United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
GREER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kaitlin Grace Lee is a Missouri inmate proceeding pro se on a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2241. Having considered the pleadings, the
relevant records, and the applicable law, the Court finds the
petition should be denied.
BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 31, 2016, the General Sessions Court of Meigs County,
Tennessee, issued arrest warrants for Petitioner in Case No.
2016-CR-165 based on affidavits of complaint for theft of
property valued between $10, 000 and $60, 000, and for
passing a worthless check [Doc. 14 at 8, 10]. On September
20, 2018, the Meigs County Sheriff's Department lodged a
detainer for Petitioner with the Chillicothe Correctional
Center, as Petitioner is currently incarcerated on a Missouri
judgment and held in the custody of the Missouri Department
of Corrections [Doc. at 12, 62; Doc. 14 at 7]. On September
27, 2018, Petitioner was provided and signed Form I, which
advised her of the detainer and of her rights under the
Interstate Agreement on Detainers (“IAD”) [Doc.
14 at 5-6].
11, 2019, Petitioner filed a federal habeas petition, which
she later amended, alleging that Tennessee's failure to
commence prosecution on her Meigs County charges violates her
Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial and her Eighth
Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment
[See Doc. 11 at 5-6]. The Court ordered Respondent
to file a response to the petition, and Respondent complied
by filing its answer on September 23, 2019 [Doc. 15].
Petitioner filed a reply to the answer on October 3, 2019
[Doc. 18]. This matter is ripe for review.
courts have authority to issue a writ of habeas corpus to a
prisoner who “is in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). While prisoners challenging
their confinement pursuant to a State-court judgment
generally must bring their claims under 28 U.S.C. §
2254, the Sixth Circuit has recognized that some claims for
pre-trial constitutional deprivations may be brought under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. See Phillips v. Ct. of Common
Pleas, 668 F.3d 804, 809 (6th Cir. 2012) (noting
challenges to pretrial detention are pursued under §
2241). However, like petitions filed under § 2254,
petitions under § 2241 must be exhausted in State court
before federal relief is contemplated. See id. at
“is a compact entered into by 48 States, the United
States, and the District of Columbia, to establish procedures
for resolution of one State's outstanding charges against
a prisoner of another State.” New York v.
Hill, 528 U.S. 110, 111 (2000). The IAD provides two
mechanisms for the disposition of pending charges - one
initiated by the prisoner and one initiated by the
prosecutor. Id. at 112 (discussing Articles III and
IV of the IAD). A habeas petitioner has not exhausted her
available remedies for claims alleging delay in prosecution
until she has triggered final disposition under the IAD.
Norton v. Parke, 892 F.2d 476, 480 (6th Cir. 1989)
(holding “that it is in the interest of sound judicial
administration, and consistent with established principles,
to require that. . . prisoners challenging extradition
actions pursue the remedies provided by the IAD before
seeking habeas relief in federal court”).
order to exhaust her remedies under the IAD, a petitioner
must make a written request to the warden requesting final
disposition of her pending charges. See Tenn. Code
Ann. § 40-31-101, Art. III. Strict compliance with the
IAD is required for a prisoner to trigger final disposition.
Norton, 892 F.2d at 480-81.
to the instant petition, as amended, are numerous copies of
Petitioner's alleged correspondence to both the
prosecutor and the Meigs County Courts [Doc. 11 at 32, 40,
52-63, 67-71]. Petitioner argues that she has been prevented
from exhausting her claims in State court because her pro se
filings were not actually filed by the court clerk
[Id. at 3, 5-8, 11]. However, these efforts are the
proper mechanisms to trigger prosecution under the IAD.
See United States v. Martinez, 59 Fed.Appx. 638,
643-44 (6th Cir. 2003) (discussing strict compliance with IAD
and concluding that pro se letters to trial court did not
trigger final disposition under Article III of IAD).
Therefore, Petitioner's claims are unexhausted.
Court notes that, in order to trigger her rights, Petitioner
need only make a request to the warden and sign Form II,
which will then require the State to bring her to trial
within 180 days of the date the prosecutor and trial court
receive notice of her request from the warden. See Fex v.
Michigan, 507 U.S. 43, 52 (1993); see also
Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-31-101. Once the prosecution in
State court commences, Petitioner will have the opportunity
to assert her claims.