United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Hood Senior U.S. District Judge.
Ross “Word” Phar, proceeding pro se, has
filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 [DE 1] against the 14th Circuit Court of
Kentucky and The Honorable Judge Paul Isaacs. Phar, a defendant
in one of Judge Isaacs's criminal cases, seeks relief
from his five-year term of pretrial diversion, which requires
him to comply with a host of conditions imposed by the Court
and enforced by the Office of Probation and
Parole. See Commonwealth v. Phar,
12-CR-134. Specifically, Phar argues that the length of his
term is “grossly excessive and without
purpose.” [Id. at 1]. For the reasons
stated herein, Phar's Petition [DE 1] must be DISMISSED
Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions.
28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. N. Bureau of
Prisons, 419 F. App'x 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). A
petition will be denied “if it plainly appears from the
petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not
entitled to relief.” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing
§ 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts
(applicable to § 2241 petitions pursuant to Rule 1(b)).
The Court evaluates Phar's Petition under a more lenient
standard because he is not represented by an attorney.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). At this
stage of the proceedings, the Court accepts Phar's
factual allegations as true and construes all legal claims in
his favor. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
of habeas corpus may be granted by the Supreme Court, any
justice thereof, the district courts and any circuit judge
within their respective jurisdictions.” 28 U.S.C. §
2241(a). However, before seeking relief under § 2241,
the petitioner must exhaust his state court remedies.
Urbina v. Thoms, 270 F.3d 292, 295 n. 1 (6th Cir.
2001). “[T]he doctrine of exhaustion of state remedies
has developed to protect the state courts' opportunity to
confront initially and resolve constitutional issues arising
within their jurisdictions and to limit federal judicial
interference in state adjudicatory processes.”
Atkins v. Michigan, 644 F.2d 543, 546 (6th Cir.
1981). “The burden is on the petitioner to demonstrate
compliance with the exhaustion requirement or that the state
procedure would be futile.” Rust v. Zent, 17
F.3d 155, 160 (6th Cir. 1994).
Petition, Phar seems to admit that he has not previously
sought relief in the Woodford Circuit Court. He states:
I will be presenting these grounds in court today (4/5/2017).
In the instance that I am not granted relief, however I would
like for this appeal to be heard by the higher court. This
writ is my backup plan.
[Id. at 7]. The Court has reviewed the Woodford
Circuit Court docket from April 5, 2017, but sees no
indication that Phar orally requested relief from his term of
pretrial diversion during the hearing. There is also nothing
in the court record or in Phar's filings to suggest that
he is pursuing other available state remedies, such as filing
a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Woodford Circuit
Court. See Ky. Const. § 16; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann.
§ 419.020. Because Phar has failed to demonstrate that
he exhausted his state court remedies, his Petition must be
for the reasons stated herein, IT IS ORDERED that Petitioner
Ross Phar's Petition [DE 1] be, and is, hereby DISMISSED
FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall send a copy
of this Memorandum Opinion and Order to Phar at his listed