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Barnes v. Ige

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

February 15, 2018

WILLIAM JACKSON GAY BARNES, #A0177540, Petitioner,
v.
GOVERNOR IGE, NOLAN ESPINDA, FRANCIS SEQUIERA, JOHN DOES 1-10, JANE DOES 1-10, Respondents.

          ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING WRIT OF MANDAMUS, IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION, AND CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is pro se prisoner William Jackson Gay Barnes' pleading entitled, “Petition(s) for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Writ of Mandamus.” ECF No. 1. Barnes challenges his pretrial detention at the Oahu Community Correctional Center (“OCCC”). Barnes is a pretrial detainee awaiting trial in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (“circuit court”), State of Hawaii, in consolidated cases: State v. Barnes, Cr. No. 15-1-000354 and State v. Barnes, Cr. No. 15-1-000267.[1] See Hawaii State Judiciary Ecourt Kokua, available at: http://www.courts.state.hi.us/legalreferences/records/jims.; 1PC151000354; 1PC151000267 (last visited Feb. 12, 2018).

         For the following reasons, the Court DISMISSES the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus for lack of jurisdiction, DENIES a certificate of appealability, and DENIES the Petition for Writ of Mandamus. Any pending motions, including Barnes' application to proceed in forma pauperis, ECF No. 3, are also DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Barnes broadly alleges that Respondents are holding him illegally at OCCC and seeks a Writ of Mandamus to appear in federal court to explain his claims. Barnes says that he was “locked in” the Adventist Health Castle Medical Center between December 26, 2017, and January 2, 2018, while he was being treated for a sexual and physical assault. ECF No. 1, PageID #2, 4. He says that his attorney, the Honolulu Police Department, and Aloha Bail agent Scott all knew that he was in the hospital when he failed to appear at a January 2, 2018 court date. He argues that his absence at the hearing should therefore have been excused.[2]

         Barnes also complains that the conditions of his confinement at OCCC are “cruel and unusual, intentionally negligent, and deliberately indifferent under both the State of Hawaii and the United States Constitutions.” ECF No. 1, PageID #2. Barnes alleges that he is: (1) triple-celled and forced to sleep on the floor; (2) given meals that contain less than 1/3 protein and 3200 calories per day, and are not maintained at 140 degrees; (3) denied medical and psychiatric care for his injuries and mental health issues; and (4) denied access to the law library, his legal papers, and his mail which impedes his access to the courts. Id., PageID #2-3.

         Although his request for relief is not explicit, because he filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and says that he is being illegally detained, it is clear that Barnes seeks release.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus from a person claiming to be “in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). A district court considering an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall “award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto.” 28 U.S.C. § 2243.

         Because Barnes is a pretrial detainee and is not in custody pursuant to a state court judgment, the Court construes his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus as brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See Hoyle v. Ada Cty., 501 F.3d 1053, 1058 (9th Cir. 2007) (holding § 2241 is the appropriate vehicle for pretrial detainee's challenge to detention); Stow v. Murashige, 389 F.3d 880, 882-83, 886-88 (9th Cir. 2004) (allowing pretrial detainee challenging retrial to proceed under § 2241). Section 2241 allows “the Supreme Court, any justice thereof, the district courts and any circuit judge” to grant writs of habeas corpus “within their respective jurisdictions.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a).

         Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, which applies to habeas petitions brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, [3] requires the court to summarily dismiss a habeas petition if “it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.”

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Younger Abstention

         Under traditional principles of comity and federalism, federal courts may not interfere with pending state criminal proceedings absent extraordinary circumstances. Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45-46 (1971); Middlesex Cty. Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 431 (1982). Younger abstention is required when: (1) state judicial proceedings are ongoing, (2) the state proceedings implicate important state interests, (3) the federal plaintiff is not barred from litigating federal constitutional issues in the state proceeding, and (4) the federal court action would enjoin or have the practical ...


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