United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER SCREENING PETITION, DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE
THE PETITIONER'S PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS (DKT.
NO. 1), DENYING AS MOOT THE PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR LEAVE
TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2), AND
PAMELA PEPPER, United States District Judge
1, 2017, petitioner Jason Goodwill filed a petition for writ
of habeas corpus in which he demanded a federal
criminal grand jury investigation. Dkt. No. 1. Although the
petitioner filed an application asking the court to allow him
to proceed without prepaying the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, the
court received-on the same day it received that
application-the $5.00 fee for filing a habeas
petition. The court will deny that application as moot.
petition does not provide many facts-the opening paragraph
says that the petitioner wants the court “to inquire
into the cause of constructive custody and restraint of
liberty.” Dkt. No. 1 at 1. It states that the
petitioner has been deprived of due process, that he has been
falsely imprisoned, that he has been denied proper car, that
he has been subjected to murder threats, and that the
Sheboygan police assaulted him and tried to deprive him of
evidence on April 25, 2017. Id. at 2. Finally, the
petition states, “Case 16-CF-628 is Double Jeopardy of
13-CF-360.” As relief, the petitioner demands a federal
grand jury investigation of his allegations and evidence.
Because the petitioner has other means to seek the relief he
demands, and he has not exhausted his claims as to the
criminal case in Sheboygan County Circuit Court in which he
currently is a defendant, the court will dismiss the federal
petition without prejudice.
“Jurisdiction” portion of his petition, the
petitioner indicates that this court has jurisdiction over
his claims under 28 U.S.C. §1331 (giving federal courts
jurisdiction over civil cases arising under the Constitution
or laws of the United States); §1361 (giving district
courts jurisdiction over mandamus actions against federal
officers or employees to perform duties owed to the
plaintiff); §2241 (allowing prisoners to seek
habeas relief if they are “in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws . . . of the United
States”); and §2243 (instructing courts regarding
the procedures for issuing a habeas writ). Dkt. No.
1 at 2. As relief, he demands a federal criminal grand jury
investigation. Id. at 1.
only one of the above statutes that gives the petitioner the
ability to seek habeas relief is 28 U.S.C.
§2241. Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases
applies to §2241 petitions. See Rule 1(b),
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases; 28 U.S.C. §2243.
Rule 4 requires the district court to “promptly
examine”-or “screen”-the petition, and
indicates that if the court concludes that the petitioner is
not entitled to relief, the court “must” dismiss
the petition. Id.
petitioner explains that he is a “People of the
Republic of the United States named America and neither in
the capacity of the citizen of the United States . . . nor a
citizen of the STATE OF WISCONSIN.” Dkt. No. 1 at 1. He
alleges that, in that capacity, he has been subjected to
violations of due process, rights and liberties for the past
decade, and has been falsely imprisoned as a witness and
whistle-blower. He lists several grievances he has, such as
being deprived of proper care and being subjected to murder
attempts, although he does not specify anywhere which of the
defendants allegedly committed these offenses. He also
alleges that on April 25, 2017, defendants Sheboygan police
“assaulted and attempted to deprive” him of
evidence. He does not explain how or when any one of these
defendants injured him, other than to state that “Case
16-CF-628 is double jeopardy of 13-CF-360.” Dkt. No. 1
at 3. Again, the only form of relief the petitioner requests
is that he demands a federal grand jury investigation.
true that federal courts have “inherent supervisory
power over the grand jury.” Carlson v. United
States, 837 F.3d 753, 762 (7th Cir. 2016). But because a
grand jury functions as an independent body, the court's
supervisory role is limited. Id., citing United
States v. Williams, 504 U.S. 36, 50 (1992).
“Judges' direct involvement in the functioning of
the grand jury has generally been confined to . . . calling
the grand jurors together and administering their oaths of
office.” Williams, 504 U.S. at 47, citing
United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974).
Courts “may not direct the courts of a grand jury
investigation . . . .” United States v.
Howard, 560 F.2d 281, 284 (7th Cir. 1977). Generally it
is the prosecutor and the grand jury itself who decide
“the direction and depth of investigation.”
Matter of Sinadinos, 760 F.2d 167, 170 (7th Cir.
1985). The petitioner does not have a private right of action
to have someone investigated or prosecuted. That decision
lies in in the discretion of the United States Attorney or
local prosecutors. See Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410
U.S. 614, 619 (1973) (“[A] private citizen lacks a
judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution or
nonprosecution of another.”); see also Del Marcelle
v. Brown County Corp., 680 F.3d 887, 901 (7th Cir.
petitioner believes that someone-one of the defendants, or
someone who works for one of the defendants-has committed
crimes against him, he has a remedy available to him. He can
report the alleged crime to a federal law enforcement agency
(such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation), or can report
it directly to the federal prosecutor (the United States
Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin). He does not
need habeas relief to do this- he needs only to
provide the F.B.I. or the U.S. Attorney with the facts that
he believes demonstrate that he has been the victim of
petitioner also appears to believe that there is something
constitutionally, or legally, wrong with the case he referred
to as “Case 16-CF-628.” The Wisconsin Circuit
Court Access web site- https://wcca.wicourts.gov-shows that
this is, in fact, a pending case, State v. Goodwill,
Sheboygan County Circuit Court Case No. 2016CF000628. The
court record events list in that case shows that a warrant
issued for the defendant on September 30, 2016-the case
opened on that date. (Id. at dkt. entry 15). The
petitioner first appeared in court on April 18, 2017
(id. at dkt. entry 12). The commissioner found
probable case on that date, id., and set a cash bond
of $10, 000 for his release, id. at dkt. entry 11.
The court bailiff reported that the petitioner “refused
to be transported” to a hearing on April 24, 2017,
id. at dkt. entry 6; he appeared in custody on April
26, 2017, and the judge found probable cause and bound him
over for trial, id. at dkt. entry 5. The Sheboygan
County judge has scheduled a jury trial for July 26, 2017.
Id. at dkt. entry 4. The plaintiff has not filed any
motions in that case.
courts must abstain from interfering with pending state
proceedings to enforce a state's criminal laws if the
defendant has the opportunity to raise any possible federal
claim in state court and no exceptional circumstances exist.
Olsson v. Curran, 328 Fed.Appx. 334, 335 (7th Cir.
2009); see also Sweeney v. Bartow, 612 F.3d 571, 573
(7th Cir. 2010) (citing Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S.
37 (1971)). Exceptions exist for speedy trial and double
jeopardy claims where, without immediate federal
intervention, the challenge would become moot.
Sweeney, 612 F.3d at 573. The Seventh Circuit has
held that for state pretrial detainees, federal habeas
corpus relief generally is available on these kinds of
claims “only after the petitioner has exhausted his
state court remedies.” Olsson, 328 Fed.Appx.
at 335 (affirming the dismissal of a petition where the
petitioner had not exhausted his state court remedies or
presented any exceptional circumstances to justify enjoining
the state court proceeding); see also Braden v. 30th
Judicial Circuit Ct. of Ky., 410 U.S. 484, 489-92 (1973)
(finding petitioner could raise his speedy trial claim where
he sought trial on a three-year-old indictment, presented his
federal constitutional claim in the state courts, and did not
seek to forestall a state prosecution).
the petitioner is a pretrial detainee facing pending state
criminal charges, the appropriate place for him to raise any
issues regarding those ongoing criminal proceedings is in the
Sheboygan County Circuit Court. This will allow a Wisconsin
court to have the first opportunity to respond to and resolve
his claim. See United States v. Castor, 937
F.2d 293, 296 (7th Cir. 1991) (comity requires that pretrial
“detainees exhaust all avenues of state relief before
seeking the writ”); Olsson, 328 Fed.Appx. at
335 (finding district court properly abstained from
interfering with the petitioner's state criminal case
where the petitioner did not exhaust his state court remedies
on his speedy trial claim, was not prevented from bringing
his constitutional claims in state court, and failed to show
that the state court did not give him an adequate opportunity
to present his constitutional claims).
the court notes that on May 22, 2017, the court received from
the petitioner a document entitled “Notice of
Removal.” Dkt. No. 5. In this document, the petitioner
states that he is “removing” the criminal case
pending in Sheboygan County (and a closed criminal case from
the same county) to “the U.S.D.C. for the 20th district
of Wisconsin” for good cause. Id. He cites 28
U.S.C. §§1445 and 1446 as the bases for this
notice. Although the court is dismissing the petition, and
although the notice does not ask the court for any relief,
the court advises the petitioner that he cannot remove a
state criminal case to federal court.
there is no federal court for the “20th district”
of Wisconsin. There are two federal district courts in
Wisconsin-the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Wisconsin (which covers cases arising in counties
on the eastern side of the state), and the United States
District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
(covering counties on the western side of the state). Second,
28 U.S.C. §1445 does not authorize removal of a criminal
case to federal court-it lists the types of civil
cases that cannot be removed to federal court.
Third, 28 U.S.C. §1446 authorizes a party to remove a
civil case to federal court. The cases the
petitioner references in his notice are criminal
cases. There is no statute which authorizes the removal of a
state criminal case to federal court.
court DISMISSES without prejudice the petitioner's
petition for writ of habeas corpus. Dkt. No. 1. The
court DENIES as moot the petitioner's application for
leave to proceed without prepaying the ...