United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis, filed by petitioner
William Sublett. The motion will be granted, and the petition
will be dismissed, without prejudice.
filed the instant petition on June 16, 2017 on a form
petition used for bringing claims under 28 U.S.C. §
2254. At the time of filing, petitioner was a pretrial
detainee in the St. Charles County Department of Corrections,
awaiting trial on charges of aggravated stalking. For his
single ground for relief, petitioner challenged his pretrial
detention, claiming “right to fair and speedy trial
ilegal representation” [sic]. (Docket No. 1 at
5). In support, petitioner claimed that his attorney had been
to court without him and without his permission, and
“right to face my Accusor” [sic].
Id. As relief, petitioner seeks “25 million
dollars and immediate release.” (Id. at 14).
one month after petitioner filed the instant petition, he
pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated stalking, and was
sentenced to concurrent three-year prison terms. See
State v. William Henry Sublett, Case No. 1611-CR05139-01
(11th Jud. Cir. Jul. 21, 2017). This Court takes judicial
notice of this public state record. See Levy v. Ohl,
477 F.3d 988 (8th Cir. 2007) (district court may take
judicial notice of public state records); Stutzka v.
McCarville, 420 F.3d 757, 760 n. 2 (8th Cir. 2005)
(courts “may take judicial notice of judicial opinions
and public records.”). Petitioner has not sought to
amend his petition.
initial matter, the Court notes that money damages are not
available as a remedy under § 2254 or § 2241.
See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 493 (1973).
to the extent petitioner can be understood to seek relief
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the petition is subject to
dismissal, without prejudice, due to his failure to exhaust
his state court remedies. Petitioner would have the right to
pursue a Sixth Amendment speedy trial claim, and any other
claims for habeas relief, through a § 2254 petition
timely filed after exhausting his state court remedies.
to the extent petitioner can be understood to challenge his
pretrial detention in the form of a petition filed pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, the petition is subject to
dismissal as moot. The power of the judiciary extends only to
“cases” or “controversies.”
Roberts v. Norris, 415 F.3d 816, 819 (8th Cir. 2005)
(quoting U.S. Const. Art. III, § 2). Where subsequent
developments have mooted the question sought to be
adjudicated, the “case or controversy”
requirement is not met. Id. (citing Flast v.
Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 95, (1968)). “In general a
case becomes moot when the issues presented are no longer
‘live' or the parties lack a legally cognizable
interest in the outcome.” Murphy v. Hunt, 455
U.S. 478, 481 (1982) (citing United States Parole
Commission v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388, 396 (1980))
(internal quotations omitted). Federal courts have held that
a petitioner's conviction moots the challenge to the
prior detention even if the petitioner is currently
incarcerated under the conviction itself. Barker v.
Estelle, 913 F.2d 1433, 1440 (9th Cir. 1990).
assuming, arguendo, that petitioner were still a pretrial
detainee, he would not be entitled to relief pursuant to
§ 2241. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), the federal
courts have jurisdiction over pretrial habeas petitions.
Neville v. Cavanagh, 611 F.2d 673, 675 (7th
Cir.1979). “Despite the existence of jurisdiction,
however, federal courts are reluctant to grant pre-trial
habeas relief.” Id. Only when “special
circumstances” exist will a federal court find that a
pretrial detainee has exhausted state remedies. Id.
“In most cases courts will not consider claims that can
be raised at trial and in a subsequent state
proceeding.” Blanck v. Waukesha County, 48
F.Supp.2d 859, 860 (D. Wis. 1999). Courts have found that
“special circumstances” existed where a speedy
trial claim was raised. Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit
Court, 410 U.S. 484, 488 (1973). However, a petition
must contain enough facts to state a claim as a matter of
law, and must not be merely conclusory. Frey v. City of
Herculaneum, 44 F.3d 667, 671 (8th Cir. 1995).
case, petitioner's allegations are merely conclusory. He
alleged no facts which, if proved, would have demonstrated
that he was deprived of a right to a speedy trial. In
addition, it is not apparent what “speedy trial”
law petitioner claimed was violated. “The question of
whether the state violated its own speedy trial statute is a
matter for the state courts” and is not cognizable on
federal habeas review. Matthews v. Lockhart, 726
F.2d 394, 396 (8th Cir. 1984). Petitioner could have raised
his claim with his counsel during his criminal proceedings.
Court has considered whether to issue a certificate of
appealability. To grant a certificate of appealability, the
Court must find a substantial showing of the denial of a
federal constitutional right. See Tiedeman v.
Benson, 122 F.3d 518, 522 (8th Cir. 1997). A substantial
showing is a showing that issues are debatable among
reasonable jurists, a court could resolve the issues
differently, or the issues deserve further proceedings.
Cox v. Norris, 133 F.3d 565, 569 (8th Cir. 1997)
(citing Flieger v. Delo, 16 F.3d 878, 882-83 (8th
Cir. 1994). Because petitioner herein has made no such
showing, the Court declines to issue a certificate of
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
(Docket No. 2) is GRANTED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that petitioner's petition
for writ of habeas corpus (Docket No. 1) ...