United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge
matter is before me on initial review of Petitioner Yohan
Webb's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Filing no. 1. For the reasons discussed
below, I will dismiss the petition without prejudice.
is charged with three misdemeanors, and they are (1) false
imprisonment-2nd degree; (2) commit child abuse
negligently/no injury; and (3) disturbing the
peace. The judge has considered whether there is
probable cause to believe the Petitioner committed the crimes
charged, and he determined that probable cause existed.
Various bond review hearings were held and Petitioner's
bond was eventually reduced from $15, 000 to $5, 000 with
release upon the deposit of 10% percent of that amount.
Petitioner did not make bond.
August 9, 2019, and as the matter was approaching trial,
Petitioner's public defender filed a motion for a
competency determination. On August 12, 2019, a psychiatrist
was appointed to examine the Petitioner. Subsequently,
Petitioner was determined mentally incompetent but that there
was a substantial probability that Petitioner would become
competent within the foreseeable future. That order was
entered on September 5, 2019, after a hearing where
Petitioner was represented by counsel. The decision was based
upon a four-page evaluation by the appointed psychiatrist.
Since the competency determination, Petitioner has filed
numerous pro se requests for relief that have not been acted
upon by the state judge.
case, Petitioner makes various claims. Summarized and
condensed, Petitioner asserts that the judge is biased
against Petitioner, that Petitioner is entitled to release,
that Petitioner is being discriminated against, that
Petitioner is being denied due process, that Petitioner's
counsel is ineffective and that Petitioner is being punished
without a trial. He explicitly rests his claims on the
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the
Constitution. Liberally construing the petition, the
Fourteenth Amendment would appear to be at issue as well.
habeas corpus does not lie, absent ‘special
circumstances,' to adjudicate the merits of an
affirmative defense to a state criminal charge prior to a
judgment of conviction by a state court.” Braden v.
30th Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484,
489 (1973). “Despite the absence of an exhaustion
requirement in the statutory language of section 2241(c)(3),
a body of case law has developed holding that although
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.” Dickerson v. State of
La., 816 F.2d 220, 225 (5th Cir. 1987) (citing cases).
Relatedly, “[i]n Younger v. Harris, [401 U.S.
37, 43-44 (1971)], the Supreme Court advanced the position
that federal courts should refrain from interfering with
pending state judicial proceedings absent extraordinary
circumstances.” Harmon v. City of Kansas City,
Mo., 197 F.3d 321, 325 (8th Cir. 1999). In other words,
§ 2241 relief for a state pretrial detainee is not
available unless a petitioner demonstrates that (1) he or she
has exhausted available state judicial remedies, and (2)
special circumstances warrant federal intervention, relief
under § 2241 is not available. See,
e.g., Davis v. Mueller, 643 F.2d 521, 525
(8th Cir.1981) (noting that the availability of federal
habeas relief while state court proceedings are still pending
is limited by the “‘notion of comity'”
and “the proper respect for state functions”).
routine case, Petitioner has failed to show that exhaustion
of state court remedies has taken place or that such remedies
are unavailable. Additionally, and perhaps even more
critically, Petitioner has failed to show that special
circumstances exist that would warrant federal intervention.
Therefore, the petition will be dismissed without prejudice.
Certificate of Appealability
Petitioner sought relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, Webb
must obtain a certificate of appealability if he wishes to
appeal. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253; Fed. R. App. P.
22(b)(1); Rule 1(b) and Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.
See also Hoffler v. Bezi, 726 F.3d 144, 153 (2d Cir.
2013) (collecting cases of courts that ruled a state prisoner
who petitions for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
must obtain a certificate of appealability).The standards for
certificates (1) where the district court reaches the merits
or (2) where the district court rules on procedural grounds
are set forth in Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473,
484-485 (2000). I have applied the appropriate standard and
determined that Petitioner is not entitled to a certificate
ORDERED that the petition for writ of habeas corpus, Filing
no. 1, is dismissed without prejudice. The motion for
appointment of counsel, Filing no. 3, is denied. No.
certificate of appealability has been or will be issued. A
judgment will be entered by separate document.