Forbes v. United States of America
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry).Signed by Honorable Malachy E Mannion on 10/16/20. (bs) [Transferred from pamd on 10/16/2020.]
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
DENNIS A. FORBES
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:20-0822
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Petitioner, Dennis A. Forbes, an inmate confined in the Big Sandy
United States Penitentiary, Inez, Kentucky, filed the instant petition for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241. (Doc. 1). The filing fee has
been paid. Petitioner challenges his underlying convictions and sentences
imposed in Rochester, New York and his order of removal resulting from said
convictions and sentences. Id.
For the reasons outlined below, the petition will be transferred to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
The statute governing jurisdiction over writs of habeas corpus provides
that writs may be granted by “the district courts ... within their respective
jurisdictions.” 28 U.S.C. §2241(a). In Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426
(2004), the United States Supreme Court noted that the phrase “within their
respective jurisdictions” means that a writ of habeas corpus acts not upon
the prisoner, but upon the prisoner’s custodian, and that only those courts
with jurisdiction over the custodians, that is, those courts within the “district
of confinement,” may issue the writ. Padilla, 544 U.S. at 442-44. The Third
Circuit has held that “[i]t is the warden of the prison or the facility where the
detainee is held that is considered the custodian for purposes of a habeas
action.” Yi v. Maugans, 24 F.3d 500, 507 (3d Cir.1994).1 Thus, a §2241
petition must be presented to “the district court in the United States District
where the petitioner is incarcerated.” United States v. Allen, 124 Fed.
Appx. 719, 721 (3d Cir. Feb.11, 2005) (citing Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d
476, 478-79 (3d Cir.1990)) (emphasis added).
Here, Petitioner is confined in USP-Big Sandy, which is located within the
jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Kentucky. As such, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §2241(a), the proper venue
for this case is the Eastern District of Kentucky, where Petitioner and his
custodian are located.
Yi v. Maugans further clarified that, despite their power to release detainees, District
Directors are not custodians for purposes of habeas corpus actions. See Yi, 24 F.3d at
(footnote continued on next page)
A court may transfer any civil action for the convenience of the parties or
witnesses, or in the interest of justice, to any district where the action might
have been brought. 28 U.S.C. §1404(a) and 1406(a)2; See also, Braden v.
30th Judicial Circuit of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484 (1973). Because habeas
proceedings are generally considered civil in nature, see Hinton v.
includes habeas petitions. Parrott v. Government of Virgin Islands, 230 F.3d
615, 620 (3d Cir. 2000).
Accordingly, this court will sua sponte transfer the above captioned action
to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
A separate Order will be issued.
s/ Malachy E. Mannion
MALACHY E. MANNION
United States District Judge
DATE: October 16, 2020
Section 1406(a) provides that when a case has been filed in an improper venue, a
district court “shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice, transfer such case to any
district or division in which it could have been brought.” See 28 U.S.C. §1406(a).
Similarly, §1404(a) grants district courts discretion to transfer cases, “in the interest of
justice,” to a district where the case might have been brought. See 28 U.S.C. §1404(a).
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