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Carabello v. Corrections Corporation of America

United States District Court, S.D. California

May 31, 2017

GILBERT MENDEZ CARABELLO, by Assignee[1] Mumina Rahman, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          ORDER: (1) DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION, AND (2) DENYING AS MOOT MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS [DOC. NOS. 1, 2]

          MARILYN L. HUFF, District Judge.

         Petitioner Gilbert Mendez Caraballo is a pretrial detainee in Cleveland Ohio. (Doc. No. 1 at 1.) On May 16, 2017, Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Along with his petition, Petitioner paid the required $5 filing fee. On May 26, 2017, Petitioner filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). (Doc. No. 2.) For the reasons below, the Court dismisses the habeas petition for lack of jurisdiction and denies the IFP motion as moot.

         Background

         Petitioner Gilbert Mendez Caraballo is a pretrial detainee in Cleveland Ohio. (Doc. No. 1 at 1.) On February 11, 2015, an arrest warrant was issued for Petitioner in the Northern District of Ohio. (3:16-mj-00791-NLS, Doc. No. 1 at 2.) Petitioner was indicted for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 USC §§ 846, 841 (a)(1), (b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(B), (b)(1)(C), and use of a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking in violation of 21 USC § 843(b). (Id.) Petitioner was arrested in March 2016, and he made an initial appearance before a magistrate judge in the Southern District of California. (3:16-mj-00791-NLS, Doc. No. 3.)

         While in the Southern District of California, Petitioner signed a waiver of his right to an identity hearing and production of the warrant pursuant to Rule 5 and 5.1 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. (3:16-mj-00791-NLS-1, Doc. No. 9.) Petitioner also waived his right to a detention hearing. (Id.) Petitioner's attorney also signed the waiver. (Id.) Based on the waiver, the magistrate judge ordered Petitioner detained without prejudice. (3:16-mj-00791-NLS-1, Doc. No. 7.) The magistrate then signed a warrant of removal, commanding the United States Marshal to deliver Petitioner to the Northern District of Ohio. (3:16-mj-00791-NLS-1, Doc. No. 10.)

         Petitioner now challenges the magistrate judge's order detaining petitioner without prejudice. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.)

         Discussion

         I. Jurisdiction

         Generally, a prisoner files a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to § 2241 in order to “challenge the manner, location, or conditions of a sentence's execution.” Hernandez v. Campbell, 204 F.3d 861, 864 (9th Cir. 2000). Therefore, a prisoner “may bring a § 2241 habeas petition only in the district court that has personal jurisdiction over his current custodian.” Dohrmann, 36 F. App'x at 881; see also Hernandez v. Campbell, 204 F.3d 861, 865 (9th Cir. 2000) (“a habeas petition filed pursuant to § 2241 must be heard in the custodial court”). “A custodian ‘is the person having a day-to-day control over the prisoner. That person is the only one who can produce ‘the body' of the petitioner.'” Brittingham, 982 F.2d at 379 (internal citation omitted).

         Here, Petitioner was already in custody in the Northern District of Ohio when he filed his petition. (Doc. No. 1 at 1; see also 3:16-mj-00791-NLS-1, Doc. No.10.) Thus, the Northern District of Ohio is the district that has personal jurisdiction over Petitioner's “current custodian.” See Dohrman, 36 F. App'x at 881-82. It does not matter that Petitioner was previously in custody in the Southern District of California. What matters is which district had custody of Petitioner when he filed his petition. For example, in Dohrman a petitioner filed a § 2241 petition while on supervised release. Id. The Ninth Circuit explained that the relevant custodian would be the petitioner's supervised release administrator for the district in which the petitioner resided when the petition was filed. Id. The court explained that if the petitioner were to move to a different district, then the new district would obtain jurisdiction over any petition filed while the petitioner was living in the new district. Id.

         Because this Court is not Petitioner's custodial court for purposes of his petition, this Court does not have jurisdiction over the petition. See Davis v. Quintana, No. 10-CV-1419 MMA AJB, 2011 WL 181740 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 18, 2011) (dismissing § 2241 petition because it was filed with a court that was not in the custodial district).

         When a “court finds that there is a want of jurisdiction, the court shall, if it is in the interest of justice, transfer such action . . . to any other such court in which the action . . . could have been brought at the time it was filed or noticed.” 28 U.S.C. § 1631. Thus, the Court is obligated to transfer this action to the custodial district if it is in the interest of justice to do so. But transfer is “improper where the plaintiff fails to make a prima facie showing of a right to relief, because the interests of justice would not be served by transfer of such a case.” Clark v. Busey, 959 F.2d 808, 812 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing Ferris v. Department of the Navy, 810 F.2d 1121, 1123 (Fed. Cir.1987).

         The petition challenges an order by a magistrate judge. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.) The order states that Petitioner agreed to waive his right to a detention hearing, stipulating to his detention. (3:16-mj-00791-NLS-1, Doc. No. 7.) The record supports the order-Petitioner and his attorney both signed a form by which Petitioner waived his right to a detention hearing. (Id, Doc. No. 9.) Based on this waiver, the magistrate judge ordered Petitioner detained without prejudice. (Id, Doc. No. 7.) But because Petitioner's detention is without prejudice, his habeas petition is premature. He is free to raise the issue of his detention in his current custodial court. Petitioner's habeas petition therefore fails to make a prima facie showing of a right to relief. Accordingly, the Court declines to transfer the petition and instead dismisses it for lack of jurisdiction.

         II. Motion to Proceed ...


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