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Inman v. Penobscot County District Attorney Office

United States District Court, D. Maine

November 15, 2017

FRANK INMAN, Petitioner,
v.
PENOBSCOT COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE, et al., Respondents

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON 28 U.S.C. § 2254 PETITION

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge

         In this action, Petitioner Frank Inman, a pretrial detainee, seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.[1] (Petition, ECF No. 1.) He also filed a motion for bail. (Motion, ECF No. 4.) Petitioner alleges ineffective assistance; he asserts a claim regarding the conditions of his bail, including a claim of excessive bail, established by the state court; and he alleges a claim regarding the conditions of his confinement. (Id. at 1-2; Attachments, ECF Nos. 3-1, 4.)

         Petitioner's claims appear to be the same claims Petitioner raised recently in a separate proceeding. (Inman v. Penobscot County Jail, No. 1:17-cv-00358-GZS, Petition, ECF No. 1; Recommended Decision, ECF No. 12; Order Affirming, ECF No. 16.)[2] Petitioner filed a notice of appeal in the separate proceeding. (No. 1:17-cv-00358-GZS, Notice of Appeal, ECF No. 19.)[3]

         Following a review of Plaintiff's filings, I recommend the Court dismiss the petition and deny the motion for bail.

         DISCUSSION

         “The filing of a notice of appeal is an event of jurisdictional significance - it confers jurisdiction on the court of appeals and divests the district court of its control over those aspects of the case involved in the appeal.” Griggs v. Provident Consumer Discount Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982) (per curiam); United States v. Distasio, 820 F.2d 20, 23 (1st Cir. 1987). The First Circuit has noted that “the limited exceptions to the general rule that an appeal terminates a district court's jurisdiction all pertain ‘to district court orders that concern matters unrelated to the “substance of the decision” being appealed.'” United States v. George, 841 F.3d 55, 71 (1st Cir. 2016) (quoting United States v. Maldonado-Rios, 790 F.3d 62, 64 (1st Cir. 2015) (per curiam) (quoting 16A Charles A. Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 3949.1, at 59 (4th ed. 2008))).

         In the separate proceeding, because Petitioner has appealed from the substance of the decision, this Court lacks jurisdiction over the claims. Griggs, 459 U.S. at 58; George, 841 F.3d at 71. Petitioner may not relitigate the claims by initiating another proceeding. See Crosby v. Brook, 353 F. App'x 591, 593 (2d Cir. 2009) (“Petitioner cannot show that the instant petition is anything more than an attempt to relitigate issues that have been previously decided by other courts.”). Here, Petitioner is attempting through this habeas action to assert the claims he asserted in Inman v. Penobscot County Jail, No. 1:17-cv-00358-GZS, which matter is currently on appeal. Dismissal, pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, therefore, is appropriate.[4]

         To the extent Petitioner is asking the Court to review the bail decision in the state court proceedings, Petitioner's claim fails for the reasons discussed in the separate proceeding. (Inman, No. 1:17-cv-00358-GZS, Recommended Decision, ECF No. 12 at 5-6.) See Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs, ___U.S.___, ___, 134 S.Ct. 584, 591 (2013) (noting that Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), “preclude[s] federal intrusion into ongoing state criminal prosecutions”). “The considerations of federal-state comity that militate against federal court intervention, by way of habeas corpus, with respect to state court convictions which have not received final state appellate consideration apply with equal force in the context of state court bail processes in pending proceedings . . . .” United States v. Kehl, 456 F.2d 863, 869 (2d Cir. 1972) (discussing the requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) that relief not be granted unless a petitioner has exhausted available state court remedies).[5] See Davila v. Davis, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 2058, 2064 (2017) (“[A] state prisoner must exhaust available state remedies before presenting his claim to a federal habeas court. § 2254(b)(1)(A). The exhaustion requirement is designed to avoid the ‘unseemly' result of a federal court ‘upset[ting] a state court conviction without' first according the state courts an ‘opportunity to . . . correct a constitutional violation.'”) (quoting Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982)).

         The analysis set forth in the Court's decision in the separate proceeding is not altered simply because Petitioner asserts his claim in a section 2254 proceeding, or because Petitioner contests the factual basis for an alleged bail revocation. (Petition at 10.) Petitioner alleges no facts that would support the conclusion that he exhausted all available state court remedies.

         Conclusion

         Based on the foregoing analysis, pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, I recommend the Court dismiss the petition (ECF No. 1) and deny the motion for bail (ECF No. 4). I further recommend that the Court deny a certificate of appealability pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases because there is no substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).

         NOTICE

A party may file objections to those specified portions of a magistrate judge's report or proposed findings or recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the district court is sought, together with a supporting memorandum, within fourteen (14) days of being served with a copy thereof.
Failure to file a timely objection shall constitute a waiver of the right to de novo review by the district court and to appeal ...

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