Boynton et al v. State of Ohio et al
Memorandum Opinion: The petition (Doc. No. 1 ) and the amended petition (Doc. No. 3 ) are dismissed. The motion for a preliminary injunction (Doc. No. 2 ) is denied as moot. The Court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith and that there is no basis upon which to issue a certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. Section 2253(c). Judge Sara Lioi on 7/26/2017. (P,J)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
ANDRE DARIUS BOYNTON, et al.,
STATE OF OHIO, et al.,
CASE NO. 1:17-cv-1466
JUDGE SARA LIOI
Pro se petitioners, Andre Darius Boynton and Anika M. George, have filed a “Petition
Seeking Federal Habeas Relief Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.” (Doc. No. 1.) They assert they are pretrial detainees in the Cuyahoga County Jail awaiting trial in two state criminal cases. They ask the
Court “to dismiss all outstanding charges/claims” against them in the state cases with prejudice on
the grounds of alleged violations of their speedy-trial rights under the Sixth and Fourteenth
Amendments. (Id. at 2.) They have filed a “Motion for a Preliminary Injunction” asserting the
same grounds. (Doc. No. 2.)
Promptly after the filing of a habeas corpus petition, a federal district court must undertake
a preliminary review of the petition to determine “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any
attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Habeas
Corpus Cases Under Section 2254 (applicable to petitions under § 2241 pursuant to Rule 1(b)). If
so, the petition must be summarily dismissed. See Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir.
1970) (the district court has a duty to “screen out” habeas petitions that lack of merit on their face).
No response is necessary when a petition is frivolous, obviously lacks merit, or where the
necessary facts can be determined from the petition itself without consideration of a response. Id.
Upon review, the Court finds this petition must be summarily dismissed.
Although a state pre-trial detainee may bring a federal habeas corpus action under § 2241
to demand a speedy trial, he may not seek pre-conviction habeas corpus relief to request that state
charges be dismissed altogether, as petitioners do here. See Braden v. 30th Judicial Cir. Ct. of Ky.,
410 U.S. 484, 489-91, 93 S. Ct. 1123, 35 L. Ed. 2d 430 (1973); Atkins v. Michigan, 644 F.2d 543,
546 (6th Cir. 1981); see also Humphrey v. Plummer, 840 F. Supp. 2d 1040, 1043-44 (S. D. Ohio
2011) (“a distinction is drawn between ‘a defendant disrupting the orderly functioning of a state’s
judicial processes as opposed to enforcing his right to have the state bring him promptly to trial’”)
(quoting Dickerson v. State of La., 816 F.2d 220, 227 (5th Cir. 1987)). Moreover, comity concerns
require that federal courts abstain from intruding into state criminal proceedings already underway
by exercising jurisdiction over pre-conviction habeas petitions if the issues raised may be resolved
either by a trial on the merits in the state court or by other state procedures available to the
petitioner. Atkins, 644 F.2d at 546.
Abstention is warranted here, and comity considerations require that petitioners fully
present their speedy-trial claims in the state courts.1
Accordingly, the petition (Doc. No. 1) and the amended petition (Doc. No. 3) are
dismissed. The motion for a preliminary injunction (Doc. No. 2) is denied as moot. The Court
further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be
taken in good faith and that there is no basis upon which to issue a certificate of appealability. 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 26, 2017
HONORABLE SARA LIOI
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Here, petitioners have not exhausted their available state remedies. The state court criminal docket, of which this
Court may take judicial notice, reveals that a jury trial on the state criminal charges began on July 24, 2017 and, as of
the date of this memorandum opinion, is ongoing. See State of Ohio v. Anika George and Andre D. Boynton, Cuyahoga
Cnty. Ct of C.P., Case No. CR-16-603301, Docket Sheet. Accordingly, petitioners cannot maintain that the state court
has refused to bring them to trial. Further, the docket reflects that petitioner Boynton sought dismissal of the charges
against him on speedy trial grounds, but the trial court denied the motion on July 14, 2017. In light of the fact that
there is no judgment from which petitioner Boynton could have appealed, he has not exhausted this claim by presenting
it to the highest court of the State of Ohio.
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