LINCOLN v. OWENS
OPINION. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 3/8/16. (jbk, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
William Lincoln, Jr.
CIV. ACTION NO. 16-990 (RMB)
RENEE MARIE BUMB, U.S.
On February 22, 2016,
Petitioner, an inmate in Camden County
Jail, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
challenging his arrest,
and his conviction and sentence in
Camden County Superior Court. (Pet., ECF No. 1.) Petitioner submitted
an application to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915
in lieu of the $5. 00 filing fee.
Petitioner has established his
inability to pay the filing fee,
and his IFP application will be
granted. (ECF No. 3 at 1-4) . The Court has examined the petition under
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
and concludes the petition should be dismissed for
lack of jurisdiction.
Petitioner is confined in Camden County Jail.
(Pet. ECF No. 1,
]2.) He pled guilty in Camden County Superior Court to possessing
heroin and "racketeering, conspire, possess a controlled dangerous
6.) On February 26, 2016, he was sentenced
to a five-year term of imprisonment, with no parole for 27 months.
Petitioner set forth three grounds for relief. First, he alleged
Camden County Superior Court was without
jurisdiction over him.
Petitioner claimed the court was without jurisdiction because on
January 2 5, 2016, the trial court judge, the Honorable John T. Kelly,
admitted that the matter before him was not "a transaction of a
security interest." (Id.,
(a)). Judge Kelly was unable to produce
"the delegation of authority orders signed by a [n] Article III Judge
in written form, produce a 1099 form and produce the injured party
who made a claim against me." (Id.) Petitioner stated the court was
without jurisdiction over him because the judge did not produce these
I The Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts are applicable to cases under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 pursuant to
Rule l(b), the scope of the Rules.
Complaint/Warrant against him was defective,
have dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
of this claim,
and the court should
(Id., '!IlO(b)). In support
Petitioner alleged the police officer making the
Complaint did not appear before the Clerk to swear to the Complaint.
In Petitioner's third ground for relief, he asserted there was
no probable cause for the Deputy Court Administrator to issue an
arrest warrant for Petitioner "on any first or second degree crime."
Petitioner challenged the constitutionality of the
arrest warrant in his criminal proceedings, and his motion was denied
on July 27,
challenge [ s] to the legality of .
. continued state custody." Coady
v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 484 (3d Cir. 2001). It is well established
"that when two statutes cover the same situation, the more specific
statute takes precedence over the more general one." Id. The purpose
of this doctrine is to avoid undermining limitations created by the
more specific statute. Id. at 484 (quoting Varity v. Howe, 516 U.S.
2254(b) (1) (A)
requires exhaustion of state court
remedies before a writ of habeas corpus can be granted. Allowing a
petitioner to challenge his state court conviction and sentence under
2241 would undermine the statutory exhaustion requirement of §
2254. Therefore, Petitioner must bring his petition under 28 U.S.C.
2254, and the Court will dismiss the § 2241 petition for lack of
jurisdiction. See Whitney v. Horn, 280 F.3d 240, 250 (3d Cir. 2002)
"Before a federal court may grant habeas relief to a state
prisoner, the prisoner must exhaust his remedies in state court."
O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999). "State courts, like
federal courts, are obliged to enforce federal law." Id. at 844. State
courts should have the first opportunity to review federal claims
and provide relief. Id. "This rule of comity reduces friction between
the state and federal court systems.
·' Id. at 845.
To fully exhaust state court remedies, a petitioner must fairly
present his federal
claims in one complete round of the State's
appellate review process. Id. In the state of New Jersey, exhaustion
of federal claims includes first presenting the claims to the state
trial and appellate courts, and in a petition for review in the New
Jersey Supreme Court. See Johnson v. Pinchak, 392 F.3d 551, 556 (3d
2 00 4)
( exhaustion was
satisfied where petitioner presented
federal claim to New Jersey PCR Court, and the denial of relief was
affirmed by the Appellate Di vision and the New Jersey Supreme Court.)
Petitioner has not yet appealed his conviction and sentence in
the state appellate courts. Pe ti ti oner should exhaust his state court
remedies before filing a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner
should also be aware of the one-year habeas statute of limitations
under 2 8 U. S. C. § 2 2 4 4 ( d) ( 1) ,
( 2) .
Petitioner's claims challenging his state court conviction and
sentence are properly brought under 28 U.S. C. § 2254 after exhausting
state court remedies.
In the accompanying Opinion filed herewith,
the Court will dismiss
2241 petition for lack of
RENEE MARIE BUMB
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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