LANE v. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
OPINION. Signed by Judge John Michael Vazquez on 12/8/16. (DD, ) N/M
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil Action No. 16-7814 (JMV)
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, :
VAZQUEZ, United States District Judge
Petitioner, who is not a prisoner, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241, paid the filing fee, and made two subsequent amendments to the petition. (ECF
Nos. 1, 2, 3.) He is seeking emergency reinstatement of shared physical custody of his children,
alleging the state court custody order was based on fraudulent evidence in violation of his rights
to procedural due process and equal protection. (ECF No. 3, ¶6.)
Rule 1(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts
describes the scope of the Habeas Rules. Rule 1(b) provides “[t]he district court may apply any
or all of these rules to a habeas petition not covered by Rule 1(a).”1 Thus, courts typically apply
the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts to petitions for a writ
of habeas corpus brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See e.g. Conyers v. Hollingsworth, Civ. No.
14-7035(NLH), 2015 WL 6502101, at *2 (D.N.J. Oct. 27, 2015); Drabovskiy v. Warden, FCI
Rule 1(a) establishes that the rules govern a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed in a
United States district court under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Allenwood, Civ. No. 4:10-CV-2226, 2010 WL 5463332, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 1, 2010).
Rule 4 states, in pertinent part:
The clerk must promptly forward the petition to a judge under the
court’s assignment procedure, and the judge must promptly examine
it. If it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits
that the petitioner is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner. . .
Therefore, this Court will review the petition.
In his Second Amended Petition (ECF No. 3), Petitioner names the Superior Court of New
Jersey as the respondent to the petition. Petitioner alleges, “[c]urrently, I am refrained from having
unsupervised custody visitation and custody of my 4 minor children . . .” (Id., ¶4.) Petitioner
seeks emergency reinstatement of his shared physical custody of his children. (Id., ¶5.) Petitioner
explains that he is challenging Judge Melchionne’s “decision to terminate litigation without
reinstating my shared physical custody of my 4 children absent any requisite proof of harm . . .”
(Id., ¶6.) Judge Melchionne’s decision issued on February 26, 2016, in the Superior Court of New
Jersey, in Hackensack, New Jersey, Docket Nos. FM-02-301-15 and FM-02-1520-14. (Id.)
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c) provides:
The writ of habeas corpus shall not extend to a prisoner unless-(1) He is in custody under or by color of the authority of the
United States or is committed for trial before some court
(2) He is in custody for an act done or omitted in pursuance
of an Act of Congress, or an order, process, judgment or
decree of a court or judge of the United States; or
(3) He is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws
or treaties of the United States; or
(4) He, being a citizen of a foreign state and domiciled
therein is in custody for an act done or omitted under any
alleged right, title, authority, privilege, protection, or
exemption claimed under the commission, order or sanction
of any foreign state, or under color thereof, the validity and
effect of which depend upon the law of nations; or
(5) It is necessary to bring him into court to testify or for
“Although a federal habeas corpus statute has existed ever since 1867, federal habeas has
never been available to challenge parental rights or child custody.”
Lehman v. Lycoming
Children’s Service Agency, 458 U.S. 502, 511 (1982). “It is settled that ‘the jurisdiction of courts
of the United States to issue writs of habeas corpus is limited to cases of persons alleged to be
restrained of their liberty in violation of the Constitution or of some law or treaty of the United
States, and cases arising under the law of nations.” Matters v. Ryan, 249 U.S. 375, 315 (1919)
(quoting Carfer v. Caldwell, 200 U.S. 293, 295 (1906) (additional citations omitted). Therefore,
this Court lacks jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to provide the relief sought by Petitioner.
For the reasons discussed above, the Court will dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.
An appropriate Order follows.
Date: December 8, 2016
s/John Michael Vazquez
JOHN MICHAEL VAZQUEZ
United States District Judge
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