United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ALTMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE came before the Court upon the Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus (the “Petition”) [ECF No.
1], filed on January 18, 2019 by the Petitioner, Junior
Simon. In her Report and Recommendation (the
“Report”) [ECF No. 4], United States Magistrate
Judge Lisette M. Reid recommended that the petition be
dismissed as a result of the Petitioner's failure to
exhaust his state court remedies. See Report at 3.
On May 13, 2019, the Petitioner timely objected to the Report
(the “Objections”) [ECF No. 5].
Petitioner filed this habeas petition to challenge the terms
of his pre-trial detention in a state court criminal
proceeding. See generally Pet. Specifically, the
Petitioner alleges that he is currently being
“illegally detained in this Cause because, when he was
arrested on Sep. 4, 2018 . . . his Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment [rights were violated] due to an illegal search or
seizure because [a p]ortion of the case against him is Fruit
of the Poisonous Tree.” Id. at 1. Detailing
his arrest, the Petitioner says that the police
“trick[ed] [him] to open his hotel room door, ”
and that “without a search or an arrest warrant they
entered the room and arrest[ed him]. Then, they start[ed]
searching the room and obtained drugs that w[ere] never on
the defendant.” Id. at 2. As relief for this
alleged injury, the Petitioner requests “his discharge
from custody or release on non-monetary conditions of
bail.” Id. Notably, the Petitioner claims to
have exhausted all possible state court remedies before
filing his Petition. Id.
the differences between a habeas petition brought under
§ 2254 and a petition brought under § 2241,
Magistrate Judge Reid found that the former is an appropriate
vehicle only for petitions challenging state convictions.
Id. at 2 (citing Hudson v. Hubbard, 358
Fed.Appx. 116, 119 (11th Cir. 2009)). On the other hand, as
Judge Reid noted, a petition challenging the terms of
pre-trial detention can be brought only under §
2241. Id. (citing Medberry v. Crosby, 351
F.3d 1049, 1062 (11th Cir. 2003)). Either way, Magistrate
Judge Reid concluded that, however the Petitioner chose to
caption his case, the Petition should be dismissed because
the Petitioner failed to exhaust his state court remedies.
Objections, the Petitioner insists that he has exhausted his
state court remedies. See Objections ¶ 4. He
also admits that he should have brought his Petition under
§ 2241 and asks the Court to consider it under that
Section. See Id. ¶¶ 2, 6.
the Petitioner timely objected to the Report, the Court will
review the Petition de novo. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b)(3). The Court will also accept the Petitioner's
invitation to treat his Petition as one brought under §
2241. Indeed, even had the Petitioner not made this request,
federal courts have “an obligation to look behind the
label of a motion filed by a pro se [litigant] and
determine whether the motion is, in effect, cognizable under
a different” framework. See United States
v. Jordan, 915 F.2d 622, 624-25 (11th Cir. 1990).
for the Petitioner, the Petition fares no better under §
2241 because the Petitioner-whose criminal case in state
court is proceeding apace-does little more than ask this
Court to enjoin, or otherwise interfere with, a pending state
prosecution. See Pet at 1. After all, the Petitioner
seeks only two forms of relief: (1) his “discharge from
custody, ” Pet. at 1; or (2) his “release on
non-monetary conditions of bail, ” Pet. at 2. But, to
accomplish either, this Court would have to issue an
injunction that either ends or interferes with the pending
state court proceeding. This the Court cannot do.
“normal thing to do when federal courts are asked to
enjoin pending proceedings in state courts is not to issue
such injunctions.” Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S.
37, 45 (1971). Indeed, “absent extraordinary
circumstances federal courts should not enjoin pending state
criminal prosecutions.” New Orleans Pub. Serv.,
Inc. v. Council of New Orleans, 491 U.S. 350, 364
(1989). There are only three narrow exceptions to this
general rule that a federal court should avoid enjoining, or
interfering with, state court criminal proceedings: (1) where
there is evidence that the state proceedings are motivated by
bad faith; (2) where irreparable injury would occur; or (3)
where there is no adequate alternative state forum in which
the petitioner's constitutional claims may be reviewed.
See Younger, 401 U.S. at 45. Where, as here, a
pretrial state detainee seeks federal habeas relief, he must
“satisfy the[se] ‘Younger abstention
hurdles' before the federal courts can grant such
relief.” See Hughes v. Attorney General of
Florida, 377 F.3d 1258, 1262 (11th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Kolski v. Watkins, 544 F.2d 762, 766 (5th Cir.
these three exceptions applies here.
the Petitioner has not even pled, let alone proved, that the
state court proceedings are motivated by anything approaching
bad faith, and the record contains no evidence of any such
motivation. C.f. Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S.
479, 490 (1965) (bad faith requires an allegation that either
the prosecution was not brought to secure conviction or was
intended to harass); Hudson, 358 Fed.Appx. at 118
(petitioner must make a “substantial allegation”
of actual bad faith (citing Younger, 401 U.S. at
the Defendant has made no effort to plead irreparable harm,
which requires an allegation that the statute or conduct at
issue is “flagrantly and patently violative of express
constitutional prohibitions.” Younger, U.S. at
53-54. To the contrary, far from alleging irreparable harm,
the only injuries the Defendant seeks to redress-his arrest
and pre-trial detention-are, as the Supreme Court has said,
precisely the types of injuries that can “be eliminated
by his defense against a single criminal prosecution.”
Younger, 401 U.S. at 46 (citing Ex parte
Young, 209 U.S. 123, 125-27 (1908)); see also Beal
v. Missouri Pac. R.R. Corp., 312 U.S. 45, 49 (1941)
(“No citizen or member of the community is immune from
prosecution, in good faith, for his alleged criminal acts.
The imminence of such a ...