United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. Trauger United States District Judge.
Olivier, a resident of Clarksville, Tennessee, has filed a
pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Docket No. 1). He also
has filed an application to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Docket No. 2).
review of the application shows that the petitioner has
insufficient financial resources to pay the filing fee in
this action. Therefore, the petitioner's application is
GRANTED, and the Clerk shall file the
petition in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. §
petition in this case is identical in most respects to the
petitions previously dismissed in the following cases, also
brought by the petitioner: Olivier v. Tennessee,,
No. 3:17-cv-00830 (M.D. Tenn. June 1, 2017)(Crenshaw, J.);
Olivier v. Tennessee,, No. 3:17-cv-00831 (M.D. Tenn.
June 1, 2017)(Crenshaw, J.); Olivier v. Tennessee,,
No. 3:17-cv-00832 (M.D. Tenn. May 25, 2017)(Trauger, J.);
Olivier v. Tennessee, , No. 3:17-cv-0837 (M.D. Tenn.
June 1, 2017)(Trauger, J.). Each petition refers to a
different state criminal action. In all cases, the
petitioner, who is free on bail awaiting trial in Montgomery
County, alleges that his constitutional rights have been
violated in connection with his arrest and pending
prosecution on state criminal charges. He has further alleges
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 this court to order the
Montgomery County Court to dismiss the case against him and
order him released from his bond.
§ 2241 petition for federal habeas corpus
relief will not be considered unless the petitioner first
exhausts all available state court remedies for each claim
presented in the petition. Hamm v. Saffle, 300 F.3d
1213, 1216 (6th Cir. 2002). The 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.”).
the petitioner's case implicates Tennessee's
important interest in adjudicating alleged criminal conduct.
The petitioner 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 the petitioner's previous cases, the
petition is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to the
petitioner's ability to refile upon the exhaustion of his
state court remedies.
the petitioner has failed to make a substantial showing of a
constitutional violation in this matter, the court DENIES a
certificate of appealability. 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 showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.' 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).”).
order constitutes final ...