United States District Court, D. Maine
TYRELL H. GORHAM, Petitioner
STATE OF MAINE, Respondent
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON PETITIONER'S REQUEST FOR
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge
action, Petitioner Tyrell Gorham requests a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Petition, ECF No.
1.) Upon review of the petition, I recommend the Court
dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.
Petitioner asserts that he is a pretrial detainee in federal
custody at the Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island.
(Petition at 1.) He evidently seeks to challenge certain
Maine state court records that reflect he was arrested in
2014 for aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs.
(Id. at 2.) Petitioner specifically asserts that he
was “never convicted” for the offense.
(Id. at 5.) Petitioner apparently learned of the
documentation when a presentence report was prepared
presumably in the federal matter for which he is detained.
(Id. at 3.) Petitioner wants to correct the
documentation because he believes the documentation, if
uncorrected, will prevent him from moving to a halfway house
at the conclusion of a sentence. (Id. at 8.)
courts are limited to granting habeas relief ‘within
their respective jurisdictions.'” Rumsfeld v.
Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 442 (2004) (quoting 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241(a)). “We have interpreted this language to
require ‘nothing more than that the court issuing the
writ have jurisdiction over the custodian.'”
Id. (quoting Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit
Court of Ky., 410 U.S. 484, 495 (1973)). “The
plain language of the habeas statute . . . confirms the
general rule that for core habeas petitions challenging
present physical confinement, jurisdiction lies only in one
district: the district of confinement.” Id. at
443. “Whenever a § 2241 habeas petitioner seeks to
challenge his present physical custody within the United
States, he should name his warden as respondent and file the
petition in the district of confinement.” Id.
at 447. To the extent, therefore, that Petitioner seeks to
alter or requests relief from the conditions of his present
physical confinement outside Maine, this Court lacks
jurisdiction to consider Petitioner's claim.
Petitioner seeks to challenge a state court matter,
Petitioner might have intended to assert a habeas action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Section 2254(a) provides:
The Supreme Court, a Justice thereof, a circuit judge, or a
district court shall entertain an application for a writ of
habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to
the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is
in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or
treaties of the United States.
with the plain language of the statute, the Supreme Court has
federal habeas statute gives the United States district
courts jurisdiction to entertain petitions for habeas relief
only from persons who are ‘in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.'” Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S.
488, 490 (1989) (per curiam) (quoting 28 U.S.C. §
2241(c)(3) and citing 28 U.S.C. §
2254(a)). “Custody, ‘the essential
statutory ingredient for initial jurisdiction, ' is
determined as of the date a habeas petition is first
filed.” Fernos-Lopez v. Figarella Lopez, 929
F.2d 20, 23 (1st Cir. 1991) (per curiam) (quoting United
States v. Michaud, 901 F.2d 5, 6 (1st Cir. 1990) (per
curiam)). Because Petitioner asserts in the petition that he
was not convicted of the state court drug trafficking
offense, he is not “in custody pursuant to the judgment
of a State court” as required under section 2254(a).
This Court thus lacks jurisdiction to consider
Petitioner's request for habeas relief under section
the Court lacks jurisdiction over Petitioner's claim,
whether the claim is asserted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241 or 28 U.S.C. § 2254, I recommend the Court dismiss
the matter. I further recommend the Court deny a certificate
of appealability pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases because there is no substantial showing of
the denial of a constitutional right within the meaning of 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
may file objections to those specified portions of a
magistrate judge's report or proposed findings or
recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section
636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the
district court is sought, together with a supporting
memorandum, within fourteen (14) days of being served with a
copy thereof. A responsive memorandum shall be filed within
fourteen (14) days after the filing of the objection.
to file a timely objection shall constitute a waiver of the
right to de novo review by the district court and ...