United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND PETITION
Theresa L. Fricke United States Magistrate Judge
District Court has referred this action to United States
Magistrate Judge Theresa L. Fricke. On August 19, 2019,
petitioner Ira Ray Dean Hartford, IV, a pre-trial detainee
housed at Grays Harbor County Jail, filed a federal habeas
petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Dkt. 1-1. Having
reviewed the petition it appears plaintiff's petition,
brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, is premature as he is a
pretrial detainee and has not yet been convicted. Moreover,
even construing the petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 it
would appear to be inappropriate for the Court to intervene
in this case under the Younger abstention doctrine.
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). Therefore,
the Court directs petitioner to file a response to this order
or an amended pleading by September 30,
alleges violation of his Due Process rights related to his
pending state criminal proceedings. Dkt. 1-1. Petitioner
contends between September 2018 and February 2019, Grays
Harbor “Municipality” “held [him] invalid
without seeing a judge for 121 days after five arraignments
two-3.5 hearings, two (2) pretrial hearings, which took 60
days and then jailed [his] being for 121 additional days
without seeing a judge. Id., at 4-5. He contends
video surveillance shows “he did not act disruptive or
defiant.” Id. Although not raised as a
separate ground in his petition, petitioner also mentions
ineffective assistance of counsel, double jeopardy, cruel and
unusual punishment, and prosecutorial and judicial
misconduct, although the factual basis for these claims is
unclear. Id., at 4, 7-11. Petitioner appears to seek
release from custody as relief. Id.
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 cases, the Court is
required to perform a preliminary review of a habeas
petition. The Court should dismiss a habeas petition before
the respondent is ordered to file a response, if it
“plainly appears from the petition and any attached
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the
district court.” Rule 4 also applies to habeas
petitions brought under § 2241. See Rule1(b) of
the Rules Governing Section 2254 cases (“The district
court may apply any and all of these rules to a habeas corpus
petition not covered” by 28 U.S.C. § 2254.).
§ 2254 or § 2241
has filed a habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254. If relief is sought under § 2254 the Court may
consider the merits of a the habeas petition only if
petitioner can show that his state judgment and conviction
violate his federal constitutional rights and only after he
has fully and fairly presented the alleged violations to the
Washington State Supreme Court. In essence, a § 2254
federal habeas petition allows a federal court to provide a
state prisoner with post-conviction
collateral relief. Section 2254 habeas relief is not
available here because it appears petitioner has not yet been
convicted, has not yet been sentenced, and has not yet sought
review of his conviction or sentence in the state courts.
See Davis v. Silva, 511 F.3d 1005, 1008 (9th Cir.
2008) (habeas relief not available where petitioner has not
appealed his federal constitutional violations to the highest
petitioner was convicted and sentenced in the few days that
have passed since the Court received his habeas petition, the
petition would be premature because he has not yet presented
any of his federal claims to the state courts via a direct
appeal or by filing a state post-conviction petition for
collateral relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) and
Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 515 (1982) (A federal
court may not consider the merits of a state prisoner's
petition for a writ of habeas corpus unless the prisoner has
first exhausted his available state court remedies).
because petitioner proceeds pro se, the Court will also
consider and screen his pleadings under 28 U.S.C. §
2241, which permits federal courts to grant relief to a
pretrial detainee held “in custody in violation of the
Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); see
also McNeely v. Blanas, 336 F.3d 822, 824 n. 1 (9th Cir.
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).
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 suggests that he has presented
his federal constitutional or statutory claims in the ongoing
criminal proceedings against him and that his appeal is still
pending in the Washington State Court of Appeals. Dkt. 1-1,
at 5. Petitioner has not shown special circumstances that
would potentially justify federal intervention in this case.
Petitioner refers generally to judicial and ...