Clemens v. Morales
ORDER Transferring case to the Northern District of Illinois. Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 1/23/17. (jlm) [Transferred from Georgia Southern on 1/24/2017.]
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
JAMES D. CLEMENS,
JOSE MORALES, Warden,
Petitioner James Clemens is incarcerated at Coastal State Prison in
the State of Georgia. Invoking 28 U.S.C. § 2254, he seeks dismissal of an
Illinois detainer lodged against him and, apparently, release from
The Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (IADA), 18 U.S.C. App.
pp. 585-620 (1985), is a congressionally sanctioned interstate compact
which establishes a procedure for a prisoner incarcerated in one state to
demand the speedy disposition of “any untried indictment, information,
or complaint” that is the basis of a detainer lodged against him by
another state. If the prisoner makes such demand, the IADA requires
the authorities in the prosecuting state to bring the person to trial within
180 days, or that court must dismiss the indictment, information, or
complaint, and the detainer will cease to be of any force or effect. The
IADA requires a prisoner to “cause to be delivered to the prosecuting
officer and the appropriate court of the prosecuting officer’s jurisdiction
written notice of the place of his imprisonment and his request for a final
disposition to be made of the indictment.” IADA, art. III(a).
Clemens’ petition is deficient. First, he has filed for federal habeas
relief in the district of his incarceration, which is the wrong venue.
28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). See Carchman v. Nash , 473 U.S. 716, 722 (1985).
Venue lies in the prosecuting state which lodged the detainer against him
-- Illinois. See doc. 1 at 1 (identifying Joliet, Illinois, as the detainer’s
origin). Clemens must refile his petition in a federal court in Illinois (the
district where his state prosecution is pending).
Second, the IADA requires written notice of the place of
imprisonment and request for a final disposition to be delivered, through
the official having custody of the prisoner, to the prosecuting officer in
the receiving state ( i.e. , where his state prosecution is pending). IADA
art. III(b). It is unclear from the petition whether Clemens followed
these requirements, thereby bringing the ‘timely trial’ provisions of the
IADA into play. See doc. 1. It is further unclear whether the state in
question failed to bring him to trial within the 180 day period required
by the IADA. This information is necessary for relief to be granted by
the appropriate district court.
Petitioner, apparently recognizing at least some of these
deficiencies, asks the Court to transfer his case to the correct venue.
Doc. 6 (motion to change venue). This case is therefore
TRANSFERRED to the Northern District of Illinois for all further
See 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) (permitting a district court to
transfer any civil action to another district or division where it may have
been brought for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the
interest of justice); id. § 93(a) (Kendall and Will counties, which share
the city of Joliet, are located in the Eastern Division of the Northern
District of Illinois).
SO ORDERED, this 23rd day of January, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE ILJDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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