United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is petitioner's motion for reconsideration of
the dismissal of his application for writ of habeas corpus
brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the reasons
discussed below, petitioner's motion for reconsideration
will be denied.
is a Missouri state pretrial detainee, presently incarcerated
at the St. Louis County Justice Center. He has been charged
with two counts of domestic assault in the second degree.
State of Missouri v. Howell, No. 18SL-CR05526-01
(21st Judicial Cir., St. Louis
County). Petitioner was also charged with one count
of domestic assault in the second degree in a second case in
St. Louis County Court currently pending, State of
Missouri v. Howell, No. 18SL-CR02937-01 (21st
Judicial Cir. St. Louis County).
information in No. 18SL-CR05526-01 was filed on August 9,
2018, and trial is currently set for September 9, 2019. In
No. 18SL-CR02937-01, the Complaint was filed on April 13,
2018, and a Grand Jury Indictment was filed on May 23, 2018.
Trial is currently set for September 9, 2019. It appears the
two cases will be tried together on that date in front of the
Honorable Joseph L. Walsh, III.
present action, petitioner filed a document with the Court on
February 4, 2019, titled, "Motion for Writ of Habeas
Corpus," which requested relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2241. His document was handwritten and not on a
Court-provided form. In the petition, petitioner stated that
he had a right to a speedy trial pursuant to the Sixth
Amendment, and that if the state cannot provide him a trial
"per [the] 180 day rule, all charges against the accused
must be dismissed with prejudice." He further claimed
that the state was attempting to violate his right to a
speedy trial by setting a trial beyond the 180-day time
limit. Because the state was purportedly not
providing him with a speedy trial, he asserted that his case
was subject to dismissal.
February 14, 2019, petitioner filed a second petition for
writ of habeas corpus under § 2241, this time using a
Court-provided form. In this petition, petitioner asserts
five grounds for relief. Grounds one through five were
identical to the speedy trial claims raised in his
handwritten petition, with the exception that he referred to
the "120 day rule" rather than the "180 day
rule." In a supplement to his petition, petitioner
asserted that the Court had imposed excessive bail and that
he believed that the victim's statement was improperly
being used against him in his criminal action.
March 14, 2019, the Court reviewed petitioner's petition
for writ of habeas corpus and denied and dismissed his
application for relief. The Court found that petitioner had
not demonstrated that he had exhausted his state court
remedies with respect to neither his speedy trial claims nor
his excessive bond claims. Additionally, petitioner had
failed to show the existence of special circumstances that
obviates the exhaustion requirement. Petitioner asserts in
his motion for reconsideration that the Court examined his
speedy trial and excessive bond claims in relation to the
wrong state criminal case.
other words, petitioner claims that his habeas corpus
petition relates to the assault claims in State of
Missouri v. Howell, No. 18SL-CR02937-01 (21st
Judicial Cir. St. Louis County) rather than the assault
claims in State of Missouri v. Howell, No.
18SL-CR05526-01 (21st Judicial Cir., St. Louis
light of petitioner's assertions, the Court will review
petitioner's claims in his habeas corpus petition in
relation to State of Missouri v. Howell, No.
18SL-CR02937-01 (21st Judicial Cir. St. Louis
seeks to have his state criminal charges dismissed in
State of Missouri v. Howell, No. 18SL-CR02937-01
(21st Judicial Cir. St. Louis County) due to an
alleged violation of his right to a speedy trial under the
Sixth Amendment and the so-called "120 day rule" or
"180 day rule." He also complains of excessive bail
and that the victim's statement is being improperly used
against him. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will
deny petitioner's request for reconsideration of the
dismissal of this action. Petitioner's habeas petition,
even if seeking to review his criminal case in State of
Missouri v. Howell, No. 18SL-CR02937-01
(21stJudicial Cir. St. Louis County), is subject
to dismissal for the same reasons set forth in the
Court's prior Memorandum and Order.
Speedy trial claims
forth in the Court's March 14, 2019 Memorandum and Order,
petitioner is attempting to obtain relief using an outdated
version of the Missouri Speedy Trial Act. Prior to its repeal
on June 7, 1984, Missouri law provided that when "a plea
of not guilty is entered at an arraignment the trial shall
commence within one hundred eighty days of arraignment."
See State v. Bolin,643 S.W.2d 806, 810 n.3 (Mo.
1983) (providing statutory language). The current, operative
version of the Speedy Trial Act does not have a 120-day or
180-day requirement. See State v. Engel, 859 S.W.2d
822, 830-31 (Mo.Ct.App. 1993) (stating that the current
"statute sets no deadline, and certainly not a deadline
of 180 days"). Indeed, it does not contain a time period
at all. Rather, the act provides that "[i]f defendant
announces he is ready for trial and files a request for a
speedy trial, then the court shall set the case for trial as
soon as reasonably possible thereafter." Mo. Rev. Stat.
§ 545.780(1). Thus, when petitioner asserts in his
motion for reconsideration that the prosecutor had "180
days" to ...