United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
JORDAN T. BONDS, Petitioner,
22nd JUDICIAL COURTS, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on petitioner Jordan T.
Bonds' request for this Court to intervene with his
criminal action currently pending in St. Louis City Court
such that he can have a reduction in his bond in that matter.
For the reasons discussed below, petitioner's request
will be denied and dismissed.
is a Missouri state pretrial detainee, presently incarcerated
at the St. Louis City Justice Center. He has been charged
with statutory sodomy/deviate sexual intercourse with a
person less than twelve years old, child molestation in the
first degree, and abuse or neglect of a child. State of
Missouri v. Bonds, No. 1922-CR00050-01 (22nd Judicial
Cir., St. Louis City Court).
complaint was filed in petitioner's criminal case on
January 4, 2019. A warrant was issued for petitioner on that
same date, with a $30, 000 cash bond set at that time.
Petitioner was arraigned on January 7, 2019. Petitioner's
counsel immediately sought reduction of petitioner's bond
on January 16, 2019, but his request was denied by the Court
on January 22, 2019.
jury indictment was filed on March 19, 2019, and on May 9,
2019, the Court found that "the accused posed a danger
to a crime victim, the community, or another person." At
that time, the Court ordered that petitioner's conditions
of confinement and bond remain the same. On August 23, 2019,
petitioner made a speedy trial request, and on September 3,
2019, the Court heard arguments once again as to the matter
of petitioner's bond. At that time, the Court found that
"no bond could secure the safety of the community."
November 22, 2019, the Court again heard petitioner's
motion to modify his bond. After considering the arguments
before it, the Court again found that petitioner
"remains a danger to the community" and denied a
reduction in the bond. The matter is currently set for trial
on April 16, 2020.
present action, petitioner filed his request for this
Court's intervention on a court-form for filing a
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights
cases. However, because petitioner does not seek money
damages in this action, but rather a reduction in his bond
amount and to be released while he is awaiting trial, the
Court believes his action is better suited to one brought
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
asserts that the St. Louis City criminal court has imposed
excessive bond in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Petitioner seeks removal of the bond so that he may work
while he is awaiting trial.
action is properly reviewed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241. See Walck v. Edmondson, 472 F.3d 1227, 1235
(10th Cir. 2007) (stating "that a state court
defendant attacking his pretrial detention should bring a
habeas petition pursuant to the general grant of habeas
authority contained within 28 U.S.C. § 2241");
Dickerson v. State of Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 224
(5th Cir. 1987) (stating that pretrial petitions
are properly brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which
applies to persons in custody regardless of whether final
judgment has been rendered and regardless of the present
status of the case pending against him").
Eighth Amendment provides that: "Excessive bail shall
not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishments inflicted." U.S. Const, amend. VIII.
While the primary function of bail is to safeguard the role
of courts in adjudicating the guilt or innocence of
defendants, the only substantive limitation is that the
"conditions of release or detention not be excessive in
light of the perceived evil." United States v.
Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 754 (1987). In determining
whether bail is unconstitutional, a defendant's mere
financial inability to post an amount does not automatically
indicate excessiveness. White v. United States, 330
F.2d 811, 814 (8th Cir. 1964).
courts should not interfere, absent extraordinary
circumstances, with a state's "pending judicial
processes prior to trial and conviction, even though a
prisoner claims he is being held in violation of the
Constitution." Sacco v. Falke,649 F.2d 634,
636 (8th Cir. 1981). To that end, when a state
prisoner is seeking pretrial habeas relief on the basis of
speedy trial issues or excessive bail, the prisoner is
required to exhaust state remedies, unless the prisoner can
demonstrate the existence of special circumstances. See
Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of
Kentucky,410 U.S. 484, 489 (1973) (stating that
"federal habeas corpus does not lie, absent special
circumstances, to adjudicate the merits of an affirmative
defense to a state criminal charge prior to a judgement of
conviction by a state court"); Atkins v. People of
the State of Michigan,644 F.2d 543, 546 (6th
Cir. 1981) (stating that the doctrine of exhaustion of state
remedies is meant to protect state courts' opportunity to
confront and resolve constitutional issues within their
jurisdictions, and is especially important in a speedy trial
claim, where the relief granted usually results in dismissal
of the case); Neville v. Cavanagh,611 F.2d 673, 675
(7th Cir. 1979) (stating that federal courts are
reluctant to grant pretrial habeas relief, and that in the
interest of comity between federal and state courts,
petitioner must first exhaust his state remedies, absent a
showing of "special circumstances"); and Moore
v. DeYoung,515 F.2d 437, 446 (3rd Cir. 1975)
(stating that speedy trial issues require state ...