United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EFPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a pre-trial detainee at the Charles B. Webster Detention
Center in Augusta, Georgia, has filed a petition for a writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Upon
review of the petition, the Court REPORTS and RECOMMENDS
Petitioner's motion to proceed in forma pauperis be
DENIED AS MOOT, (doc. no. 2), and this case be DISMISSED
without prejudice and CLOSED.
to the petition and publicly available records, Petitioner
was charged by indictment dated May 2, 2017, with aggravated
assault. State v. McDaniel, No. 2017RCCR00586
(Richmond Cty. Sup. Ct. May 2, 2017), available at
http://coc.augustaga.gov (follow "Criminal Search"
hyperlink; then search "McDaniel, Paul" last
visited May 23, 2018). Attorney Jeremy Babb represents Petitioner
in his state court proceedings. Id. The Superior
Court issued an order for a mental evaluation regarding
criminal responsibility or sanity at the time of the offense
on October 3, 2017, and an order for mental evaluation
regarding competency to stand trial on January 1, 2018.
Id. The docket does not reflect final resolution of
these competency issues. In addition, Mr. Babb filed on
behalf of Petitioner a "Motion to Quash
Indictment/Motion to Require Transcript of Grand Jury
Proceedings/Motion to Require Proof that Indictment Was
Returned In Open Court." (Doc. no. 1, Ex. H.) The matter
has not been set for trial, although Petitioner's
exhibits reflect multiple status conferences, one as recently
as May 7, 2018. (Id., Exs. E, G.)
federal petition dated May 18, 2018, and filed May 23, 2018,
Petitioner raises multiple claims regarding the grand jury
proceedings that resulted in his indictment, as well as a
claim for ineffective assistance of trial counsel based on
the failure to raise a challenge to the manner in which
Petitioner was indicted and the resultant "bad faith
prosecution." (Doc. no. 1, pp. 6-7; doc. no. 3.)
petition should be dismissed because Petitioner has not
exhausted state court remedies. Although there is no
exhaustion requirement in the language of 28 U.S.C. §
2241(c)(3), federal courts do not exercise jurisdiction under
§ 2241 if the issues raised might be resolved by trial
on the merits or other available state procedures.
Santiago-Lugo v. Warden, 785 F.3d 467, 475 (11th
Cir. 2015) (explaining exhaustion requirement in § 2241
case). "The exhaustion doctrine of § 2241(c)(3) was
judicially crafted on federalism grounds to protect the state
courts' opportunity to confront and resolve initially any
constitutional issues arising within their jurisdiction and
also to limit federal interference in the state adjudicatory
process." Turner v. Morgan, No.
3:12cv188/MCR/CJK, 2012 WL 2003835, at *2 (N.D. Fla. Apr. 25,
2012), adopted by, 2012 WL 2003452 (N.D. Fla. June 4, 2012)
(citation omitted). Put differently, the exhaustion doctrine
prevents "pretrial habeas interference by federal courts
in the normal functioning of a state's criminal
processes, absent a petitioner's exhaustion of his state
court remedies." Id. (citing Braden v. 30th
Judicial Cir. Ct. of Ky., 410 U.S. 484, 493 (1973)).
in Petitioner's filings suggests he has been prevented
from asserting his current claims in his state court
proceeding. Indeed, Petitioner has provided a copy of the
motion filed on his behalf raising issues regarding the grand
jury proceedings that led to his indictment. (Doc. no. 1, Ex.
H.) Moreover, Georgia case law is clear that, subject to
various state procedural requirements, the state habeas
courts are available for Petitioner to raise claims
concerning the validity of his indictment and ineffective
assistance of counsel. See Henderson v. Hames, 697
S.E.2d 798, 801-03 (Ga. 2010); see also O.C.G.A.
§ 9-14-48(d) (describing procedural requirements for
consideration of state habeas claims and setting out cause
and prejudice, as well as miscarriage of justice,
exceptions). To the extent Petitioner claims he has been
unable to obtain the proper forms for filing such a
challenge, the Court is unable to discern where the confusion
lies. As evidenced by the attached blank habeas corpus form,
the necessary paperwork for filing a state application for
habeas corpus relief is readily available to the public.
the Court concludes Petitioner has not satisfied the
petition is also due to be dismissed because this Court
should not interfere with Petitioner's ongoing state
prosecution. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that
"absent extraordinary circumstances federal courts
should not enjoin pending state criminal prosecutions."
New Orleans Pub. Serv., Inc. v. Council of New
Orleans, 491 U.S. 350, 364 (1989) (citing Younger v.
Harris. 401 U.S. 37 (1971)). There are three exceptions
to this rule that warrant federal court intervention:
"(1) there is evidence of state proceedings motivated by
bad faith, (2) irreparable injury would occur, or (3) there
is no adequate alternative state forum where the
constitutional issues can be raised." Turner,
2012 WL 2003835, at *2 (citing Younger, 401 U.S. at 45).
the three exceptions to the Younger doctrine apply
to Petitioner's case. Although Petitioner claims he is
the victim of a bad faith prosecution, he fails to make
"substantial allegations" with evidentiary support
that his state prosecution is motivated by bad faith. See
Younger, 401 U.S. at 48-49 (noting allegations in
previously decided case granting injunction were
"substantial" and explaining bad faith prosecutions
are brought without an intention of obtaining a conviction or
for harassment). Nor has Petitioner made any viable
allegation of irreparable injury. See Id. at 53-54
(finding irreparable injury if statute of prosecution is
"flagrantly and patently violative of express
constitutional prohibitions in every clause, sentence and
paragraph, and in whatever manner and against whomever an
effort might be made to apply it" or other unusual
circumstances require equitable relief). Finally,
Petitioner's ongoing state prosecution provides an
adequate state forum where any constitutional issues can be
raised. Therefore, the Court should abstain from reaching the
merits of Petitioner's § 2241 petition.