United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the court are Petitioner's pro se
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 (Doc. No. 1), and his application to proceed
in forma pauperis (IFP) (Doc. No. 2.) Because it
appears from Petitioner's submission that he is unable to
pay the filing fee, his IFP application (Doc. No. 2) is
petition in this case is identical in all respects to the
petition previously dismissed in Olivier v.
Tennessee, , No. 3:17-cv-0832 (M.D. Tenn. May 25, 2017)
(Trauger, J.), except that each petition refers to a
different state criminal action. In both cases, Petitioner,
who is free on bail awaiting trial in Montgomery County, has
alleged that his constitutional rights have been violated in
connection with his arrest and pending prosecution on state
criminal charges. He has further alleged that he has been
unable to have his claims adjudicated by a state court,
because Tennessee courts will not entertain an appeal or
habeas corpus action until after a defendant is convicted. He
asks the Court to order the Montgomery County Court to
dismiss the case against him and order him released from his
Supreme Court has cautioned 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 judgment of conviction by a state
court, ” and explained that
Early federal intervention in state criminal proceedings
would tend to remove federal questions from the state courts,
isolate those courts from constitutional issues, and thereby
remove their understanding of and hospitality to federally
protected interests. [The exhaustion doctrine] preserves
orderly administration of state judicial business, preventing
the interruption of state adjudication by federal habeas
Braden v. 30th Judicial Cir. Ct. of Ky., 410 U.S.
484, 489, 490 (1973) (quoting Note, Developments in the
Law-Federal Habeas Corpus, 83 Harv. L. Rev. 1038,
1094 (1970)). The Court found that the district court had
properly granted relief on a fully exhausted speedy trial
claim, but “emphasize[d] that nothing we have said
would permit the derailment of a pending state proceeding by
an attempt to litigate constitutional defenses prematurely in
federal court, ” and rejected the notion that its
decision would “convert federal habeas corpus into
‘a pretrial-motion forum for state
prisoners.'” Id. at 493.
the Sixth Circuit has observed that exercise of the
court's power under § 2241 should be limited:
[A]lthough § 2241 establishes jurisdiction in the
federal courts to consider pretrial habeas corpus petitions,
the courts should abstain from the exercise of that
jurisdiction if the issues raised in the petition may be
resolved either by trial on the merits in the state courts or
by other state procedures available to the petitioner.
Abstention from the exercise of the habeas corpus
jurisdiction is justified by the doctrine of comity, a
recognition of the concurrent jurisdiction created by our
federal system of government in the separate state and
national sovereignties. Intrusion into state proceedings
already underway is warranted only in extraordinary
Atkins v. Michigan, 644 F.2d 543, 546 (6th Cir.
1981) (internal citations omitted). Indeed, federal courts
have generally recognized that the “Younger abstention
doctrine, ” arising from Younger v. Harris,
401 U.S. 37 (1971), applies to petitions for the writ of
habeas corpus. See, e.g., In re Justices of Superior Ct.
Dep't of Mass. Tr. Ct., 218 F.3d 11, 17-18 (1st Cir.
2000) (applying abstention principles to pretrial habeas
petition); Davis v. Lansing, 851 F.2d 72, 76 (2d
Cir. 1988) (affirming dismissal of pretrial habeas petition
on abstention grounds). The Younger abstention doctrine
requires a federal court to abstain from interfering with
pending state civil or criminal proceedings involving
important state interests, absent extraordinary
circumstances. Younger, 401 U.S. at 44; see
Jones v. Perkins, 245 U.S. 390, 391-92 (1918)
("It is well settled that in the absence of exceptional
circumstances in criminal cases the regular judicial
procedure should be followed and habeas corpus should not be
granted in advance of a trial.").
case implicates Tennessee's important interest in
adjudicating alleged criminal conduct, and he has not alleged
any extraordinary circumstances warranting this Court's
intervention before allowing time for him to present his
constitutional claims to Tennessee courts during the normal
course of his criminal case. For these reasons, and those
previously set forth by the Court in Petitioner's
previous case, Olivier v. Tennessee, . No.
3:17-cv-0832 (M.D. Tenn. May 25, 2017), this matter is
DISMISSED without prejudice to Petitioner's ability to
refile upon the exhaustion of his state court remedies.
Petitioner has failed to make a substantial showing of a
constitutional violation in this matter, a certificate of
appealability is DENIED. See Castro v. United
States, 310 F.3d 900 (6th Cir. 2002) ("A petitioner
is entitled to a COA only if he 'has made a substantial