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Webb v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

August 6, 2019

DAVID Q WEBB, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent.

          ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND

          DAVID W. CHRISTEL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The District Court has referred this action to United States Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. On June 19, 2019, Petitioner David Q. Webb, a pre-trial detainee housed at Kitsap County Jail, filed a proposed federal habeas Petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Dkt. 1. Petitioner paid the filing fee on July 9, 2019 and, on July 11, 2019, Petitioner filed an Amended Petition. See Dkt. 5. The Court has reviewed the Amended Petition and the Amended Petition appears moot and is unexhausted. Further, it is inappropriate for the Court to intervene in this case. Therefore, the Court directs Petitioner to file a response to this Order or an amended pleading by September 6, 2019.

         I. Background

         In the Amended Petition, Petitioner contends his First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights have been violated related to his pending state criminal proceedings. Dkt. 5. Petitioner requests the Court dismiss the criminal cases pending against him and admonish Kitsap County, the Port Orchard Police Department, and the Gig Harbor Police Department. Id. Petitioner, however, states the charges against him have been dismissed. Id.

         II. Discussion

         A. Moot

         Petitioner's claims arise from his state criminal proceedings and Petitioner requests the Court dismiss the criminal charges against him. Dkt. 5, p. 38. A pretrial detainee is not a “person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State Court” within the meaning of § 2254(a); however, habeas corpus jurisdiction arises pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), for prisoners whose custody is “in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).

         For a federal court to have jurisdiction over a case, there must be an actual case or controversy at the time the case is decided. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 422 U.S. 475, 401 (1973) (citations omitted) (“The rule in federal cases is that an actual controversy must be extant at all stages of review, not merely at the time the complaint is filed.”). If a party seeking relief cannot obtain the requested relief, that claim is moot and must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Ruvalcaba v. City of L.A., 167 F.3d 514, 521 (9th Cir. 1999).

         Here, Petitioner requests the Court dismiss his state criminal charges. Dkt. 5, p. 38. However, he admits the state criminal charges against him have been dismissed. See id. at pp. 35-37; 48-49, 62-63. As the criminal charges have been dismissed, Petitioner cannot obtain the requested relief, making the claims in the Amended Petition moot. Thus, Petitioner must show cause why this case should not be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. See Ayala v. Presiding Judge of Superior Court of California Cty. of San Bernardino, 2014 WL 2608130, at *3 (C.D. Cal. May 5, 2014), report and recommendation adopted, 2014 WL 2608125 (C.D. Cal. June 10, 2014).

         B. Exhaustion

         “[A] state prisoner must normally exhaust available state judicial remedies before a federal court will entertain his petition for habeas corpus.” Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1971). Petitioner's claims will be considered exhausted only after “the state courts [have been afforded] a meaningful opportunity to consider allegations of legal error without interference from the federal judiciary.” Vasquez v. Hillery, 474 U.S. 254, 257 (1986). “[S]tate prisoners must give the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the State's established appellate review.” O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999).

         Although there is no exhaustion requirement mandated by 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held exhaustion is necessary as a matter of comity unless special circumstances warrant federal intervention prior to a state criminal trial. Carden v. Montana, 626 F.2d 82, 83-84 (9th Cir. 1980); see Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). Petitioner fails to show he exhausted state court remedies by presenting federal constitutional or statutory claims to the Washington state trial and appellate courts in the ongoing criminal proceedings against him. Petitioner has also not shown special circumstances warrant federal intervention in this case. Therefore, Petitioner must show cause why this case should not be dismissed for failure to exhaust state remedies.

         C. Younger Abstention

         Petitioner's case may also be inappropriate in federal court under the Younger abstention doctrine. Under Younger, abstention from interference with pending state judicial proceedings is appropriate when: “(1) there is ‘an ongoing state judicial proceeding'; (2) the proceeding ‘implicate[s] important state interests'; (3) there is ‘an adequate opportunity in the state proceedings to raise constitutional challenges'; and (4) the requested relief ‘seek[s] to enjoin' or has ‘the practical effect of enjoining' the ongoing state judicial proceeding.” Arevalo v. Hennessy, 882 F.3d 763, 765 (9th Cir. 2018) (quoting ReadyLink Healthcare, Inc. v. State Comp. Ins. Fund, 754 F.3d 754, 758 (9th Cir. 2014)). Federal courts, however, do not invoke the Younger abstention if there is a ...


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