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Manygoat v. Havel

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

January 28, 2019

THOMAS C. HAVEL, Respondent.


         THIS MATTER is before the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Petitioner Herbert Manygoat (Doc. 1), as amended by his amended petition (Doc. 3)and Second Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 9) (“the Petition”). The Court dismisses the Petition based on the doctrine of abstention or, in the alternative, for failure to exhaust state court remedies.

         Petitioner Herbert Manygoat filed his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on August 28, 2017. (Doc. 1). Manygoat's Petition indicates he is a pretrial detainee awaiting trial on New Mexico state charges of 1st Degree Kidnapping (Intent to Commit Sex Crimes) and Aggravated Battery (Deadly Weapon). See Doc. 1 at 2-5; State of New Mexico v. Herbert Manygoat, No. M-47-FR-2016-00267. Since the filing of his Petition, Manygoat has filed nine amendments or supplements to the Petition. (Doc. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14).

         Although difficult to decipher, Manygoat's Petition appears to seek release from detention on three grounds: (1) that his counsel has been ineffective by failing to obtain Manygoat's release due to a medical disability (Doc. 1 at 2-3); (2) that one of the victims is not cooperating and the charges should be dismissed because her accusations are false (Doc. 1 at 3-4); and (3) that Manygoat is actually innocent of the crimes charged (Doc. 1 at 3). His amendments and supplements to the Petition make similar allegations and also contend that another inmate is making false statements to others in the correctional facility that Manygoat is a sex offender. (Doc. 11, 14).

         1. The Court Grants Petitioner Manygoat's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         When he initiated this proceeding, Manygoat did not file an application to proceed without prepaying fees or costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, nor did he pay the $5 filing fee. The Court entered an Order to Cure Deficiency on March 28, 2018. (Doc. 11). In response to the Order to Cure Deficiency, Petitioner Manygoat filed an Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs. (Doc. 12, 13). The Court has conducted the review required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) and grants the Application to Proceed (Doc. 13).

         2. The Court Strikes Petitioner Manygoat's Civil Rights Filings

         Manygoat commenced this proceeding as a habeas corpus case. (Doc. 1). In some of his supplemental and amended filings, Manygoat makes allegations and asserts claims in the nature of civil rights claims. Manygoat states “I got recourse through courts of New Mexico Tort Claims Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights claims” (Doc. 14 at 1) . . .“Please assist me at receiving some (money) concerning the false labeling of being a ‘rapist.'” (Doc. 14 at 4).

         As Manygoat has been previously advised, habeas corpus is not available or appropriate as a damages remedy. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 498-99 (1973). See CV 18-00222 JB/KRS, Doc. 3. Further, it is unreasonable to expect the Court continually to have to adapt as the petitioner develops new theories or locates new respondents or defendants. Minter v. Prime Equipment Co., 451 F.3d 1196, 1206 (10th Cir.2006). Last, rambling and incomprehensible filings that bury material allegations in “a morass of irrelevancies” do not meet Rule 8(a)'s pleading requirement of a “short and plain statement.” Mann v. Boatright, 477 F.3d 1140, 1148 (10th Cir. 2007); Ausherman v. Stump, 643 F.2d 715, 716 (10th Cir.1981). A pro se complaint may be stricken or dismissed under Rule 8(a) if it is “incomprehensible.” See Carpenter v. Williams, 86 F.3d 1015, 1016 (10th Cir.1996); Olguin v. Atherton, 215 F.3d 1337 (10th Cir. 2000)(unpublished).

         Manygoat's supplemental and amended filings are largely incomprehensible, allege claims that are unrelated to his original habeas corpus filing, and seek damages which are unavailable in a habeas corpus proceeding. The Court will strike Doc. 11 and 14 as violative of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. If Manygoat wishes to pursue civil rights claims, he must file a proper civil rights complaint in a separate proceeding.[1]

         3. The Court Will Dismiss Manygoat's Habeas Corpus Petition Without Prejudice

         In his habeas corpus Petition, Manygoat appears to be challenging his pretrial detention based on charges in a pending San Juan County, New Mexico Magistrate Court criminal proceeding, No. M-47-FR-2016-00627. (Doc. 1 at 7, 10-24). His allegations are difficult to follow, but seems to seek dismissal of the criminal proceeding or release from custody on three grounds-ineffective assistance of counsel, failure of the victims' allegations, and actual innocence. (Doc. 1 at 1-3).

         With respect to ineffective assistance of counsel, Petitioner Manygoat claims that he is physically disabled as a result of tibia and fibula fractures of his legs in 1995 and 2016. (Doc. 1 at 2). Manygoat contends that his Public Defender, Scott M. Curtis, ignored his disabilities, saying “I don't care. Because I'm retiring!!” (Doc. 1 at 2). He claims that “[f]ormer Public Defender Scott M. Curtis was present only for the record. But, supposedly not even for Defending me. . . the Physically Disabled accused. . .So, ineffective assistance of Council just remains.” (Doc. 1 at 3) (emphasis in the original).

         As to the second grounds, Manygoat contends:

“Victims refuses assisting in the unreasonable prosecutions. . . Victim-Rolinda Benally failed appearing for scheduled preliminary hearing on 10/12/2016. Therefore; her case for ‘kidnapping' and ‘aggravated battery' ...

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