GRIFFIN v. GILMORE et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE EDWARD G. SMITH ON 4/9/2015. 4/9/2015 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(lbs, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
ROBERT GILMORE, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 15-1623
April 9, 2015
The pro se petitioner, Gregory Griffin, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2254 on March 23, 2015. Doc. No. 1. In the petition, the petitioner alleges that he is
confined at State Correctional Institution Greene (“SCI Greene”). See Pet. Under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (“Pet.”) at 1. SCI Greene is
located in the Western District of Pennsylvania. See Vernon v. Custer, No. 1:13-cv-1497, 2014
WL 1491211, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 15, 2014) (explaining that SCI Greene is “a correctional
facility located in the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania” (citation omitted)). The petitioner also alleges that he is challenging a conviction
and sentence entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Pet. at 1. The Court
of Common Pleas of Allegheny County is also located in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
See Mayer v. Di Guglielmo, No. Civ.A. 03-5563, 2004 WL 322909, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 20,
2004) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 118(c) and indicating that the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny
County is located in the Western District of Pennsylvania).
A state prisoner filing a habeas corpus petition in a state such as the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, which contains multiple federal judicial districts, may file the petition “in the
district court for the district wherein such person is in custody or in the district court for the
district within which the State court was held which convicted and sentenced him and each of
such district courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction to entertain the application.” 28 U.S.C. §
2241(d). As indicated above, the petitioner is in custody in the Western District of Pennsylvania
and his conviction and sentencing occurred in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Accordingly, the petitioner’s filing of his petition in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1406, “[t]he district court of a district in which is filed a case laying
venue in the wrong division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice, transfer
such case to any district or division in which it could have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
As explained above, the petitioner should have filed this habeas petition in the Western District
of Pennsylvania. Therefore, in the interest of justice, the court will transfer this action to the
United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. 1
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Edward G. Smith, J.
EDWARD G. SMITH, J.
There is some debate as to whether 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d) is a venue provision or a jurisdictional provision.
Compare Matter of Green, 39 F.3d 582 (5th Cir. 1994) (“Federal habeas corpus jurisdiction is determined by 28
U.S.C. § 2241(d).”), with Moore v. Olson, 368 F.3d 757, 759 (7th Cir. 2004) (“Section 2241(d) is so clearly a
special venue provision.”). Regardless of whether the court considered the improper filing of the habeas petition in
this case as an issue of improper venue or an issue of a lack of jurisdiction, the court would still transfer the case to
the Western District of Pennsylvania. See 28 U.S.C. § 1631 (allowing district court to remedy a jurisdictional defect
by transferring the action to a jurisdictionally proper court if doing so would serve the “interest of justice”).
Additionally, reasonable jurists would not debate transferring this case to the Western District of
Pennsylvania; as such, a certificate of appealability should not issue. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484
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