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Jiggetts v. State

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 24, 2016

ALEXANDER JIGGETTS, Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND, Respondent

MEMORANDUM

J. Frederick Motz United States District Judge

Pending is respondent's court-ordered response to the self-represented petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241. ECF 3. No hearing is deemed necessary for the disposition of this case. For the reasons stated below, the petition shall be denied and a certificate of appealability shall not issue.

Background

Petitioner Alexander Jiggetts ("Jiggetts") is currently held in the custody of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) at Spring Grove Hospital pursuant to a finding of not competent to stand trial by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in connection with charges of telephone misuse. Jiggetts claims in his petition that he was punished by the state court for proceeding pro se at his November 13, 2013 bail review hearing and that he was denied representation by the Office of the Public Defender. ECF 1 at p. 1. He alleges the only reason the judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation was his self-represented status. Id.

Jiggetts explains he was seen by an "evaluator" approximately one to two weeks after an evaluation was ordered. During the evaluation, Jiggetts was asked why he did not just plead guilty to the charges against him. He claims that when he answered that he was not guilty, the evaluator stated that Jiggetts needed to go to Spring Grove. Jiggetts states that on October 19, 2013, [1] he was deemed incompetent to stand trial. Id.

Jiggetts claims that he had a conference hearing set for June of 2014, but he was never taken to court. In November of 2014, Jiggetts claims he was again found incompetent to stand trial without being seen by an evaluator. Id.

In June of 2015, Jiggetts claims that staff at Spring Grove determined he was competent to stand trial, but his assigned public defender, Sharon Boggins, told the judge that Jiggetts was not competent. He claims the judge agreed and sent Jiggetts back to Spring Grove. Id.

Jiggetts concludes from the circumstances of his criminal proceedings that he is being held in custody because he represented himself after he was denied representation by the public defender; he would not plead guilty; and he would not take a four or five year sentence for the charges as negotiated by Ms. Boggins. Id. He further avers that holding him in custody for these reasons violates his constitutional right to due process and his right to a speedy trial. ECF 1 at p. 2.

Jiggetts further claims that he is denied a state remedy to challenge his current confinement because the civil clerk at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City advised Jiggetts that he does not understand the law and needs to get a lawyer. He claims the court refused to set a hearing date for his petition for judicial release. Id.

Jiggetts states he sent a habeas corpus petition to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City challenging the merits of the criminal proceedings against him. It is Jiggetts' belief that his petition was to be sent to the District Court for Baltimore City so he filed an appeal with that court along with a $90 filing fee. Jiggetts claims that the case was improperly referred to Ms. Boggins, whom he is suing, and his filing fee was returned to his patient account. A letter from the court to Spring Grove staff explained that Jiggetts could not appeal the case and his attending physician told him not to write anyone in the courts. Jiggetts avers the statement made by his doctor is a violation of his First Amendment rights and establishes that the entire state government is against him. ECF 1 at pp. 2 - 3.

Jiggetts adds that in the context of his criminal case, his Fourth Amendment rights were violated through an illegal, warrantless search and seizure. He claims that Baltimore City police tracked his cell phones without a warrant; entered his home without a warrant; and seized from his home cell phones, identification, and his birth certificate. Jiggetts claims police waited until after he was arrested and placed in Central Booking to obtain a warrant, which they relied upon to enter his house again to seize another cell phone. Jiggetts asserts that illegally seized evidence falls within the purview of the exclusionary rule. He adds that he was charged "with telephone misuse times 4" and that constitutes double jeopardy. ECF 1 at p. 4.

State's Response

Respondent asserts that on November 12, 2013, Jiggetts was charged with four counts of telephone misuse by the Baltimore City Police as well as charges of making a false statement to a police officer and causing a false alarm. ECF 3 at Ex. 1; State v. Jiggetts, Case No. 1B02245342 (Dist. Ct. for Bait. City). On November 21, 2013, the District Court for Baltimore City issued an order requiring an evaluation of Jiggetts' competency to stand trial. Id. at Ex. 2.

On December 19, 2013, the Baltimore City District Court found Jiggetts incompetent to stand trial and dangerous due to a mental disorder. Jiggetts was committed to the DHMH and he was placed at Spring Grove Hospital. Id. at Ex. 3. During Jiggetts' confinement at Spring Grove, he has been offered services designed to restore his competency to stand trial; however, he ...


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