Combs v. Brittain et al
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry).Signed by Honorable Matthew W. Brann on 2/1/2017. (jn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CIVIL NO. 4:CV-17-61
February 1, 2017
Jack Combs filed this pro se habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254, while confined at the State Correctional Institution, Frackville Pennsylvania
(SCI-Frackville).1 Named as Respondent is SCI-Frackville Superintendent
Brittain. The required filing fee has been paid. Service of the Petition has not yet
According to the Petition, Combs was convicted in 1990 of third degree
murder in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. See
Doc. 1, ¶ 3. He was thereafter sentenced to a mandatory term of life
After the filing of this matter, Petitioner notified the Court that he had been transferred
to the State Correctional Institution, Dallas, Pennsylvania. See Doc. 4.
imprisonment. See id. Petitioner’s pending action challenges the legality of his
conviction on the grounds that the homicide detectives involved in this arrest and
prosecution coerced witnesses and were recently indicted for framing innocent
people for murder.
A § 2254 habeas corpus petition may be filed in the district where the
applicant is confined or in the district where he was convicted. Fletcher v. Rozum,
2008 WL 2609826 * 2 (E.D. Pa. 2008). 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.
Petitioner is attacking the legality of a conviction which was obtained in the
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, which is located within the
jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. See 28 U.S.C. § 118.
As noted above, under § 2241(d), the district court for the district in which a
habeas petition is filed “in the exercise of its discretion and in furtherance of
justice may transfer the application.” Moreover, 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) states, “[f]or
the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court
may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have
been brought.” A district court may transfer a habeas petition pursuant to §
1404(a). See In re Nwanze, 242 F.3d 521, 526, n. 2 (3d Cir. 2001)(§ 1404(a)
applies to transfers of habeas corpus petitions); Fletcher, 2008 WL 2609826 at * 2.
The state trial court, as well as any records, counsel, and other witnesses, are
located within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As such, it would be prudent
to transfer this action to that court. An appropriate Order will enter.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Matthew W. Brann
Matthew W. Brann
United States District Judge
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