United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND
W. CHRISTEL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
District Court has referred this action to United States
Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. On September 3, 2019,
Petitioner Christopher Ross Westfall, a pre-trial detainee
housed at Lewis County Jail, filed a proposed federal habeas
Petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Dkt. 1.
Petitioner also filed an Application to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis, which contained deficiencies. See
Dkt. 1-4. On October 4, 2019, Petitioner filed a corrected
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Dkt. 5, 6.
Court has reviewed the Petition. The Petition appears moot
and unexhausted, and 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 November 29, 2019.
Petition, Petitioner contends his jurisdictional and due
process rights have been violated related to his pending
state criminal proceedings arising from Thurston County,
Washington. Dkt. 8. Petitioner requests the Court dismiss the
criminal case pending against him. Id.
claims arise from his state criminal proceedings in Thurston
County, Washington. See Dkt. 8. Petitioner is no
longer in custody in Thurston County, and is being detained
in the Lewis County Jail. See Dkt. 6-1. 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. §
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).
Petitioner challenges his physical confinement in the
Thurston County Jail. Dkt. 8. However, as Petitioner is no
longer being detained in the Thurston County Jail, it is
unclear if the criminal charges from Thurston County are
still pending. 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).
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 fails to show he exhausted
state court remedies by presenting federal constitutional or
statutory claims to the Washington State trial and appellate
courts regarding the ongoing criminal proceedings against
him. See Dkt. 8. 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