ARTFITCH v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MEMORANDUM/ORDER that the Clerk shall terminate Artfitch v. United States, Civil Action No. 14-3114, as duplicative of Artfitch v. United States,Civil No. 14-2221 by making a new and separate entry on the docket reading, CIVIL CASE CLOSED. Signed by Judge Stanley R. Chesler on 5/28/14. (DD, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Civil Action No. 14-2221 (SRC)
Civil Action No. 14-3114 (SRC)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
APPLIES TO BOTH ACTIONS
CHESLER, District Judge:
On May 15, 2014, the Clerk received Petitioner’s first motion to vacate, pursuant 28
U.S.C. § 2255. See Artfitch v. United States (“Artfitch-I”), Civil No. 14-2221, ECF No. 1. Since
the motion arrived executed on an improper form, this Court directed the Clerk to serve
Petitioner with a blank copy of the proper form and administratively terminate Artfitch-I subject
to reopening upon timely receipt of the motion executed on the new form. See id. ECF No. 3. 1
The Court provided Petitioner with the following guidance:
Pro se Petitioner James Artfitch, a prisoner confined at the FCI Fort Dix, Fort Dix, New
Jersey, seeks to file a motion to vacate, pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Local Civil Rule 81.2
The Court clarified to Petitioner
that administrative termination [was] not a “dismissal” for purposes of the statute of
limitations, and if [his Artfitch-I matter were] reopened in accordance with the terms of
[the Court’s] Order, it [was] not subject to the statute of limitations time bar if
Petitioner’s original submission in [Artfitch-I] was filed timely, see Papotto v. Hartford
Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 731 F.3d 265, 275 (2013) (distinguishing administrative
terminations from dismissals); Jenkins v. Superintendent of Laurel Highlands, 705 F.3d
80, 84 n.2 (2013) (describing prisoner’s mailbox rule generally); Dasilva v. Sheriff's
Dep’t., 413 F. App’x 498, 502 (3rd Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (“[The] statute of limitations
is met when a [motion] is submitted to the clerk before the statute runs”).
Artfitch-I, ECF No. 3, at 1-2.
The Clerk duly complied with this Court directive, but Petitioner did not. Instead of
submitting his motion on the new form in Artfitch-I, Petitioner commenced a new matter,
Artfitch v. United States (“Artfitch-II”), Civil Action No. 14-3114, by refiling his old motion on
the improper form. See Artfitch-II, ECF No. 1. However, his submission made in Artfitch-II is
as deficient as that made in Artfitch-I, and his Artfitch-II action is duplicative of Artfitch-I.
The power of a federal court to prevent duplicative litigation is intended “to foster
judicial economy and the 'comprehensive disposition of litigation,'” Curtis v. Citibank,
N.A., 226 F.3d 133, 138 (2d Cir. 2000) (quoting Kerotest Manufacturing Co. v. C-O-Two
Fire Equipment Co., 342 U.S. 180, 183 (1952)), and “to protect parties from 'the vexation
of concurrent litigation over the same subject matter.'” Id. (quoting Adam v. Jacobs, 950
F.2d 89, 93 (2d Cir. 1991)).
Porter v. NationsCredit Consumer Disc. Co., 2003 Bankr. LEXIS 933, at *33 (Bankr. E.D. Pa.
Unless prepared by counsel, . . . motions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
shall be in writing (legibly handwritten in ink or typewritten),
signed by the petitioner or movant, on forms supplied by the Clerk.
L. Civ. R. 81.2(a) (emphasis supplied).
Petitioner did not use the habeas form supplied by the Clerk for Section 2255 motions,
i.e., AO243 (modified): DNJ-Habeas-004 (Rev. 01-2014).
Artfitch-I, ECF No. 3, at 1.
IT IS, therefore, on this 28th day of May, 2014,
ORDERED that the Clerk shall reopen Artfitch v. United States, Civil No. 14-2221, by
making a new and separate entry on the docket reading, “CIVIL CASE REOPENED”; and it is
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall forward Petitioner a blank § 2255 form
titled “AO243 (modified): DNJ-Habeas-004 (Rev. 01-2014)” for Petitioner’s completion and
filing in Artfitch v. United States, Civil No. 14-2221; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk’s service of the blank § 2255 form shall not be construed as
this Court’s finding that if Petitioner’s original submission in Artfitch v. United States, Civil No.
14-2221, was or was not timely, or that Petitioner’s claims were or were not procedurally
defaulted, or that these claims were or were not meritorious; and it is further
ORDERED that Petitioner’s time to reopen Artfitch v. United States, Civil No. 14-2221,
is extended, and if he wishes to reopen Artfitch v. United States, Civil No. 14-2221, he shall so
notify the Court, in a writing addressed to the Clerk, within 30 days of the date of entry of this
Memorandum and Order. Petitioner’s writing shall include a complete, signed habeas petition
on the appropriate form served to him by the Clerk; 2 and it is further
Unlike the form utilized by Petitioner, the current form provides litigants with Miller notice.
In United States v. Miller, 197 F.3d 644, 652 (3d Cir. 1999) the Court of Appeals
instructed district courts to warn § 2255 petitioners of the effect of their pleadings and to
give them an opportunity to file one all-inclusive § 2255 petition within the one-year
statutory period. Such warning, the Miller court reasoned, was necessary because
petitioners will thereafter be unable to file “second or successive” § 2255 petitions
without certification by the Court of Appeals.
Cuartas v. United States, No. 13-6180, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13527, at *7-8, n.3 (D.N.J. Feb.
1, 2014). Without having Petitioner’s signed statement that his § 2255 motion is his all-inclusive
§ 2255 petition, this Court will not screen, direct answer or rule on Plaintiff’s motion.
ORDERED that upon receipt of a writing from Petitioner stating that he wishes to
reopen Artfitch v. United States, Civil No. 14-2221, and a complete, signed petition on the new
form, containing a signed Miller notice, the Clerk will be directed to reopen Artfitch v. United
States, Civil No. 14-2221; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk shall administratively terminate Artfitch v. United States, Civil
No. 14-2221, by making a new and separate entry on the docket reading, “CIVIL CASE
TERMINATED SUBJECT TO REOPENING UPON TIMELY RECEIPT OF PETITIONER’S
ALL-INCLUSIVE MOTION ON THE PROPER FORM”; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk shall terminate Artfitch v. United States, Civil Action No. 143114, as duplicative, by making a new and separate entry on the docket reading, “CIVIL CASE
CLOSED”; and it is finally
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall serve a copy of this Memorandum and
Order upon Petitioner by regular U.S. mail.
__s/ Stanley R. Chesler_______
STANLEY R. CHESLER,
United States District Judge
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