United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
DR. ELENA POLUKHIN, Reg. No. 18824-041 Petitioner,
WARDEN P. BRADLEY, et al., Respondent.
ORDER RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
WALLACE CAPEL, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
civil action is pending before the court on a 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 application for habeas corpus relief filed by Dr.
Elena Polukhin, a federal inmate currently incarcerated at
the Aliceville Federal Correctional Institution in
Aliceville, Alabama. In this petition, Polukhin complains that
federal officials at the Aliceville facility have refused to
place her in a halfway house or grant her release to home
confinement. Doc. 1 at 2-6. Although Polukhin alleges that
the Aliceville Federal Correctional Institution is located in
the jurisdiction of this court, this facility is actually
located within the jurisdiction of the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
review of the petition, the court finds that this case should
be transferred to the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
district court has jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241, over a claim concerning the BOP's failure to award
an inmate placement in a halfway house or transfer to home
confinement because such a challenge is to the manner in
which the sentence is being executed. See, e.g., United
States v. Williams, 425 F.3d 987, 990 (11th Cir. 2005);
Bishop v. Reno, 210 F.3d 1295, 1304 n.14 (11th Cir.
2005). Polukhin must therefore satisfy the jurisdictional
requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 2241. As a general rule, a
28 U.S.C. § 2241 petition for habeas corpus relief
“may be brought only in the district court for the
district in which the inmate is incarcerated.”
Fernandez v. United States, 941 F.2d, 1488, 1495
(11th Cir. 1991); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court
of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 494-495 (1973) (“The
writ of habeas corpus does not act upon the prisoner who
seeks relief, but upon the person who holds [her] in what is
alleged to be unlawful custody.”). “Jurisdiction
is determined at the time the action is filed[.]”
United States v. Edwards, 27 F.3d 564 (4th Cir.
The federal habeas 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 (“The
writ, or order to show cause shall be directed to the person
having custody of the person detained”). The consistent
use of the definite article in reference to the custodian
indicates that there is generally only one proper respondent
to a given prisoner's habeas petition. This custodian,
moreover, is “the person” with the ability to
produce the prisoner's body before the habeas court.
Ibid. We summed up the plain language of the habeas
statute over 100 years ago in this way: “[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.”
Wales v. Whitney, 114 U.S. 564, 574, 5 S.Ct. 1050,
29 L.Ed. 277 (1885) (emphasis added); see also Braden v.
30th Judicial Circuit Court of Ky., 410 U.S. 484,
494-495, 93 S.Ct. 1123, 35 L.Ed.2d 443 (1973) (“The
writ of habeas corpus” acts upon “the person who
holds [the detainee] in what is alleged to be unlawful
custody, ” citing Wales, supra, at
574, 5 S.Ct. 1050); Braden, supra, at 495,
93 S.Ct. 1123 (“‘[T]his writ . . . is directed to
. . . [the] jailer, '” quoting In re
Jackson, 15 Mich. 417, 439-440 (1867)).
In accord with the statutory language and Wales'
immediate custodian rule, longstanding practice confirms that
in habeas challenges to present physical confinement -
“core challenges” - the default rule is that the
proper respondent is the warden of the facility where the
prisoner is being held. . . .
Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 434-35 (2004)
(emphasis in original).
on the foregoing, this court lacks personal jurisdiction over
the proper respondent - the warden of the Aliceville Federal
Correctional Institution. However, the law provides that when
a case is filed “laying venue in the wrong division or
district” a district court may, “if it be in the
interest of justice, transfer such case to any district . . .
where it could have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. §
1406(a); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)
(“For the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the
interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil
action to any other district . . . where it might have been
brought[.]”); 28 U.S.C. § 1631 (specifically
granting federal courts the power to transfer a civil action
to “cure a want of jurisdiction” where such
transfer “is in the interest of justice[.]”).
Aliceville Federal Correctional Institution is located in the
jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama. Under the circumstances of this
case, the undersigned concludes that in the interest of
justice this case should be transferred to the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Alabama for
review and determination.
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that this
case be transferred to the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Alabama pursuant to the provisions
of 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
before May 4, 2018 the petitioner may file
objections to the Recommendation. Any objection must
specifically identify the findings in the Recommendation
objected to. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections will
not be considered by the District Court. The petitioner is
advised that ...