MATHIS v. VARANO
MEMORANDUM/ORDER AS FOLLOWED: THE CLERK OF COURT IS REQUESTED TO ENTER MATHIS'S PETITION FOR A WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS ON THE DOCKET OF THIS CASE, MISC. NO. 12-0082; MATHIS'S PETITION FOR A WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS IS DENIED; MATHIS' ;S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL AND TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS IS DISMISSED AS MOOT; THE CLERK OF THE COURT IS REQUESTED TO PROVIDE MATHIS WITH A COPY OF THE STANDARD FORM USED IN THIS COURT FOR FILING A PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS; AND THIS CASE SHALL BE MARKED AS CLOSED. SIGNED BY HONORABLE LOUIS H. POLLAK ON 4/16/12. 4/18/12 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE.(fb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
THOMAS BRADY MATHIS,
DAVID A. VARANO, Superintendent,
Thomas Brady Mathis is a prisoner at the State Correctional Institute at Coal
Township, Pennsylvania. He is currently serving a life sentence, imposed after he was
convicted in April 1972 of first-degree felony murder and other crimes. He now petitions
the court for a writ of error coram nobis, pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651.
He also moves for the appointment of counsel and to proceed in forma pauperis. 1
"The All Writs Act is a residual source of authority to issue writs that are not
otherwise covered by statute. Where a statute specifically addresses the particular issue at
hand, it is that authority, and not the All Writs Act, that is controlling." Pa. Bureau of
lMathis's motion for appointment of counsel and informa pauperis status were
docketed on March 21, 2012 (Docket No.1). His petition for a writ of error coram nobis
does not yet appear on the docket. The order issued with this memorandum will request
that the Clerk of the Court docket the petition.
Marshal Serv., 474 U.S. 34, 43 (1985). The writ of error coram nobis is
among the writs preserved by the All Writs Act. But the writ of error coram nobis "is
used to attack allegedly invalid convictions which have continuing consequences, when
the petitioner has served his sentence and is no longer in custody." United States v.
Stoneman, 870 F.2d 102, 105-06 (3d Cir. 1989) (emphasis added); accord United States
v. Rhines, 640 F.3d 69, 72 (3d Cir. 2011) ("[W]rits of error coram nobis are generally not
available to those 'in custody.'''). Persons who remain in custody who wish to challenge
their state criminal convictions or sentences in federal court should instead petition for a
writ of habeas corpus.
It appears that Mathis has filed at least two prior petitions for a writ of habeas
corpus. See Mathis v. Wynder, Civ. No. 06-4833 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 9, 2007) (dismissing
petition as unauthorized second or successive petition); Mathis v. Ryan, Civ. No. 90-3467
(E.D. Pa. Nov. 3, 1992) (adopting report and recommendation that petition be denied);
see also In re Mathis, No. 09-4262 (3d Cir. Dec. 23, 2009) (denying Mathis's motion to
file second or successive petition).
In the present case, Mathis appears to argue that he is entitled to challenge his
sentence and conviction via a petition for a writ of error coram nobis because ofthe
refusal ofpast federal habeas courts to consider his claims on the merits. But a state
prisoner may not petition for a writ of error coram nobis "merely because he/she is unable
to meet ... [the] gatekeeping requirements" on habeas relief. United States v. Baptiste,
223 F.3d 188, 189-90 (3d Cir. 2000). As long as Mathis remains in state custody, the writ
of habeas corpus can provide such relief, if any, to which he may be entitled.
Accordingly, in the order that follows, the petition for a writ of error coram nobis
will be denied, the petitioner's motion for appointment of counsel and in forma pauperis
status will be dismissed as moot, and the Clerk will be asked to send Mathis a copy ofthis
Court's current standard fonns for filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
AND NOW, this JfL day of April, 2012, for the foregoing reasons, it is hereby
ORDERED as followed:
The Clerk ofthe Court is requested to enter Mathis's petition for a writ of
error coram nobis on the docket ofthis case, Misc. No. 12-0082;
Mathis's petition for a writ of error coram nobis is DENIED;
Mathis's motion for appointment of counsel and to proceed in forma
pauperis (Docket No.1) is DISMISSED as moot;
The Clerk of the Court is requested to provide Mathis with a copy ofthe
standard fonn used in this Court for filing a petition for a writ of habeas
This case, Misc. No. 12-0082, shall be marked as CLOSED.
BY THE COURT:
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