United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
BRANDON M. LEEK, Petitioner,
SHERIFF, Jackson County, Illinois, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Brandon M. Leek has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 seeking an order of
release from state custody. Leek has a pending criminal
charge in Union County No. 2019-CF-99 for which he was
detained in the Jackson County Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 2). He
challenges the validity of his arrest due to a lack of
probable cause and an unlawful search and seizure.
(Id.). He asserts that his rights under the Fourth,
Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments have been
matter is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing §
2254 Cases in United States District Courts. Rule 4 provides
that upon preliminary consideration by the district court
judge, “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the
petitioner.” Rule 1(b) gives the Court the authority to
apply the Rules to other habeas corpus cases, such as those
under § 2241.
time he filed the habeas Petition, Leek was a pretrial
detainee being held in the Jackson County Jail. He has
notified that Court that he is currently an inmate in the
Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) incarcerated at
Hill Correctional Center. According to the IDOC website, Leek
is incarcerated on convictions from criminal charges other
than No. 2019-CF-99. Due to this incarceration, his request
to be released from the Jackson County Jail is moot. Because
he also seeks to enjoin the state criminal proceedings, the
Court will conduct the preliminary review.
makes the following allegations in the Petition: Leek was
illegally seized at gunpoint and searched by Union County
officers and they seized his vehicle without having probable
cause. (Id., p. 7). His Miranda waiver was
not properly filled out because he did not initial the
individual rights. (Id., p. 6). He was distressed
and intoxicated at the time. (Id.). He does not
recall questioning. (Id.). He is being detained
against his will for a crime he did not commit by a
State's attorney abusing his prosecutorial powers
willfully and maliciously. (Id.). In connection with
these claims, Leek requests that the Court (1) look into this
matter in detail; (2) hold all individuals involved
accountable; and (3) enter an order granting his immediate
release. (Id., p. 8).
2241 allows a pretrial detainee to bring a habeas corpus
petition, but this ability is limited by the policy of
federal courts not to interfere with pending state criminal
prosecutions except in special circumstances. Braden v.
30th Judicial Circuit Court of Ky., 410 U.S. 484 (1973);
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43 (1971);
Sweeney v. Bartow, 612 F.3d 571, 573 (7th Cir.
2010); United States v. Castor, 937 F.2d 293, 296-97
(7th Cir.1991); Neville v. Cavanagh, 611 F.2d 673,
675 (7th Cir. 1979). Under the abstention doctrine outlined
in Younger, federal courts must abstain from
interfering with pending state criminal proceedings so long
as the individual has the opportunity to raise his federal
claims in state court and no exceptional circumstances exist.
Ollson v. Curran, 328 F.App'x. 334, 335 (7th
Cir. 2009) (citing Stroman Realty, Inc. v. Martinez,
505 F.3d 658, 662 (7th Cir. 2007)). Exceptional circumstances
have been found in instances where irreparable damage would
occur, such as prosecutorial harassment and bad faith or
speedy trial and double jeopardy claims, but only where the
petitioner has first exhausted his available state court
remedies. Id.; Braden, 410 U.S. at 489-92;
Younger, 401 U.S. at 49, 91 S.Ct. 746; Stroman
Realty, Inc., 505 F.3d at 662; Neville, 611
F.2d at 675.
does not allege that he has been denied an opportunity to
raise his constitutional claims in state court, nor does he
indicate whether he has attempted to exhaust his remedies
within the state courts. Further, Leek's claims related
to an arrest without probable cause, unlawful search and
seizure, and illegally obtained statements do not present
exceptional circumstances. Rather, these issues are commonly
litigated before and during trial in state criminal
proceedings and remain viable through appeal.
extent Leek alleges the State's Attorney brought the
criminal charge in bad faith, the Petition does not establish
grounds for relief on that basis. A federal court may enjoin
a pending state criminal proceeding on a “showing of
bad faith, harassment, or any other unusual circumstance that
would call for equitable relief.” Younger, 401
U.S. at 54; Arkebauer v. Kiley, 985 F.2d 1351, 1358
(7th Cir. 1993). When an individual asserts bad faith
prosecution as a Younger exception, he must allege
specific facts to support an inference of bad faith.
Arkebauer, 985 F.2d at 1358 Id. Here, the
Petition contains no such specific allegations. Leek offers
only a conclusory statement that the State's Attorney is
abusing his prosecutorial powers willfully and maliciously in
bringing the criminal charge. Further, he sets forth no facts
showing a great and immediate irreparable injury and a threat
to federally protected rights that cannot be remedied in the
state prosecution, which is required to enjoin the state
criminal proceedings. Younger, 401 U.S. at 46.
foregoing reasons, the Petition does not present any basis
for the Court to intervene in the pending state prosecution.
Therefore, the Petition will be dismissed without prejudice
to any future habeas petition that Leek may file.
to the extent Leek seeks to bring claims against individuals
for violating his rights, a habeas petition is not the proper
vehicle for pursuing these claims. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241(c)(3); Glaus v. Anderson, 408 F.3d 382,
386-87 (7th Cir. 2005); Williams v. Wisconsin, 336
F.3d 576, 579 (7th Cir. 2003). These claims must be raised,
if at all, in a separate action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475 (1973). Plaintiff has a pending Section 1983 action in
this Court, 19-cv-00711-SMY, raising these claims.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1) ...