United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
T. Neff United States District Judge.
an action brought by an inmate presently housed at the
Marshall County Jail in Plymouth, Indiana. At the time he
brought his petition, Petitioner Steven Mester was confined
at the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, Indiana.
Petitioner challenges, under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, a
detainer filed against him relating to a prosecution for
first-degree retail fraud in Van Buren County, Michigan. (Van
Buren Cty. Cir. Ct. Compl., ECF No. 12-2, PageID.64; Van
Buren Cty. Cir. Ct. Register of Actions, ECF No. 11-1,
PageID.48.) Petitioner claims that the detainer and the
pending charges are hampering his ability to participate in
desired placements and programming during his Indiana
commenced this action in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Michigan. That court ordered
Respondent to answer the petition. Once Respondent complied,
the court discerned that venue was proper in this Court and,
accordingly, transferred the action here.
filed his petition in the Eastern District on June 13, 2018.
At that time, he asked the court to compel Respondent to
forward information regarding the detainer to the State of
Indiana so that Petitioner could challenge the detainer
there. Petitioner also claimed there was insufficient
evidence to support the Van Buren County charge. Therefore,
Petitioner also asked the court to dismiss the detainer.
filing his petition, Petitioner apparently received the
information he needed to challenge the detainer under the
Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD). He filed a petition
in the Van Buren County Circuit Court asking that court to
remove the detainer. (Verified Pet., ECF No. 11-2.)
order entered September 4, 2018, the Van Buren County Circuit
Court denied Petitioner's motion to dismiss the detainer
because Petitioner had failed to comply with the requirement
to file a certificate by the official having custody of
Petitioner. (Order, ECF No. 11-3.) Petitioner renewed his
motion on October 22, 2018, but he did not remedy the defect
that prompted the court's denial of the motion in the
first instance. (Verified Pet. II, ECF No. 11-4.) The trial
court did not specifically address Petitioner's second
motion with a new order. With regard to the second motion,
the register of actions states: “per judge place
documents in file as ex parte order has previously
been sent denying dismissal.” (Register of Actions, ECF
No. 11-1, PageID.49.)
notes that Petitioner has never appealed the Van Buren County
Circuit Court's initial order denying dismissal of the
detainer. Nor has Petitioner taken any further action on his
second motion in the Circuit Court or the appellate courts.
Petitioner does not claim otherwise. Indeed, in the petition,
Petitioner specifically acknowledged that he did not pursue
available appeals of the issues he was raising. (Pet., ECF
No. 1, PageID.7.)
action is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (AEDPA).
See Penry v. Johnson, 532 U.S. 782, 792 (2001). The
AEDPA “prevents federal habeas
‘retrials'” and ensures that state court
convictions are given effect to the extent possible under the
law. Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 693-94 (2002). Upon
review, and applying the standards of the AEDPA, Petitioner
has failed to exhaust available state remedies. Accordingly,
the Court will dismiss the petition without prejudice.
challenges a detainer filed against him. This sort of
challenge is a “pre-trial” matter that is
properly raised under § 2241. Norton v. Parke,
892 F.2d 476, 478 n.5 (6th Cir. 1989). A detainer is a
“request filed by a criminal justice agency with the
institution in which a prisoner is incarcerated, asking the
institution either to hold the prisoner for the agency or to
notify the agency when the release of the prisoner is
imminent.” Carchman v. Nash, 473 U.S. 716, 719
(1985). Although Petitioner references the Indiana version of
the IAD, it is Michigan's version that governs a Michigan
court's disposition of his motion. Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 780.601. The purpose of this statute is to
“encourage the expeditious and orderly
disposition” of “charges outstanding against . .
. prisoner[s].” Id.
Sixth Circuit has held that exhaustion of administrative
remedies under the IAD is required before a prisoner may seek
habeas relief in federal court. Norton, 892 F.2d at
480; see also Grant v. Hogan, 505 F.2d 1220, 1223
(3d Cir. 1974) (involving a federal prisoner subject to a
state detainer); Slaughter v. Henderson, 470 F.2d
743, 744 (5th Cir. 1972) (per curiam) (same). Generally, a
petitioner bears the burden of showing exhaustion. See
Rust v. Zent, 17 F.3d 155, 160 (6th Cir. 1994).
Petitioner alleges no facts indicating that he has exhausted
available administrative remedies.
case, Petitioner's remedy is to file a motion to dismiss
any pending charges in the Michigan circuit court with
jurisdiction over the detainer and the charges against him.
See People v. Swafford, 762 N.W.2d 902, 904
(Mich. 2009) (discussing such a motion). He has done so. His
initial motion was unsuccessful. There has been no decision
on Petitioner's second motion. The next step is to appeal
that decision to the Michigan appellate courts. It is too
late for Petitioner to appeal denial of his first motion.
But, he can continue to seek a ruling on his second motion
and then, if it is denied, appeal that denial in the
appellate courts. In other words, before seeking relief in
federal court, Petitioner must “avail himself fully
of the state machinery” available to consider his claim
that the state has not complied with the IAD. See Atkins
v. Michigan, 644 F.3d 543, 547 (6th Cir. 1981). Because
he has not yet done so, the Court will dismiss the petition
without prejudice for lack of exhaustion.
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2), the Court must also determine
whether a certificate of appealability should be granted. A
certificate should issue if Petitioner has demonstrated a
“substantial showing of a denial of a constitutional
right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). The Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals has disapproved issuance of blanket denials
of a certificate of appealability. Murphy v. Ohio,
263 F.3d 466, 467 (6th Cir. 2001) (per curiam). Rather, the