Thompson v. Garman et al
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry).Signed by Honorable Malachy E Mannion on 8/28/17. (bs)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:17-1380
Petitioner, Chapel Thompson, an inmate confined in the Rockview State
Correctional Institution, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, filed the instant petition for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254. He challenges a conviction
imposed by the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. (Doc. 1). For the
reasons outlined below, the petition will be transferred to the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“The federal habeas corpus statute straightforwardly provides that the
proper respondent to a habeas petition is ‘the person who has custody over [the
petitioner]. 28 U.S.C. §2242, see also §2243. . . .’[T]hese provisions contemplate
a proceeding against some person who has the immediate custody of the party
detained, with the power to produce the body of such party before the court or
judge, that he may be liberated if no sufficient reason is shown to the contrary.”
Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 433-436 (2004)(citations omitted). There is
no question that this Court has jurisdiction over Thompson’s petition.
However, notwithstanding the issue of jurisdiction, a court may transfer any
civil action for the convenience of the parties or witnesses, or in the interest of
justice, to any district where the action might have been brought. 28 U.S.C.
§1404(a); See also, Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484
(1973). Because habeas proceedings are generally considered civil in nature,
see Hinton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776 (1987), the term “civil action”
includes habeas petitions. Parrott v. Government of Virgin Islands, 230 F.3d 615,
620 (3d Cir. 2000).
Title 28 U.S.C. §2241(d) provides:
(d) Where an application for a writ of habeas corpus is made by a
person in custody under the judgment and sentence of a State court
of a State which contains two or more Federal judicial districts, the
application may be filed 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. The district court for the district wherein
such an application is filed in the exercise of its discretion and in
furtherance of justice may transfer the application to the other district
court for hearing and determination.
Since the amendment of that section, it has been the agreed practice of the
United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of
Pennsylvania, to transfer any habeas petitions filed by a petitioner incarcerated
in their respective districts to the district which includes the county where the
conviction was had. The Petitioner is attacking a conviction imposed by the Court
of Common Pleas for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Since the trial court, as
well as any records, witnesses and counsel, are located within the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, it would be prudent to
transfer this action to the Eastern District. A separate Order will be issued.
s/ Malachy E. Mannion
Malachy E. Mannion
United States District Judge
DATE: August 28, 2017
O:\Mannion\shared\MEMORANDA - DJ\CIVIL MEMORANDA\2017 MEMORANDA\17-1380-01.wpd
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