United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon review of petitioner Mangolia
Cooper's petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254, and her motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. Having considered the motion and the
financial information provided therein, the Court has
determined to grant petitioner leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. Additionally, the Court will dismiss the petition,
petition and in the motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, petitioner avers she is presently confined at the
St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center. Petitioner names
Laurent Javois, the Regional Executive Officer of the
Missouri Department of Mental Health, as respondent.
following information is drawn from the instant petition. In
1982, petitioner was charged with flourishing a deadly
weapon. She entered a plea of not guilty by reason of
insanity ("NGRI"). She sought no review of that
judgment, and she does not aver that she has filed an
application pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 552.040.
asserts three grounds for relief, and specifically,
1. Can my lawyer sign me to jail
2. Can Court hold petitioner for life in prison
3. Supreme Court Rule (91) don't allow
(ECF No. 1 at 4, 6, 7). In support of Ground One, petitioner
writes: "The NGRI plea is a life sentence when the
petitioner is unaware." Id. at 4. Petitioner
avers she did not exhaust her state remedies on Ground One
because "[t]he Court had a hearing without petitioner
where the Supreme Court issued its order to allow petitioner
a six month hearing twice a year." Id. In
support of Ground Two, petitioner writes: "police say
petitioner flourished a dangerous weapon - untrue."
Id. at 6. Petitioner avers she did not exhaust her
state remedies on Ground Two because "[t]he Supreme
Court changed the law from 1 year to a different of when
petitioner came to court every six month." Id.
In support of Ground Three, petitioner writes: "Trial
and probate court to accept a NGRI plea." Id.
at 7. Petitioner does not state what relief she seeks from
of the Rules Governing § 2254 Proceedings in the United
States District Courts provides that a district court must
summarily dismiss a § 2254 petition if it plainly
appears that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.
According to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A), habeas relief
may not be granted on behalf of a person in state custody
pursuant to a State court judgment unless that person has
"exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the
State." The exhaustion requirement applies with equal
force when a habeas petitioner seeks to challenge state
custody pursuant to a civil commitment. See Beaulieu v.
Minnesota, 583 F.3d 570, 575 (8th Cir. 2009),
Kolocotronis v. Holcomb, 925 F.2d 278, 279 (8th Cir.
satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a person confined in a
Missouri State Hospital must apply for release under section
552.040 before filing a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus." Kolocotronis, 925 F.2d at 279
(internal citation omitted). "Additionally, if the
application for release is denied, the confined person must
appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals, and if unsuccessful
there, apply for transfer to the Missouri Supreme
Court." Id. (internal citation omitted).
"This process must be completely followed once to
exhaust state remedies." Id.
petitioner does not allege, nor does independent inquiry
reveal, that she has applied for release under section
552.040. The Court therefore concludes that petitioner has
failed to exhaust the remedies available in the courts of the
State. Accordingly, habeas relief may not be granted on
petitioner's behalf, and this Court must therefore
dismiss the petition. Additionally, to the extent petitioner
can be understood to challenge the 1982 state court judgment,
the petition is untimely ...