United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES S. COODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an inmate incarcerated in the Sumter County Jail in Americus,
Georgia, filed this pro se action under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Petitioner states that he seeks to challenge his
Baldwin County, Georgia, arrest in 2014 and claims he has
been denied a speedy trial because the “Baldwin
[County] arrest is a detainer on [him.]” Doc. 1. On
review, the court concludes the petition is due to be
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
district court has jurisdiction, under 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
over a petitioner's challenge to the terms of his
pre-trial detention, including a claim regarding a speedy
trial violation. See Medberry v. Crosby, 351 F.3d
1049, 1062 (11th Cir. 2003) (noting that pre-trial habeas
petitions are governed by § 2241 and that §
2254's provisions do not apply to pre-trial detention).
Petitioner 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 [him] 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).
the above principles, this court lacks jurisdiction over
Petitioner's habeas petition. Petitioner is confined at
the Sumter County Jail in Americus, Georgia. As such, the
district of confinement for Petitioner is the Middle District
of Georgia. See 28 U.S.C. § 90(b)(4). The court further
notes that Petitioner's conviction record reflects he is
serving a term of imprisonment imposed by a Georgia state
November 15, 2019). Accordingly, under § 2241(d), the
only court with jurisdiction to entertain Petitioner's
habeas petition is a federal court in Georgia. Because this
court lacks jurisdiction under § 2241(d), the petition
is subject to dismissal and the court finds the
“interests of justice” warrant no transfer of
this case to a federal court in Georgia. See 28
U.S.C. § 1406(a).
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge this case be
DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.
that on or before December 2, 2019,
Petitioner may file an objection to the Recommendation. Any
objection filed must clearly identify the findings in the
Magistrate Judge's Recommendation to which Petitioner
objects. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections will not
be considered by the District Court. Petitioner is advised
this Recommendation is not a final order and, therefore, it
is not appealable.
to file a written objection to the proposed findings and
recommendations in the Magistrate Judge's report shall
bar a party from a de novo determination by the
District Court of factual findings and legal issues covered
in the report and shall “waive the right to challenge
on appeal the district court's order based on
unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions” except
upon grounds of plain error if necessary in the interests of
justice. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Resolution ...