 17, 2017, the Court, by Memorandum and Order, told petitioner that he was
required to amend his § 2241 petition on a court-provided form. Petitioner was also told that his
denial of medical care claims were not cognizable in federal habeas corpus proceedings brought
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Thus, petitioner was told that his motion for preliminary injunction
was denied and he was provided with a court-form for filing a separate action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Petitioner was given twenty-one (21) days to file his amended § 2241 petition
alleging violations of the speedy trial doctrine. He was also told to pay the $5 filing fee or file a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis in this action.
Although petitioner paid the $5 filing fee, he failed to file his amended § 2241 petition in
a timely manner. As such, this action was dismissed, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4l(b), for failure to comply with a Court Order, on August 28, 2017.
After dismissal of this action, petitioner filed several letters to the Court, as well as
several post-dismissal motions. In his post-dismissal motions, petitioner asserted that after he
was told to amend his petition, he spent time in the hospital for heart issues and was prevented
from filing an amended petition in a timely manner. The Court found that good cause was shown
by petitioner and reopened the present matter. Petitioner was then ordered to amend his § 2241
action on a court-provided form and given twenty-one (21) days to amend his petition.
Rather than file his claims on a § 2241 court-form, petitioner filed a hand-written
document titled "Motion to Compel Writ of Mandamus As for Good Cause Petitioner,
Defendant, Detainee, Cites and States As Follows." In essence, petitioner seeks to file a
handwritten § 2241 habeas petition, asserting that his right to speedy trial has been violated in his
state criminal matter. Petitioner has also filed a motion for hearing on his application for habeas
Petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus, or application for mandamus, states in
a conclusory manner that he has been denied the right to speedy trial in his state criminal matter.
He alleges that Mo.Rev.Stat.§ 545.780 has been denied to him, and his "constitutional rights" to
speedy trial have been denied under the 6th Amendment.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), the federal courts have jurisdiction over pretrial habeas
petitions. Neville v. Cavanagh, 611 F.2d 673, 675 (7th Cir.1979). "Despite the existence of
jurisdiction, however, federal courts are reluctant to grant pre-trial habeas relief." Id. Only when
"special circumstances" exist will a federal court find that a pretrial detainee has exhausted state
remedies. Id. "In most cases courts will not consider claims that can be raised at trial and in
subsequent state proceeding." Blanck v. Waukesha County, 48 F. Supp. 2d 859, 860 (D. Wis.
Courts have found that "special circumstances" existed where double jeopardy was at
issue or where a speedy trial claim was raised. Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S.
484, 488 (1973) (speedy trial); Blanck,, 48 F. Supp. 2d at 860 (double jeopardy). However, a
petition must contain enough facts to state a claim as a matter of law and must not be merely
conclusory. Frey v. City of Herculaneum, 44 F.3d 667, 671 (8th Cir. 1995).
The grounds raised by petitioner do not constitute the "special circumstances" required
for a finding that he has exhausted his available state remedies. 1 Petitioner's allegations are
conclusory and do not contain any facts, which if proved, would demonstrate that he has been
In the absence of special circumstances, a state prisoner must exhaust currently available and
adequate state remedies before invoking federal habeas corpus jurisdiction. Braden, 410 U.S. at
484. Missouri law provides at least three distinct avenues for a pretrial detainee to challenge
unconstitutional conduct: filing a declaratory action, filing a state petition for habeas corpus, or
filing a state petition for writ of mandamus. See Wayne v. Missouri Bd. of Prob. and Parole, 83
F.3d 994, 996-97 (8th Cir. 1996). Petitioner has not alleged, nor has the Court found, that
petitioner exhausted his state remedies prior to bringing this action.
deprived of the right to a speedy trial. Petitioner has failed to include enough facts to allow the
Court to evaluate his conclusory "speedy trial" allegations, and most importantly, the claims
raised by petitioner can be adequately raised with his state criminal counsel, at his criminal trial
and in his subsequent state proceedings.
The Court has reviewed petitioner's state criminal docket via Mo.Case.Net and found that
petitioner's counsel filed a request for speedy trial, pursuant to Mo.Rev.Stat. § 545.7802 on
September 8, 2016 with the St. Louis City Circuit Attorney's Office. See Missouri v. Robinson,
No. 1622-CR00618-01 (City of St. Louis). The Circuit Court ordered a hearing, sua sponte, on
the matter of speedy trial on June 21, 2017; however, the hearing has been postponed first
because of a conflict from the Prosecutor's Office and the second time because petitioner asked
for new counsel. 3 The matter is currently set for hearing on October 10, 2017. The state criminal
court is the best court to decide the outcome of petitioner's speedy trial consideration, and the
state trial court should be allowed the time to do so. As a result, the Court will deny and dismiss
the petition at this time, without prejudice.
Petitioner refers to "180-day rule" in his application for writ. The Missouri Speedy Trial Act,
sometimes called the 180-day rule, was repealed effective June 7, 1984. Under the current
Speedy Trial Act, a defendant should be brought to trial "as soon as reasonably possible" after
the defendant indicates he is ready for trial and requests a speedy trial. Mo.Rev.Stat. § 545.780.
The statute provides that the remedy for a defendant who is not tried "as soon as reasonably
possible" is to seek mandamus in the state court. (emphasis added)
When a criminal defendant or his counsel is responsible for the delays in trial, the defendant, by
law, is not denied his right to speedy trial. State v. Adams, 691 S. W.2d 432 (Mo.Ct.App.1985);
State v. Cannon, 692 S.W.2d 357 (Mo.Ct.App.1985); State v. Daly, 731 S.W.2d 315
(Mo.Ct.App.1987); State v. Clark, 723 S.W.2d 17 (Mo.Ct.App.1986).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's motion to treat his motion for writ of
mandamus as an amended § 2241 application for writ of habeas corpus [Doc. #23] is
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's motions for writ of mandamus and for
relief brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 based on violations of speedy trial in his state
criminal case [Doc. #21 and #22] are DENIED and DISMISSED without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that petitioner's motion for hearing [Doc. #24] 1s
shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated thi~_· day of September, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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