Corbin v. Department of Veteran Affairs et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala on 3/2/2016. (KEK)
2016 Mar-02 AM 09:23
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
STEVEN T. CORBIN,
DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN
AFFAIRS and UNIVERSAL HEALTH )
SERVICES, INC., d/b/a/ Hill Crest
Behavioral Health Center,
Case No. 2:15-cv-01174-MHH-SGC
This case is before the undersigned for review of a report and
recommendation concerning Mr. Corbin’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. The magistrate judge entered her report on December 11,
2015. In it, she recommended that the Court dismiss Mr. Corbin’s § 2241 petition
because the Court lacks jurisdiction over Mr. Corbin’s challenge to his detention at
Hill Crest Behavioral Health Center from May 6 through May 13, 2015. The
magistrate judge also explained that case law that is binding on this Court states
that Mr. Corbin may not pursue his claims for veteran’s benefits and his federal
and state law tort claims in this habeas corpus proceeding. (Doc. 8).
The magistrate judge explained to Mr. Corbin that under 28 U.S.C. § 636, he
had fourteen (14) days to object to her report and recommendation. (Doc. 8 at 6-
Although Mr. Corbin has not filed a document that he has described as
objections to the report and recommendation, he has filed evidentiary material
(Docs. 9 & 10), a motion in which he asks for permission to amend his pending
motion for summary judgment (Doc. 11), a document labeled as an amended
complaint that indicates that Mr. Corbin filed a complaint about the magistrate
judge with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Committee (Doc. 12), a motion seeking to
amend that complaint to add new evidence (Doc. 13), and a motion to “withdraw”
this case and re-file claims in the “Federal Court [of] Appeals” (Doc. 14).
To the extent that Mr. Corbin intended for the Court to construe his filings as
objections to the report and recommendation, the Court overrules the objections.
None of the information that Mr. Corbin has provided in his filings establishes
subject matter jurisdiction, and this Court cannot act when it does not have
jurisdiction. See Smith v. GTE Corp., 236 F.3d 1292, 1299 (11th Cir. 2001)
(“[B]ecause a federal court is powerless to act beyond its statutory grant of subject
matter jurisdiction, a court must zealously insure that jurisdiction exists over a
case, and should itself raise the question of subject matter jurisdiction at any point
in the litigation where a doubt about jurisdiction arises.”). The magistrate judge
correctly evaluated jurisdiction and held that jurisdiction is lacking under § 2241
because Mr. Corbin was not in custody when he filed his petition. (Doc. 8, pp. 23).1
The magistrate judge also correctly explained why this Court cannot
consider his federal and state law claims in this habeas action, and the magistrate
judge correctly explained how Mr. Corbin may pursue those claims if he wishes to
file a separate action. (Doc. 8). The Court adopts the magistrate judge’s report in
To the extent that Mr. Corbin’s complaint regarding the magistrate judge
filed with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Committee may be construed as a motion
seeking the magistrate judge’s recusal from this case, the motion is denied. Mr.
Corbin has identified no personal bias or prejudice that would prevent the
magistrate judge from participating in this action, nor has he identified any other
reason why the impartiality of the magistrate judge reasonably might be
questioned. See 28 U.S.C. § 144, 28 U.S.C. § 455. In any event, Mr. Corbin’s
concerns about the magistrate judge are moot because the undersigned has
reviewed the file independently and concluded that the magistrate judge’s analysis
As stated, the Court accepts all of the magistrate judge’s
recommendations and notes that the magistrate judge went the extra mile because
Based on the address that Mr. Corbin has provided, it does not appear that he currently is in custody. See Docket
she explained to Mr. Corbin how he could pursue the claims that he cannot
maintain in this habeas action.
Thus, after careful consideration of the record in this case and the magistrate
judge’s report, the Court ADOPTS that report and ACCEPTS the magistrate
judge’s recommendations. Mr. Corbin’s § 2241 petition is due to be DISMISSED
because this Court lacks jurisdiction as to any challenge to Corbin’s detention at
Hill Crest Behavioral Health Center from May 6 through May 13, 2015, and Mr.
Corbin cannot pursue the remainder of his claims in this habeas corpus action. The
Clerk is DIRECTED to please TERM Mr. Corbin’s motion for summary
judgment (Doc. 2) as MOOT.
A final judgment will be entered.
DONE and ORDERED this March 2, 2016.
MADELINE HUGHES HAIKALA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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