United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HORNSBY U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
accordance with the standing order of this court, this matter
was referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for review,
report and recommendation.
the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus
filed by pro se petitioner Mattavious Qwaurtez
Wortham (“Petitioner”), pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§2254. This petition was received and filed in this
court on November 2, 2017. Petitioner is incarcerated at the
David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, Louisiana. He
challenges his state court conviction. He names Warden Jerry
Goodwin as respondent.
August 14, 2015, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of
attempted second degree murder, one count of attempted armed
robbery, and one count of second degree robbery in
Louisiana's Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court, Parish
of Bossier. He was sentenced to 33 years imprisonment at hard
labor as to the attempted second degree murder conviction, 33
years imprisonment at hard labor as to the attempted armed
robbery conviction, and five years imprisonment at hard labor
as to the second degree robbery conviction.
support of this petition, Petitioner alleges (1) the state
court lacked subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) the State
of Louisiana lacked standing.
reasons stated below, Petitioner's application for
habeas relief should be denied and dismissed with
Matter Jurisdiction Claim
support of his petition, Petitioner argues that the state
court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the record
does not show facts establishing jurisdiction. Petitioner
provides no factual or legal support for this claim.
Louisiana law provides: “Courts have the jurisdiction
and powers over criminal proceedings that are conferred upon
them by the Louisiana Constitution and statutes.” La.
Code Cr. P. art. 16. The Louisiana Constitution grants
original jurisdiction to Louisiana's district courts over
all civil and criminal matters, and exclusive original
jurisdiction over felony cases, such as Petitioner's
case. La. Const. art. V, § 16. Accordingly,
Petitioner's jurisdictional claim lacks merit.
next argues that the State of Louisiana lacks standing
because it has failed to claim injury, loss, harm, or a
violation of its legal rights. The district attorney's
discretionary prosecutorial authority is vast. “Except
as otherwise provided by this constitution, a district
attorney, or his designated representative, shall have charge
of every criminal prosecution by the state in his
district.” La. Const. art. V, § 26(B).
“Under the Louisiana constitution it is the district
attorney who is charged with the duty of seeking out
potential criminals and bringing them to trial for their
alleged wrongs.” Bd. of Comm'rs of Orleans
Levee District v. Connick, 94-3161 (La. 3/9/95), 654
So.2d 1073, 1080. “The constitutional role of the
district attorney is incipient to the criminal process; his
decision to file charges in a court of criminal jurisdiction
is the event which incites a trial court's exercise of
that jurisdiction.” Id.
to the supervision of the attorney general, as provided in
Article 62, the district attorney has entire charge and
control of every criminal prosecution instituted or pending
in his district, and determines whom, when, and how he shall
prosecute.” La.C.Cr.P. art. 61. The decision to take
any action to prosecute or not prosecute is within the
district attorney's constitutionally granted powers.
See State v. Hayes, 2010-1538 (La.App. 4 Cir.
9/1/11), 75 So.3d 8, 13, writ denied, 2011-2144 (La.
3/2/12), 83 So.3d 1043 (citing Briede v. Orleans Parish
Dist. Attorney's Office, ...