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Evans v. County of Delaware

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT


decided: March 6, 1968.

STEPHEN LUTHER EVANS, APPELLANT,
v.
COUNTY OF DELAWARE, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Hastie, Freedman and Van Dusen, Circuit Judges.

Author: Per Curiam

Opinion OF THE COURT

This case is before the court on appeal from a district court order denying appellant's right to proceed in forma pauperis in prosecuting a Petition for A Declaratory Judgment seeking "an Order directed to the prosecuting authorities of * * *. (Delaware County, Pa. requiring them to) * * * institute the necessary proceedings to accord him his right to a speedy trial (on charges of armed robbery, burglary, receiving stolen goods and conspiracy)*fn1 * * *" or dismiss such charges.

While confined under a federal sentence, Appellant first forwarded a Motion to the state court asking for a speedy trial on March 17, 1967. After this Motion was denied, the above Petition was filed and denied by the district court in June, 1967. During this 100 day period Appellant was "confined in the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri"*fn2 and his treatment was presumably incomplete. It was not unreasonable for the law enforcement authorities to decline to bring petitioner one-half way across the country for his trial on the above charges within this four month period. Under these circumstances, this record does not show a denial by appellee of the right*fn3 to a speedy trial guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Cf. Bistram v. People of the State of Minnesota, 330 F.2d 450, 452-453 (8th Cir. 1964) and cases there cited.

Also it is noted that petitioner may always move for the dismissal of criminal charges pending against him in the state court, if his right to a speedy trial has been denied, and he may present any denial of this right to the Supreme Court of the United States by petition for certiorari after exhausting his appellate rights in the state courts. See Bistram Case, supra, at 453. The availability of declaratory judgment relief under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2201 to a federal prisoner in such a situation is limited to cases involving a far more unusual record than that now before this court. Cf. Sepulveda v. State of Colorado, 335 F.2d 581, 582-583 (10th Cir. 1964) and cases there cited.

The order of the District Court will be affirmed.


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