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POPE v. ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

United States District Court, N.D. California


January 30, 2004.

ANTHONY L. POPE, Petitioner,
v.
ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF's DEPARTMENT, Respondent

The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES BREYER, District Judge

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

Petitioner, a detainee facing ongoing state criminal proceedings in the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Alameda, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus alleging that repeated interference with his "legal mail" is negatively affecting his right to a fair trial in state court. He seeks "to be released from jail."

Petitioner may challenge his pre-sentence detention on state criminal charges by way of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2241. However, principles of comity and federalism require that this court abstain and not entertain any such pre-sentence habeas challenge unless petitioner shows that: (1) he has exhausted available state judicial remedies, and (2) "special circumstances" warrant federal intervention. Carden v. Montana, 626 F.2d 82, 83-84 (9th Cir. 1980). Only in cases of proven harassment or prosecutions Page 2 undertaken by state officials in bad faith without hope of obtaining a valid conviction and perhaps in other special circumstances where irreparable injury can be shown is federal injunctive relief against pending state prosecutions appropriate. Id. at 84 (citing Perez v. Ledesma, 401 U.S. 82, 85 (1971)). Petitioner makes no such showing of "special circumstances" warranting federal intervention. See id. The petition accordingly is DISMISSED without prejudice to refiling after state criminal proceedings, including appeal, are completed.*fn1

  The Clerk shall close the file and terminate all pending motions as moot. SO ORDERED.


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