United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon the petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, filed by
petitioner Michael Earl Stamps. For the reasons explained
below, the petition will be dismissed without prejudice.
commenced this action on April 11, 2018. He submitted his
petition on a form used for bringing claims under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. He avers that his petition relates to a criminal
case currently pending in the circuit court for Cape
Girardeau County, which he identifies as cause number
17CG-CR00356-01. Indeed, review of Missouri Case.net, the
State of Missouri's online docketing system, shows that
Petitioner is presently awaiting trial on charges of
first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. See State
v. Michael E. Stamps, Case Number 17CG-CR00356-01 (32nd
Jud. Cir. Mar. 18, 2016). The case has been continued on six
occasions, each time at the request of the defense, and it
appears petitioner has been represented by counsel throughout
petition, Petitioner claims that his attorney has provided
ineffective assistance, in that she has failed to “file
a motion to suppress witness identification, motion for
speedy trial, etc.” (Docket No. 1 at 8). Petitioner
also claims that the prosecution of him is being brought in
bad faith, for the purpose of harassing him. In a
supplemental document attached to the petition, Petitioner
claims that his sixth amendment rights are being violated
because his attorney has failed to move for the suppression
of certain evidence and for a speedy trial, has failed to
subpoena alibi witnesses, and has engaged in a romantic
relationship with the prosecuting attorney. He also claims
the prosecutor is acting in bad faith, and he is being denied
due process. Petitioner sets forth a detailed recitation of
the events surrounding the alleged robbery, the investigation
thereof, and the proceedings against him, and he sets forth
his defenses to the charges against him, including an alibi.
relief, Petitioner asks this Court to order his immediate
release, and dismiss the case against him. Petitioner has
also filed a “Motion for Immediate Release on Bail
Pending Decision of this Habeas Petition” in which he
asks this Court to order that he be released on bail because
“extraordinary circumstances” exist and because
he “has a 100% chance of prevailing on the
merits” of his petition. (Docket No. 2).
2254 of Title 28 authorizes the federal courts to entertain
an application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Petitioner herein is not such a
person. He is a pretrial detainee who is seeking release from
his detention prior to his state criminal trial. Therefore,
to the extent Petitioner seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, the petition is subject to dismissal. However,
state detainees may be able to seek federal habeas relief
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 before the entry of a final
state court judgment. The Court will therefore construe the
instant petition as having been brought pursuant to §
the federal courts have jurisdiction over pre-trial habeas
petitions, principles of comity and federalism require that
federal courts not entertain a pre-trial habeas challenge
unless the Petitioner shows that he has exhausted available
state judicial remedies, or that extraordinary circumstances
warrant federal intervention. Davis v. Muellar, 643
F.2d 521, 525 (8th Cir. 1981) (citing Braden v. 30th
Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91
(1973)). Also applicable in this context is the doctrine of
Younger abstention, which instructs that federal
courts should refrain from interfering with pending state
judicial proceedings absent extraordinary circumstances.
See Davis, 643 F.2d at 525 (citing Younger v.
Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 40-41 (1971). Courts have concluded
that extraordinary circumstances justifying intervention
include circumstances where double jeopardy or speedy trial
rights are at issue. See Braden, 410 U.S. at 488
(speedy trial); Satter v. Leapley, 977 F.2d 1259,
1261 (8th Cir. 1992) (double jeopardy).
case at bar, Petitioner can be understood to claim that he
has been denied the right to a speedy trial. However, he does
not specify what “speedy trial” law he believes
has been 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). In addition, as noted above, Petitioner's
case has been continued on six occasions, each time at the
request of the defense. When a defendant or his counsel is
responsible for the delays in trial, the defendant, by law,
is not denied his right to speedy trial. State v.
Daly, 731 S.W.2d 315 (Mo.Ct.App. 1987); State v.
Adams, 691 S.W.2d 432 (Mo.Ct.App. 1985). Finally, the
relief Petitioner seeks in the instant petition is an order
releasing him from pre-trial detention, not a trial. The
Court therefore concludes that Petitioner's assertion
regarding his right to a speedy trial is unavailing. In
addition, Petitioner does not cite, nor does independent
research reveal, any legal authority supporting the
conclusion that any of his other assertions would constitute
an extraordinary circumstance that would negate the need for
exhaustion of state remedies.
Braden, the Supreme Court wrote: “nothing we
have said would permit the derailment of a pending state
proceeding by an attempt to litigate constitutional defenses
prematurely in federal court.” 410 U.S. at 493. Here,
Petitioner may raise his defenses to the charges and any
constitutional challenges in the context of his state
criminal proceedings, and if necessary, in subsequent
appellate and post-conviction proceedings. “In most
cases courts will not consider claims that can be raised at
trial and in subsequent state proceedings.” Blanck
v. Waukesha County, 48 F.Supp.2d 859, 860 (D. Wis.
1999). Petitioner has not exhausted available state remedies,
and there are no extraordinary circumstances warranting this
Court's intervention at this stage in his state court
proceedings. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Court
concludes that Petitioner is not entitled to relief under
either § 2254 or § 2241. Therefore, the petition
will be denied.
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
petition for writ of habeas corpus (Docket No. 1) is
DENIED, and this action is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner's Motion for
Immediate Release on Bail ...