Edwards v. Davis
ORDER TO TRANSFER CASE to Houston Division (Signed by Judge George C Hanks, Jr) Parties notified.(dperez, 3)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
MAURICE J EDWARDS,
November 09, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
§ CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:17-CV-338
ORDER OF TRANSFER
The petitioner, Maurice J. Long-Edwards1 (TDCJ #01409690), is a state prisoner
incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions
Division (―TDCJ‖). Long-Edwards has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to
challenge a state court conviction under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set out briefly
below, however, the Court concludes that a transfer is warranted.
Public records and Long-Edwards’s petition indicate that Long-Edwards was
convicted of murder in 2006 (Dkt. 1 at pp. 2–3). The conviction was entered against him
in Harris County, Texas (Dkt. 1 at p. 2). According to the TDCJ website, Long-Edwards
is confined at the Darrington Unit, which is located in Brazoria County, Texas.
Because Long-Edwards is confined pursuant to a judgment and sentence by a state
court in Texas, which has more than one federal district, jurisdiction over the petition is
determined as follows:
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
The TDCJ website lists the petitioner’s name as ―Maurice J. Edwards-Long.‖
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.
28 U.S.C. § 2241(d). The Fifth Circuit has emphasized that, under § 2241(d), a petitioner
may seek a federal writ of habeas corpus in one of only two places: (1) the district in
which the state court conviction was entered, or (2) the district within which the
petitioner is incarcerated. Wadsworth v. Johnson, 235 F.3d 959, 961–62 (5th Cir. 2000).
Brazoria County, where Long-Edwards is presently confined, is located here in the
Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division—see 28 U.S.C. § 124(b)(1)—but the
inquiry does not necessarily end there because Harris County, where the challenged state
court conviction was actually entered, is located in the Southern District of Texas,
Houston Division. See 28 U.S.C. § 124(b)(2). In other words, although Long-Edwards is
currently incarcerated in this division, the conviction that he challenges has no ties to it.
Under these circumstances, a transfer is appropriate. See Story v. Collins, 920 F.2d 1247,
1250 (5th Cir. 1991); Bell v. Watkins, 692 F.2d 999, 1013 (5th Cir. 1982); Mitchell v.
Henderson, 432 F.2d 435, 436 (5th Cir. 1970).
The federal habeas corpus statutes provide that a district court for the district in
which an application for habeas corpus relief has been filed may, in the exercise of its
discretion and in furtherance of justice, transfer the petition to another appropriate district
court for hearing and determination. See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d). It is generally the policy
of the Southern District of Texas to transfer habeas corpus petitions filed by state
prisoners to the division in which the petitioner’s underlying conviction was entered.
See General Order of May 30, 1985. Because the state court conviction at issue in this
case was entered in the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, the petition will be
transferred to that venue in compliance with Southern District policy. The Clerk of Court
is ORDERED to TRANSFER this habeas corpus proceeding to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, and to terminate all
The Clerk will provide a copy of this order to the parties.
SIGNED at Galveston, Texas, this 9th day of November, 2017.
George C. Hanks Jr.
United States District Judge
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