WOODEN v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
ORDER THAT THE OBJECTIONS OF PETITIONER TO THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTATE JUDGE HART ARE OVERRULED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE HART IS APPROVED AND ADOPTED, AND THAT THE PETITION FOR WRI T OF HABEAS CORPUS BY A PERSON IN STATE CUSTODY IS DISMISSED WITHOUT A HEARING, A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY IS DENIED, AND PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS IS DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT THE CLERK OF COURT SHALL MARK THIS MATTER CLOSED FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JAMES KNOLL GARDNER ON 12/9/14. 12/11/14 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE' AND E-MAILED.(ky, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
RAYMOND C. WOODEN,
) Civil Action
) No. 13-cv-06180
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, )
O R D E R
Now, this 9th day of December, 2014, upon
consideration of the following documents:
§ 2241 Habeas Corpus Petition Form To Be Used By
Prisoners in Actions Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
filed by petitioner pro se on October 22, 2013
(“Habeas Corpus Petition”); together with
Issues and Grounds the Defendant Raises for
Relief Pursuant to the Habeas Corpus 2241, filed
by petitioner pro se on January 31, 2014;
Evidence and Exhibit Presentation Continuation,
filed by petitioner pro se on February 24, 2014;
Evidence Presentation Photographs and Reports
from A-1 Investigation, filed by petitioner pro
se on April 14, 2014;
Response to Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus,
filed by respondent on April 15, 2014; together
Exhibits A through G;
Report and Recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge Jacob P. Hart dated and filed
April 21, 2014;
Objections to Magistrate Report and
Recommendation, filed by petitioner pro se on
May 7, 2014; and
Motion to Sanction the Commonwealth and Grant
Relief for Failure to Respond with an Answer by
the Deadline So Ordered, filed by petitioner pro
se on March 24, 2014;
it appearing that petitioner filed his Habeas Corpus Petition
challenging his pre-trial detention at the Philadelphia
Industrial Correctional Center (“PICC”) in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; 1 it further appearing that petitioner’s Habeas
Corpus Petition asserts four Fourth Amendment claims; it further
appearing that petitioner has filed two objections to Magistrate
Judge Hart’s Report and Recommendation (“R&R”); it further
appearing, after de novo review of this matter, 2 that the Report
and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Hart correctly determined
When a petitioner files an application for a writ of habeas
corpus prior to a judgment being entered against the petitioner in state
criminal proceedings, jurisdiction for federal habeas review arises under
28 U.S.C. § 2241. Furthermore a district court’s jurisdiction, under § 2241,
to issue a writ of habeas corpus before judgment is entered in state court
proceedings “should not be exercised at the pre-trial stage unless
extraordinary circumstances are present”. Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437,
447 (3d Cir. 1975).
When objections are filed to a magistrate judge’s report and
recommendation, I am required to make a de novo determination of those portions
of the report, findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge to
which there are objections. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Rule 72.1(IV)(b) of the
Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, district judges have wide latitude
regarding how they treat recommendations of the magistrate judge. See United
States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 100 S.Ct. 2406, 65 L.Ed.2d 424 (1980).
Indeed, by providing for a de novo determination, rather than a
de novo hearing, Congress intended to permit a district judge, in the
exercise of his or her sound discretion, the option of placing whatever
reliance the court chooses to place on the magistrate judge’s proposed
findings and conclusions. I may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in
part any of the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.
the pertinent legal and factual issues presented in the petition
for habeas corpus relief,
IT IS ORDERED that the objections of petitioner to the
Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Hart are
Petitioner raises two objections to the Report and Recommendation
of Magistrate Judge Hart. First petitioner objects to Magistrate Judge
Hart’s characterization of his claims as uncognizable because, petitioner
alleges, he did not have an opportunity for a full and fair consideration of
his Fourth Amendment claim in state court.
I conclude that petitioner’s objection regarding the uncognizable
nature of his claims is meritless. Petitioner’s allegation that the he was
not given an opportunity to litigate his Fourth Amendment claim is without
merit. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held in
Hubbard v. Jeffes, that “when a state prisoner raises a Fourth Amendment
violation in a habeas petition, a federal court may not consider the merits
of the claim if the state tribunal had afforded the petitioner ‘an
opportunity for a full and fair litigation of his claim’.” Hubbard,
653 F.2d 99, 102-103 (3d Cir. 1981)(quoting Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465,
494, 96 S.Ct. 3037, 3052, 49 L.Ed.2d 1067, 1088 (1976)).
As Magistrate Judge Hart correctly pointed out in his R&R,
petitioner was afforded the opportunity to present evidence in support of his
suppression motion in a pre-trial motions hearing before the state court.
The state court’s denial of defendant’s request for a continuance during the
hearing so that he could submit more evidence does not demonstrate lack of an
opportunity for a full and fair litigation of petitioner’s claim. See
Hubbard, 653 F.2d at 103 where the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit held that petitioner had a full and fair opportunity to present
his claim where petitioner’s counsel had all of the resources at his command
to investigate and present a Fourth Amendment claim, and petition’s “failure
to do so was not brought about by any restriction of the opportunity by the
Accordingly, I overrule petitioner’s objections regarding the
cognizability of his claims.
Petitioner’s second objection to the R&R objects to Magistrate
Judge Hart’s determination that petitioner’s claims could not be considered
because petitioner had neither exhausted his sources of state relief, nor
argued that extraordinary circumstances are present which would excuse the
(Footnote 3 continued):
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Report and
Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Hart is approved and adopted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody is dismissed without
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that because petitioner has not
met statutory requirements to have his case heard, and no
reasonable jurist could find this procedural ruling debatable,
and because petitioner fails to demonstrate denial of a
constitutional right, a certificate of appealability is denied.
(Continuation of footnote 3):
A petitioner seeking a writ of habeas corpus is required to
exhaust his claims in state court before filing a federal habeas petition.
See Moore, 515 F.2d at 442. Petitioner bears the burden of showing that he
has exhausted his claims in state court and such exhaustion may be excused
only if “extraordinary circumstances are present”. See Moore, 515 F.2d at
446; see also Wertz v. Vaughn, 228 F.3d 178, 192 (3d Cir. 2000). The mere
assertion of constitutional pre-trial claims will generally not constitute
extraordinary circumstances. See Moore, 515 F.2d at 443.
Petitioner does not dispute that he has not exhausted his claims
in state court, but rather argues that extraordinary circumstances are
present which excuse his non-exhaustion. Specifically, he contends that
because the state court allegedly has not addressed petitioner’s requests to
argue his Fourth Amendment claims, petitioner contends the state court is not
providing him with a fair opportunity to litigate his allegations.
However, as discussed, the state court did conduct a pre-trial
motion hearing where petitioner had the opportunity to present his Fourth
Amendment claims. And, petitioner has not shown that he would be prejudiced
or irreparably harmed were he to pursue relief on his Fourth Amendment claims
in state court. See Smallwood v. Meisel, 2013 WL 6153238, at *3 (E.D.Pa.
Oct. 16, 2013) report and recommendation adopted, 2013 WL 6145123 (E.D.Pa.
Nov. 21, 2013)(Davis, J.). Therefore, I agree with the Report and
Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Hart and find that petitioner has not
demonstrated extraordinary circumstances which would justify pre-trial review
of an unexhausted federal claim.
Accordingly, I overrule petitioner’s objections regarding the
exhaustion of his claims.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that petitioner’s Motion to
Sanction the Commonwealth and Grant Relief for Failure to
Respond with an Answer by the Deadline So Ordered is denied. 4
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall
mark this matter closed for statistical purposes.
BY THE COURT:
/s/ JAMES KNOLL GARDNER
James Knoll Gardner
United States District Judge
Petitioner’s Motion to Sanction the Commonwealth and Grant Relief
for Failure to Respond with an Answer by the Deadline So Ordered requests
that this court sanction respondent for failure to file its response to
petitioner’s Habeas Corpus Petition by the date set forth by Magistrate Judge
Hart’s Order dated and filed December 19, 2013.
By Order dated and filed April 8, 2014, Magistrate Judge Hart
granted respondent’s motion for an enlargement of time to file their response
and extended respondent’s time to file a response to the petitioner’s Habeas
Corpus Petition until April 15, 2014. Respondent filed its Response to
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on April 15, 2014.
Accordingly, because respondent’s response was timely filed,
petitioner’s motion for sanctions is denied.
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