TOWNSEND v. TATUM
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 5/26/2016. (dmr)(n.m.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
E.L. TATUM, JR.,
Civ. No. 16-2979 (NLH)
Dwayne Townsend, # 65358-050
P.O. Box 9000
Berlin, NH 03570
Petitioner Pro se
HILLMAN, District Judge
Petitioner Dwayne Townsend, a prisoner confined at the
Federal Correctional Institution (“FCI”) in Berlin, New
Hampshire, submitted a letter to the Court challenging the
Bureau of Prison’s calculation of his sentence. (ECF No. 1 at
“Section 2241 is the only statute that confers habeas
jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is
challenging not the validity but the execution of his sentence.”
Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001).
the Court construes this submission as a petition for writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the execution
of his sentence.
“It is axiomatic that federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction, and as such are under a continuing duty to satisfy
themselves of their jurisdiction before proceeding to the merits
of any case.” Packard v. Provident Nat. Bank, 994 F.2d 1039,
1049 (3d Cir. 1993) (citations omitted), cert. denied, 510 U.S.
946 (1993); see also Gunn v. Minton, 133 S. Ct. 1059, 1064, 185
L. Ed. 2d 72 (2013); Bender v. Williamsport Area Sch. Dist., 475
U.S. 534, 541, 106 S. Ct. 1326, 1331, 89 L. Ed. 2d 501 (1986).
“A § 2241 petition is properly filed in the jurisdiction in
which the prisoner is confined.” United States v. Vidal, No. 153708, 2016 WL 1554352, at *1 (3d Cir. Apr. 18, 2016) (citing
Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 446-47, 124 S. Ct. 2711,
2724, 159 L. Ed. 2d 513 (2004)); Gomori v. Arnold, 533 F.2d 871,
874 (3d Cir. 1976) (challenging erroneous computation of release
Because Petitioner is presently confined at FCI Berlin in
New Hampshire, this Court lacks jurisdiction over the matter. 28
U.S.C. § 2241(a); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of
Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 500, 93 S. Ct. 1123, 1132, 35 L. Ed. 2d
443 (1973) (personal jurisdiction over a federal habeas corpus
petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 lies in the federal
judicial district in which the custodian of the petitioner
resides); Littles v. United States, No. 14-6371, 2015 WL
1608918, at *2 (D.N.J. Apr. 10, 2015).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), a district court is
permitted to either dismiss or transfer a case to another court
even if it does not have jurisdiction. See Goldlawr, Inc. v.
Heiman, 369 U.S. 463, 466-67, 82 S. Ct. 913, 916, 8 L. Ed. 2d 39
(1962) (establishing that the language of § 1406 is broad enough
to authorize the transfer of cases where the plaintiff has filed
in a court that does not have jurisdiction over the defendant);
Lafferty v. St. Riel, 495 F.3d 72, 77-78 (3d Cir. 2007) (stating
that § 1406(a) comes into play when plaintiffs have filed in an
improper forum and district courts are required to either
dismiss or transfer the case) (citing Goldlawr, 369 U.S. at 46566).
Section 1406(a) provides in pertinent part:
The district court of a district in which is filed a
case laying venue in the wrong division or district
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.
28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
Therefore, in the interests of justice, this Court will
transfer this Petition, construed as one filed under § 2241, to
the United States District Court for the District of New
Hampshire. See Telesis Mergers & Acquisitions v. Atlantis
Federal, 918 F.Supp. 823, 835 (D.N.J. 1996) (interests of
justice dictated transfer under § 1406(a) rather than dismissal
for lack of personal jurisdiction); cf. Fritsch v. F/V Anna
Marie, No. 05-34959, 2006 WL 995411, at *3, n. 5 (D.N.J. April
11, 2006) (noting that, under “§ 1406(a), a district court, upon
motion or sua sponte may transfer a case to a court of proper
jurisdiction when such a transfer is in the interest of justice”
and that the court has “‘broad discretion in deciding whether to
order a transfer’”) (quoting Decker v. Dyson, 165 F. App’x 951,
954 (3d Cir. Jan. 19, 2006) (quoting Caldwell v. Palmetto State
Sav. Bank of S.C., 811 F.2d 916, 919 (5th Cir. 1987))).
An appropriate Order will be entered.
____s/ Noel L. Hillman____
NOEL L. HILLMAN
United States District Judge
Dated: May 26, 2016
At Camden, New Jersey
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