United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISMISSING FILING FEE AND HABEAS PETITION AND
DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
J. McKINNEY, United States District Judge.
petitioner shall have through August 31, 2017, in which to
either pay the Five Dollar ($5.00) filing fee or demonstrate
his financial inability to pay it.
Leon L. Bigbee is a pretrial detainee confined at the Marion
County Jail II. He is a defendant in a criminal prosecution
in Marion Superior Court under case number
49G01-1703-F5-008405 (“the pending case”). That
case has been consolidated with other pending charges in
49G01-1701-F5-002203. Mr. Bigbee brings this habeas petition
alleging that he was never finger printed or processed in a
timely manner. He further alleges that he is being detained
without being processed properly, which he alleges
constitutes wrongful imprisonment in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. He seeks injunctive relief in the form of the
dismissal of the charges and monetary damages.
courts are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas
petition that appears legally insufficient on its
face.” McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856
(1994). Accordingly, a habeas petition “should be
denied at once if the issues it raises clearly have been
forfeited or lack merit under established law.”
O'Connor v. United States, 133 F.3d 548, 551
(7th Cir. 1998). As explained in this Entry, this is an
appropriate case for such a disposition.
noted, Mr. Bigbee is still at the pretrial stage of the state
prosecution. Pre-judgment habeas relief is available under 28
U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). “Despite the existence of
jurisdiction, however, federal courts are reluctant to grant
pre-trial habeas relief.” Neville v. Cavanagh,
611 F.2d 673, 675 (7th Cir. 1979). “Relief for state
pretrial detainees through a federal petition for a writ of
habeas corpus is generally limited to speedy trial and double
jeopardy claims, and only after the petitioner has exhausted
state-court remedies.” Olsson v. Curran, 328
Fed.Appx. 334, 335 (7th Cir. May 7, 2009).
normal thing to do when federal courts are asked to enjoin
pending proceedings in state courts is not to issue such
injunctions.” Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37,
45 (1971). “[F]ederal courts must abstain from
enjoining ongoing or otherwise interfering in ongoing state
court proceedings that are (1) judicial in nature, (2)
involve important state interests, and (3) provide an
adequate opportunity to raise the federal claims, as long as
(4) no exception circumstances exist which would make
abstention inappropriate.” Stroman Reality, Inc. v.
Martinez, 505 F.3d 658, 662 (7th Cir. 2007). “Only
in cases of proven harassment or prosecutions undertaken by
state officials in bad faith without hope of obtaining a
valid conviction and perhaps in other extraordinary
circumstances where irreparable injury can be shown is
federal injunctive relief against pending state prosecutions
appropriate.” Perez v. Ledesma, 401 U.S. 82,
records reveal that on March 3, 2017, probable cause was
found on several charges brought against Mr. Bigbee in the
pending case. A public defender was appointed and a pretrial
conference was conducted on April 11, 2017. A jury trial was
set for April 19, 2017, and then rescheduled for June 14,
2017. Counsel's motion to withdraw appearance was granted
on April 18, 2017, and a final pretrial conference was
conducted on June 6, 2017. Mr. Bigbee filed a motion for
continuance, which was granted. Mr. Bigbee is currently
represented by retained counsel. Another pretrial conference
is now set for August 8, and jury trial is set for August 16,
2017. There is nothing about Mr. Bigbee's allegations
that suggests the existence of extraordinary circumstances
under which the normal state process will be inadequate to
vindicate his federally secured rights in the pending case.
And, of course, damages are not available in an action for
the action is summarily dismissed because the habeas petition
shows on its face that the petitioner is not entitled to the
relief he seeks. The dismissal shall be without prejudice.
Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue.
Certificate of Appealability
petitioner is detained pursuant to a judicial rather than an
executive order. Accordingly, the Court must determine
whether a certificate of appealability is warranted.
Evans v. Circuit Court of Cook County, 569 F.3d 665,
666 (7th Cir. 2009). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate
Procedure 22(b), the discussion in Evans, and 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A), the Court finds that the
petitioner has failed to show that reasonable jurists would
find it “debatable whether [this court] was correct in
its procedural ruling.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529
U.S. 473, 484 (2000). As in Evans, the petitioner
“certainly has not made a substantial showing of a need
for federal intervention before all of his claims have been
presented to the state judiciary and pursued through the
usual appellate process after a final decision.”
Evans, 569 F.3d at 667 (citing cases). The Court
therefore denies a certificate of appealability.
clerk shall update the docket to reflect Mr. Bigbee's
address at the Marion County Jail II, and the respondent as
the Jail Commander of Marion County Jail II.