FANIEL v. WARDEN
OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Anne E. Thompson on 5/16/2017. (mps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
LISA J. FANIEL,
MAY 16 2017
WILLIAM T. WALSH
No. 17-2790 (AET)
WARDEN MONMOUTH COUNTY
Lisa J. Faniel, Petitioner Pro Se
1 Waterworks Road
Freehold, NJ 07728
THOMPSON, District Judge:
Before the Court is Petitioner Lisa J. Faniel's petition
for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Docket
Entry 1. Based on Petitioner's affidavit of indigency, the
application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. For the
reasons stated below, the petition shall be dismissed for
failure to exhaust state court remedies.
Petitioner is a pre-trial detainee presently confined in
Monmouth County Correctional Institution ("MCCI"), Freehold, New
Jersey. She alleges she has been held at MCCI for at least 90
days without receiving a court date or bail hearing. Petition
13. She states that she is not a flight risk or danger to the
community, and that she should be released on her own
recognizance pending court dates on the charges of aggravated
assault as her actions were in self-defense. Id.
("I should be
considered for an ROR on these alledged [sic] stated charges of
aggravated assault. This was all in defense of harm being caused
Petitioner indicates she filed bail and speedy trial
motions on March 6, April 4, and April 17, 2017, and that she is
"waiting for a response" from the state courts. Id.
submitted this petition for mailing on April 17, 2017.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Petitioner brings this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
as a pro se litigant. The Court has an obligation to liberally
construe pro se pleadings and to hold them to less stringent
standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
of the U.S.,
(2007); Higgs v. Atty. Gen.
655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011), as amended (Sept.
(citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). A
pro se habeas petition and any supporting submissions must be
construed liberally and with a measure of tolerance. See Royce
v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 118 .(3d Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney
General, 878 F.2d 714, 721-22
(3d Cir. 1989); United States v.
Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555
(3d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399
Nevertheless, a federal district court must dismiss a
habeas corpus petition if it appears from the face of the
petition that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. 28
U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4 (made applicable through Rule l(b)); see
also McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); Siers v.
Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45
(3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S.
District courts have jurisdiction under § 2241 to issue a
writ of habeas corpus before a criminal judgment is entered
against an individual in state court, see Moore v. De Young,
F.2d 437, 441-42
(3d Cir. 1975), but "that jurisdiction must be
exercised sparingly in order to prevent in the ordinary
circumstance 'pre-trial habeas interference by federal courts in
the normal functioning of state criminal processes.'". Duran v.
Thomas, 393 F. App'x 3, 4 (3d Cir. 2010)
(quoting Moore, 515
F. 3d at 4 4 5-4 6) . "The district court .should exercise its 'pretrial' habeas jurisdiction only if petitioner makes a special
showing of the need for such adjudication and has exhausted
state remedies." Moore,
515 F.2d at 443.
Petitioner indicates she has filed several motions in the
trial court regarding her pre-trial release and speedy trial
rights and that she is "awaiting for the review of [her] motions
9(b). It is clear from the face of the
petition that Petitioner has not exhausted her state court
remedies as she indicates the trial court has not ruled on all
of her motions. Moreover, the petition indicates she has not
presented her arguments to the New Jersey Superior Court
Appellate Division and Supreme Court. See id.
no second appeal was filed because she "didn't think it was
necessary since [she] appeared in pre-trial indictment on 4/3/17
[and she] received a letter from the law clerk and it will
reviewed in 30 days for determination of motions submitted").
"'[T]he practice of exercising [federal habeas] power
before the question has been raised or determined in the state
court is one which ought not to be encouraged.'" Moore,
(quoting Cook v. Hart, 146 U.S. 183, 195 (1892)). The
state courts are equally responsible for "protecting the accused
in the enjoyment of [her]
[federal] constitutional rights," and
"comity demands that the state courts, under whose process [s]he
is held ... should be appealed to in the first instance." Id. at
442-43 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). As
Petitioner's claims have not been exhausted in the state courts,
the Court will not exercise its pre-trial habeas jurisdiction
unless there are extraordinary circumstances.
Nothing in the petition suggests the state courts are
incapable of addressing Petitioner's argume~ts or that there are
special circumstances warranting federal intervention at this
time. See Moore,
515 F.2d at 446 ("[F]ederal courts should not
permit the claimed denial of a speedy trial, presented in a pretrial application for habeas, to result in the derailment of a
pending state proceeding." (internal quotation marks omitted)).
Once Petitioner has presented and exhausted her claims in the
state courts, "the federal courts will, .of course, be open to
[her], if need be, ·to entertain any petition for habeas corpus
relief which may be presented. These· procedures amply serve to
protect [Petitioner] 's constitutional rights without pre-trial
federal intervention in the orderly functioning of state
criminal processes." Id. at 449. The petition is denied without
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
2253(c), a petitioner may not
appeal from a final order denying relief from a "detention
complained of aris[ing] out of process issued by a State Court"
unless she has "made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right." 28 U.S.C.
2253(c) (1)-(2). "When the
district court denies a habeas petition on procedural grounds
without reaching the prisoner's underlying constitutional claim,
[certificate of appealability] should issue when .
of reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a
valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right and that
jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district
court was correct in its procedural ruling." Slack v. McDaniel,
This Court denies a certificate of appealability because
jurists of reason would not find it debatable that dismissal of
the petition for failing to exhaust state court remedies is
without prejudice for failure to exhaust state court remedies.
An appropriate order follows.
U.S. District Judge
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