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Taylor v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

March 26, 2018

TUCARA ANN TAYLOR a/k/a TUCARA ANN CADE, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CHARLES B. GOODWIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner Tucara Ann Taylor, a state inmate appearing pro se, filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 seeking relief as a pretrial detainee. This matter was referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for initial proceedings in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636. Following review of Petitioner's pleading and publicly available records, the undersigned recommends that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. No. 1) be dismissed.

         I. The Court's Screening Requirement

         Pursuant to the applicable Rules, the Court “must dismiss” a habeas corpus petition if it “plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits” that “the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” R. 4, R. Governing § 2254 Cases in U.S. Dist. Cts.; see Id. R. 1(b); see also Boutwell v. Keating, 399 F.3d 1203, 1210 n.2 (10th Cir. 2005). In addition, “[m]ootness is a fundamental bar to judicial review that must be accounted for at all stages of a proceeding, and applies in habeas as in any other type of litigation.” Miller v. Glanz, 331 Fed.Appx. 608, 610 (10th Cir. 2009).

         II. The Petition

         In her Petition, Petitioner alleges that she is a pretrial detainee being held in Logan County, Oklahoma. See Pet. at 1. Petitioner's challenge lies, however, to a pending criminal action in Oklahoma County District Court, Case Number CF-2017-2571. See Id. at 1, 2; see also State v. Taylor, No. CF-2017-2571 (Okla. Cty. Dist. Ct.) (docket and filings available through http://www.oscn.net). Through this federal action, Petitioner seeks “to be writted out to Oklahoma County to solidify a decision for a plea, ” preferably “utiliz[ing] a program such as mental health court.” Pet. at 2.

         III. Discussion

         Although a § 2241 petition is a proper mechanism for a state-court defendant to attack his or her pretrial detention, Walck v. Edmondson, 472 F.3d 1227, 1235 (10th Cir. 2007), the undersigned takes judicial notice of publicly available documents reflecting that Petitioner is no longer a pretrial detainee in connection with Case Number CF-2017-2571. Rather, the docket for that case shows that on November 2, 2017, Petitioner entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. See State v. Taylor, No. CF-2017-2571 (Okla. Cty. Dist. Ct.) (docket entry of Nov. 2, 2017).

         “A habeas corpus petition is moot when it no longer presents a case or controversy under Article III, § 2, of the Constitution.” Aragon v. Shanks, 144 F.3d 690, 691 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1 (1998)).

As noted by the Supreme Court, Article III's case-or-controversy requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial proceedings, trial and appellate. . . . The parties must continue to have a “personal stake in the outcome” of the lawsuit. This means that, throughout the litigation, the plaintiff must have suffered, or be threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the defendant and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.

Id. (omission in original) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). “[A]n issue becomes moot when it becomes impossible for the court to grant any effectual relief whatsoever on that issue to a prevailing party.” Dumas v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 397 Fed.Appx. 492, 493 (10th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Even assuming this Court was authorized to require the Oklahoma County District Court to “solidify” a plea in a pending criminal matter, the docket for Petitioner's criminal case reflects that just such a plea has been entered. Thus, Petitioner is no longer a pretrial detainee with respect to that matter, and it is impossible for the Court “to grant any effectual relief whatsoever.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). Petitioner's § 2241 claim “be[came] moot upon the conviction of [Petitioner].” Miller, 331 Fed.Appx. at 610; accord Edwards v. Whetsel, 157 Fed.Appx. 65, 67 n.1 (10th Cir. 2005) (noting that after a state pretrial detainee was convicted his claims for release from pretrial detention were moot).

         RECOMMENDATION

         Based upon the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. No. 1) be ...


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