United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge Kristine G. Baker. You may file written
objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do
so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the
factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days
of the entry of this Recommendation. The failure to timely
file objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal
questions of fact.
January 22, 2017, Petitioner, Simon Eric Reed
(“Reed”) filed a pro se Motion for Writ
of Habeas Corpus (“Motion”). Doc. 2.
Although Reed fails to state whether he is pursuing habeas
relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 or § 2254, the Court
will construe his Motion as seeking habeas relief under
contends in his Motion that he is being held in the Faulkner
County Detention Center (“FCDC”) on
“several unconstitutionally sound factors”
including: (1) he was not given an attorney for 30 days; (2)
the state court is not following the Arkansas Rules of
Criminal Procedure; (3) he was charged in an Information and
not by grand jury; and (4) the traffic stop leading to his
arrest was unconstitutional. Based on these allegations, Reed
appears to be a pre-trial detainee who is being held in the
FCDC awaiting charges on unspecified pending state
criminal charges that he is seeking to collaterally attack in
this federal habeas action.
reasons stated below, the Court recommends that Reed's
Motion for Writ of Habeas Corpus be dismissed.
reviewing a federal habeas petition, a court must summarily
deny relief “if it plainly appears from the petition
and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled
to relief.” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts (applicable to
§ 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)); 28 U.S.C. §
2243. Additionally, a court “may take judicial notice
of proceedings in other courts of record.” Rodic v.
Thistledown Racing Club, Inc., 615 F.2d 736, 738 (6th
Cir. 1980); see also Hood v. United States, 152 F.2d
431 (8th Cir. 1946) (federal district court may take judicial
notice of proceedings from another federal district court).
accessing documents in Reed's pending criminal case in
Faulkner County, the Court takes judicial notice that Reed is
a pre-trial detainee in the FCDC and is awaiting trial on
criminal charges in State v. Reed, Faulkner County
Circuit Court No. 23CR-17-1194 (hereinafter, “pending
state criminal case”). The pleadings in his pending
state criminal case indicate that: (1) on November 17, 2017,
following a traffic stop on November 15, 2017, Reed was
charged in a felony information with possession of a
methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia; (2) in
a pretrial hearing on December 18, 2017, Reed requested to
represent himself, which the state court judge allowed; (3)
Reed, proceeding pro se, has requested a suppression
hearing to challenge the alleged unlawful traffic stop and to
suppress the evidence seized during the stop; (4) Reed,
proceeding pro se, has also filed a motion to
dismiss the felony charges against him, claiming that his
continued incarceration is a violation of his constitutional
rights; and (5) a pre-trial hearing is scheduled on April 3,
well-established federal case law, Reed's pro se
Motion for Writ of Habeas Corpus raises claims that are not
cognizable and must be dismissed. First, habeas review
focuses on whether the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the
United States have been violated. Estelle v.
McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991). Federal habeas
courts are not permitted “to reexamine state-court
determinations on state-law questions.” Id.
Thus, Reed's allegations of state authorities failing to
comply with state laws are not cognizable in a federal habeas
action under either § 2241 or § 2254.
before a state prisoner can seek federal habeas relief, he
ordinarily must “exhaus[t] the remedies available in
the courts of the State.” 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b)(1)(A). In order to fully exhaust his state court
remedies, a prisoner must fairly present his constitutional
claims to the highest available state court before seeking
relief in federal court. See McCall v. Benson, 114
F.3d 754, 757 (8th Cir. 1997). This exhaustion requirement
applies not only to habeas petitions challenging state-court
convictions following a trial or guilty plea, but also to
habeas petitions challenging a pending or
future state criminal prosecution. Sacco v.
Falke, 649 F.2d 634, 635-37 (8th Cir. 1981); Davis
v. Muellar, 643 F.2d 521, 525 (8th Cir. 1981);
Williams v. O'Brien, 792 F.2d 986, 987 (10th
Cir.1986) (requiring exhaustion concerning a § 2241
petition). Because Reed has not yet proceeded to trial on the
pending state criminal charges, he clearly has not
exhausted his state court remedies. Thus, he is seeking to
collaterally attack in federal court state criminal charges
that are pending in Faulkner County Circuit Court, and, to
date, remain completely unresolved.
federal courts generally must abstain from the exercise of
§ 2241 jurisdiction if the issues raised in a habeas
petition may be resolved either by trial on the merits in the
state court proceeding or by other available state court
procedures. “Absent extraordinary circumstances,
federal courts should not interfere with the states'
pending judicial processes prior to trial and conviction,
even though the prisoner claims he is being held in violation
of the Constitution.” Sacco v. Falke, 649 F.2d
at 636 (quoting Wingo v. Ciccone, 507 F.2d 354, 357
(8th Cir. 1974)). While narrow exceptions to this rule exist,
nothing about Reed's allegations raise any of the
“special circumstances” that might trigger one of
Reed's Motion for Writ of Habeas Corpus should be
dismissed, without prejudice.
THEREFORE RECOMMENDED, SUA SPONTE, THAT Petitioner Simon Eric
Reed's Motion for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Doc. ...