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Michalek v. Kaida

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

January 9, 2020

BRIAN JUDAH MICHALEK, Petitioner,
v.
LILLIAN POWERS KAIDA, SHERIFF JOE NOLE, TRACY LAKE, 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 October 10, 2019, Petitioner Brian Judah Michalek, a pre-trial detainee housed at Jefferson County Jail, filed a proposed federal habeas Petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Dkt. 1.[1] The Court has now reviewed the Petition and finds the Petition improperly challenges conditions of confinement 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 February 10, 2020.

         I. Background

         While unclear, Petitioner appears to contend his constitutional rights were violated related to his arrest and pending state criminal proceedings. Dkt. 9. He requests immediate release from custody.

         II. Discussion

         A. Conditions of Confinement

         In the Petition, Petitioner details his arrests and current incarceration. Dkt. 9. Petitioner appears to allege the police used excessive force. Petitioner does not clearly state the relief he is seeking or challenge the constitutionality of his physical confinement.

         An “action lying at the core of habeas corpus is one that goes directly to the constitutionality of the prisoner's physical confinement itself and seeks either immediate release from that confinement or the shortening of its duration. With regard to such actions, habeas corpus is now considered the prisoner's exclusive remedy.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 503 (1973) (internal quotation omitted). “A civil rights action, in contrast, is the proper method of challenging conditions of confinement.” Badea v. Cox, 931 F.3d 573, 574 (9th Cir. 1991).

         Here, Plaintiff filed a habeas petition under § 2241, wherein he challenges the conditions of his arrests and confinement. Petitioner cannot challenge the conditions of his arrest or confinement in a § 2241 petition. Therefore, any challenges to the conditions of his arrests and confinement cannot proceed in this lawsuit. Accordingly, Petitioner must show cause why claims challenging the conditions of his arrests and confinement shall not be dismissed.

         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 courts have 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 is also 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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