United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. PITTMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by petitioner David Craig
Howard (“Howard”). Pet. 9, ECF No. 5. In response
to the petition, Respondent Brett McGuire filed an initial
response with exhibits (ECF No. 9), a first supplemental
response with exhibits (ECF No. 13), and a second
supplemental response with exhibits (ECF No. 15.) Howard has
not filed a reply to any of these documents. After
considering the pleadings and the relief Petitioner seeks,
the Court has concluded that the petition should be dismissed
as moot, in part, and for lack of jurisdiction, in part.
time he filed his § 2241 petition, Howard was confined
in the Palo Pinto County Jail. Pet. 9, ECF No. 5. In his
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Howard complains that he
was being held on a charge of “driving while
intoxicated 3rd degree.” Pet 3, ECF No. 5. The
Respondent informs, however, that at the time of the filing
of this § 2241 petition, Howard was not actually being
held on the DWI third charge. Resp. 2-3, ECF No. 9. Rather,
he was being held on a parole revocation warrant.
October of 2015, Howard was involved in a motor vehicle crash
in Mineral Wells, Texas. Pet. 4, Exhibit page 12, ECF No. 5.
A warrant for his arrest was subsequently issued charging him
with the offense of DWI-3rd or more. Resp. Exhibit A, ECF No.
9. Howard was not arrested on the new DWI charge until June
3, 2016, but he was also released on bond the next day (June
4, 2016). Resp. Exhibit C, ECF No. 9. That felony DWI charge
was not, however, Howard's only outstanding criminal
justice matter. Howard was previously convicted of possessing
a controlled substance in a correctional facility and
sentenced to a 35-year prison term. In 2013, Howard was
paroled from prison and he remained released on parole at the
time of the October 2015 automobile crash and at the time of
his June 2016 arrest. Resp. 2, ECF No. 9.
June 2016 arrest and new charge for driving while
intoxicated-third degree arising from the October 2015 crash
apparently triggered a Pre-Revocation Warrant from the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice. Resp. 3, ECF No. 3. Howard
was then arrested on that Pre-Revocation Warrant on November
30, 2017. Resp. Exhibits D and E, ECF No. 9. On December 2,
2017, Howard was interviewed by his parole officer, and
Howard requested a preliminary hearing on his revocation.
That preliminary hearing was conducted in mid-December 2017.
The revocation charges against Howard were sustained and the
State of Texas proceeded to revocation. Resp. Exhibit F, ECF
No. 9. Thus, at the time of filing this § 2241 petition
in June 2018, Howard was in the Palo Pinto County Jail
pending that final parole revocation hearing. Resp. 4, ECF
Howard was in the Palo Pinto County Jail due to the parole
revocation proceedings, he entered a plea of guilty to the
new charge of driving while intoxicated-third degree in cause
number 16645 in the 29th District Court, Palo Pinto County,
Texas. First Suppl. Resp. Exhibit 1. As a result, Howard was
found guilty of the offense of driving while intoxicated
third degree (enhanced to habitual offender status) and
sentenced to 37 years' imprisonment. First. Suppl. Resp.,
Exhibit 2. After he was convicted on the new charge, Howard
was transferred into the custody of the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice in January 2019. First Suppl. Resp., Exhibit
3. Howard has since informed the Court that he is now housed
at the TDCJ Lindsey State Jail, in Jacksboro, Texas. Notice
Address Change, ECF No. 17.
CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
§ 2241 petition, Howard contends that (1) although his
blood alcohol level was tested at the time of the October
2015 accident he was not arrested until June 2016; (2) prior
to the October 2015 accident he had been given surgery at
John Peter Smith Hospital and the medications he was given
may have related to his blood alcohol level; (3) the delay in
his arrest until several months after the October 2015
accident violated his rights; and (4) the officers did not
have probable cause to arrest him and falsified their reports
because he could not have taken the standard field sobriety
tests as listed in their reports. Pet. 5-6, Exhibits 12-14,
ECF No. 5. For relief in this petition, Howard requests:
“charges for DWI-3rd degree dropped, a bond set or the
blue warrant lifted, and $50.00 dollars a day for being
locked up because of Officer Dusty Richardson presenting my
parole officer and hearing officer a false police report and
a sworn under oath affidavit stating he arrested me around
October 2015 when he didn't.” Pet. 7, ECF No. 5.
pretrial detainee is entitled, in some circumstances, to
raise constitutional claims in a federal habeas proceeding
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See 28 U.S.C. §
2241(c); see Dickerson v. Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220,
224 (5th Cir. 1987) (“Pre-trial petitions such as
Dickerson's [pre-trial challenges to state charges] are
properly brought under 28 U.S.C § 2241, which applies to
persons in custody regardless of whether final judgment has
been rendered and regardless of the present status of the
case pending against him”) (footnote omitted). The
records confirm that although Howard filed the § 2241
petition while state charges were pending, he subsequently
pleaded guilty to the challenged charge for driving while
intoxicated third degree and was convicted. First Suppl.
Resp. Exhibits 1, 2, ECF No. 13. As Howard is no longer a
pretrial detainee, it is unnecessary to resolve the issues
presented in the § 2241 habeas petition. See Wade v.
Anderson, No. 4:09-cv-684-Y, 2010 WL 930991 at *1 (N.D.
Tex. Mar. 15, 2010) (dismissing with prejudice as moot
pretrial detainee's § 2241 petition after his
conviction); see also Fassler v. United States, 858
F.2d 1016, 1018 (5th Cir. 1988) (recognizing that habeas
petitions challenging legality of pretrial detention were
rendered moot by conviction); Thorne v. Warden, Brooklyn
House of Detention for Men, 479 F.2d 297, 299 (2d Cir.
1973) (“Since [petitioner] is now held as a convicted
defendant rather than merely on a criminal charge not yet
brought to trial, the issue as to the legality of his
continued pretrial detention has been mooted, and it
therefore becomes unnecessary to resolve the constitutional
issues presented”). Thus, Howard's claims of a
delay in charging him, manipulation of evidence, and lack of
probable cause, must all be dismissed as moot.
extent Howard seeks compensatory monetary damages, the Court
has no authority to grant such relief in a habeas corpus
action. See Preiser v. Rodruguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484
(1973) (holding that habeas relief is not available to review
questions unrelated to the fact or duration of one's
incarceration that would result in an earlier release).
reasons discussed herein, it is therefore
ORDERED that Petitioner Howard's
petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is
DISMISSED as MOOT, ...