Smith v. Wiser
ORDER DIRECTING RESPONDENT TO FILE RELEVANT PORTIONS OF STATE COURTRECORD AND LIMITED RESPONSE TO PETITIONER'S WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS & MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, DENYING DUPLICATE 3 , 4 MOTIONS AS UNNECESSARY, AND DENYING OTHER PENDING 7 , 10 , 15 MOTIONS AS PREMATURE. Signed by Judge J. Daniel Breen on 11/14/23. (mbm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
ORDER DIRECTING RESPONDENT TO FILE RELEVANT PORTIONS OF STATE COURT
RECORD AND LIMITED RESPONSE TO PETITIONER’S WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS &
MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, DENYING DUPLICATE MOTIONS AS
UNNECESSARY, AND DENYING OTHER PENDING MOTIONS AS PREMATURE
On May 3, 2023, Petitioner, Nathan Smith, filed a pro se Writ of Habeas Corpus & Motion
for Preliminary Injunction.1 (Docket Entry (“D.E.”) 1.) He filed an Emergency Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order (D.E. 7) on June 6, 2023, a Motion to Transfer Case Exhibits (D.E.
10) on July 20, 2023, and a Motion Requesting Leave to Serve Process (D.E. 15) on September
Smith’s pro se Writ of Habeas Corpus & Motion for Preliminary Injunction is before the
Court on preliminary review. See Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United
States District Courts.
Petitioner claims in his pro se Writ that he is being unlawfully detained by Respondent,
Sheriff Julian Wiser, at the Madison County Jail in Jackson, Tennessee. (D.E. 1 at PageID 1.)
According to Smith, after his release from the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville,
Petitioner filed duplicates of his pro se Writ of Habeas Corpus & Motion for Preliminary
Injunction on May 3, 2023, and on May 8, 2023. (D.E. 3 & 4.)
Tennessee, he was “immediately arrested” on a fugitive from justice warrant out of Greene County,
Missouri. (Id.) He claims, however, that the fugitive from justice warrant was dismissed on April
14, 2023, and a judge in Bledsoe County ordered his release. (Id. at PageID 1; D.E. 1-2 at PageID
Instead of being released, Smith alleges that he was taken to the Madison County Jail based
on “a $250,000 fugitive warrant in Madison County.” (D.E. 1 at PageID 1.) He further contends
that he has yet to be seen by a judge and has not been scheduled for arraignment or any other
hearing. (Id. at PageID 2.) Petitioner states that he has a fugitive warrant in Missouri and is
awaiting extradition to that state. (Id. at PageID 1.)
On June 22, 2023, Smith filed a Notice of Change of Address. (D.E. 8 at PageID 24.) He
included in his notice that he was “transferred illegally” from the Tennessee jail to the Missouri
jail. (Id. at PageID 23.) Additionally, in a letter filed on July 17, 2023, Petitioner stated that he
was extradited to Missouri from Tennessee to face charges for burglary and stealing. (D.E. 9.)
Smith’s Motion Requesting Leave to Serve Process, which is his most recent filing,
includes a letter with a return address indicating that he remains in custody at the Missouri jail.
(D.E. 15-1.) Thus, it appears that Petitioner is not physically present within the Western District
of Tennessee, Eastern Division.
Before a fugitive in custody is extradited to the demanding state, he has the right to
challenge the authority of the asylum state by seeking a federal writ of habeas corpus. Gee v.
Kansas, 912 F.2d 414, 416 (10th Cir. 1990) (citing Roberts v. Reilly, 116 U.S. 80, 94 (1885)).
“Once the prisoner has been returned to the demanding state, the writ of habeas corpus is no longer
available to challenge his confinement upon grounds arising from conduct in the asylum state.”
Brown v. Nutsch, 619 F.2d 758, 763 (8th Cir. 1980) (citing Mahon v. Justice, 127 U.S. 700, 706–
08 (1888)). Because Petitioner has been extradited to Missouri, he cannot seek habeas relief based
on his pre-extradition confinement at the Tennessee jail. See Brown, 619 F.2d at 763.
Moreover, even if Smith could seek habeas relief based on pre-extradition events that
occurred in Tennessee, a district court cannot adjudicate a habeas corpus petition unless it has
personal jurisdiction over the custodian of the prisoner. See Braden v. 30th Jud. Cir. Ct., 410 U.S.
484, 495 (1973). His latest filing indicates that he is no longer in custody in this district, and thus,
the Court has no jurisdiction over Petitioner’s custodian at the Missouri jail, where he is apparently
confined. See id.
In addition to habeas relief, Smith seeks a preliminary injunction to stop the Madison
County Sheriff from illegally detaining him. (D.E. 1 at PageID 2.) Because Petitioner is no longer
in the Madison County Sheriff’s custody, however, Petitioner’s claims on this issue are moot, and
there is no injunctive relief that the Court can grant.
“Article III of the Constitution confines the judicial power of federal courts to deciding
actual ‘Cases’ or ‘Controversies.’” Hollingsworth v. Perry, 570 U.S. 693, 704 (2013) (citing U.S.
Const., art. III, § 2). This is “a cradle-to-grave requirement that must be met in order to file a claim
in federal court and that must be met in order to keep it there.” Fialka-Feldman v. Oakland Univ.
Bd. of Trs., 639 F.3d 711, 713 (6th Cir. 2011). A case or controversy, at a minimum, requires that
“the plaintiff ‘must have suffered, or be threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the defendant
and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.’” Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7
(1998) (quoting Lewis v. Cont’l Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990)).
“An incarcerated convict’s (or a parolee’s) challenge to the validity of his conviction
always satisfies the case-or-controversy requirement, because the incarceration (or the restriction
imposed by the terms of the parole) constitutes a concrete injury, caused by the conviction and
redressable by invalidation of the conviction.” Id. Once the prisoner’s sentence has expired,
however, he must make an affirmative showing that he is suffering some actual “collateral
consequence” because of his completed sentence, or his claim is properly dismissed as moot.
Spencer, 523 U.S. at 7; Demis v. Sniezek, 558 F.3d 508, 512–13 (6th Cir. 2009).
Respondent is therefore ORDERED to file a limited response to the pro se Writ of Habeas
Corpus & Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (D.E. 1.) The response shall address whether
Petitioner’s pleading should be dismissed given that his most recent filing (D.E. 15-1) indicates
that he is no longer in custody in Tennessee. Respondent shall also provide relevant documentation
about Smith’s incarceration at the Madison County Jail and his release from custody. The response
and documentation are due no later than 28 days from the entry of this Order.
Petitioner may, if he chooses, submit a reply to the response within 28 days of service. He
may request an extension of time to reply by filing a motion on or before the due date of his reply.
Petitioner’s duplicate motions (D.E. 3 & 4) are DENIED as unnecessary. All other pending
motions (D.E. 7, 10, & 15) are DENIED as premature.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 14th day of November 2023.
s/ J. DANIEL BREEN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?