Filing 4

OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Peter G. Sheridan on 6/5/2015. (kas, )

Download PDF
N:OT FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT· DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY · II BENJAMIN c. EVANS, JR, Civil Action No. 15-1501 (PGS) Petitioner, v. i OPINION I i RECEIVED olt\RRY NADROWSKI, Respondent. JUN 05 2015 AT 8:30 M WILLIAM T. WALSH CLERK I! SHERIDAN, DISTRICT JUDGE This matter is before the Court upon Petitioner Benjamin C. Evans Jr.'s ("Petitioner") P¢tition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging an arrest warrant issued by Upper Freehold Junicipal Court. (ECF No. 1.) For the reasons expressed below, this Court will construe the Jltter as a habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S. C. § 2241 , dismiss the petition without prejUdice to tJb filing of a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 after Petitioner exhausts remedies available in tJb courts of the State of New Jersey, and deny a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § II 2254, Rule 4. I. BACKGROUND Petitioner alleges that his constitutional rights were violated on February 16, 2015 when he was taken into custody and brought to the "Hamilton State·Police Barracks" in Mercer County, II . lew Jersey instead of appearing before the judge who issued his arrest warrant. (Pet., Ground 4, E~F No. 1.) Petitioner further argues that the warrant authorizing his arrest is fraudulent because I I it hoes not contain a signature by the officer who purportedly applied for the warrant and provided p11obable cause, nor does it contain the signature of a judge. (Id.) Petitioner requests that this ~burt order his release from custody. Jl IJ. ll (ld. at '1[15.) DISCUSSION . Legal Standard "Habeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading requirements." McFarland v. Sc:ott, 512 U.S. 849, 856, 114 S.Ct. 2568, 129 L.Ed.2d 666 (1994). A petition is required to slecify all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner, state the facts supporting each ground, skte the relief requested, and be signed under penalty of perjury. See 28 U.S. C. § 2254 Rule 2(c), I akplicable to § 2241 petitions through Rule I (b). "Federal courts are authorized to dismiss s~mmarily any habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its face." J: McFarland, 512 U.S. 856; Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985). Habeas Rule 4 accordingly requires the d~mrt to examine a petition prior to ordering an answer and, if it appears "that the petitioner is not e4titled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to n!tify the petitioner." 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4, applicable through Rule !(b). B~ Analysis I I A district court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3) to entertain a i p~e-trial petition for habeas corpus brought by a person who is in custody pursuant to an untried Jhte indictment. See Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490, 109 S.Ct. 1923, 104 L.Ed.2d 540 II ( 1989); Braden v. 3Oth Judicial Circuit Court ofKy., 41 0 U.S. 484, 93 S. Ct. 1123, 35 L.Ed.2d 44 3 (1973); Mokone v. Fenton, 710 F.2d 998,999 (3d Cir. 1983); Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437, 4r 2, 44 3 (3d Cir. 1975). This Court has jurisdiction over the Petition under 2 8 U.S. C. § 2241 and clnstrues the Petition as such. 2 I While this Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to entertain this pre-trial habeas I cJ.rpus Petition, it is clear that such relief should not be granted. Petitioner asks this Court to grant pll-trial habeas relief based on grounds related to his state pre-trial criminal proceedings thus far. S~ecifically, he is arguing that the arrest warrant was deficient. i The problem with the Petition is t!t "federal habeas corpus does not lie, absent 'special circumstances,' to adjudicate the merits of affirmative defense to a state criminal charge prior to a judgment of conviction by a state court." Jfaden, 410 U.S. at 489 (quoting Ex parte Royall, 117 U.S. 241, 253, 6 S.Ct. 734, 29 L.Ed. 868 I . (1!886)). As the Supreme Court explatned over 100 years ago, I We are of the opinion that while the . . . court has the power to do so, and may discharge the accused in advance of his trial if he is restrained of his liberty in violation of the national constitution, it is not bound in every case to exercise such a power immediately upon application being made for the writ. We cannot suppose that congress intended to compel those courts, by such means, to draw to themselves, in the first instance, the control of all criminal prosecutions commenced in state courts exercising authority within the territorial limits, where the accused claims that he is held in custody in violation of the constitution of the United States. The injunction to hear the case summarily, and thereupon 'to dispose of the party as law and justice require,' does not deprive the court of discretion as to the time and mode in which it will exert the powers conferred upon it. That discretion should be exercised in the light of the relations existing, under our system of government, between the judicial tribunals of the Union and of the states, and in recognition of the fact that the public good requires that those relations not be disturbed by unnecessary conflict between courts equally bound to guard and protect rights secured by the constitution. Fl parte Royall, 117 U.S. at 251. The proper procedure for Petitioner is to exhaust his constitutional claims before all three le1vels of the New Jersey courts and, if he is unsuccessful, to thereafter present them to this Court ij a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Moore, 515 F.2d at 4~9. Upon careful review, this Court finds that the petition does not present any extraordinary or exceptional circumstances and is an attempt "to litigate constitutional defenses prematurely in 3 fe6eral court." !d. at 445. Petitioner is not entitled to a pretrial Writ of Habeas Corpus, and this 9furt will dismiss the Petition without prejudice to the filing of a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2~54 after he exhausts remedies available in the courts of the State ofNew Jersey. See Duran v. Jomas, 393 F.App'x 3 (3d Cir. 2010) (affirming dismissal of § 2241 petition alleging that p~titioner was subjected to warrantless arrest, was detained without probable cause hearing, and tlt state court had imposed excessive bail). II III. CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY This Court denies a certificate of appealability because Petitioner has not made "a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right" under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). See II M~ller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 123 S.Ct. 1029, 154 L.Ed.2d 931 (2003). II IV.. CONCLUSION Based on the foregoing, this Court will dismiss the Petition without prejudice and deny a certificate of appealability. II Dated: I D~ J J~ 0-C /{tl'k-1 u~0--f/~- Peter G. Sheridan, U.S.D.J. 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?