district within which the State court was held
which convicted and sentenced him. . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (d). Here
Petitioner originally filed his claim in Massachusetts, where he was
convicted, sentenced, and detained. After a series of transfers, the
action reached this Court, in whose jurisdiction Petitioner was being
detained. However, Petitioner was subsequently transferred to Maryland,
at which time this Court was divested of its jurisdiction. This Court
does not have venue over the petition because the original action,
conviction and sentence did not occur in New Jersey, and Petitioner is no
longer detained in New Jersey.
When venue is inappropriate, a court may transfer a habeas corpus
petition to an appropriate district sua sponte. Chatman-Bey v.
Thornburgh, 864 F.2d 804, 813-14, 274 U.S. App. D.C. 398 (D.C. Cir.
1988); McCoy v. United States Board of Parole, 537 F.2d 962, 965 (8th
Cir. 1976). Habeas corpus actions may be transferred to more convenient
forums under either 28 U.S.C. § 1404*fn1
or 28 U.S.C. § 1406.*fn2 A federal court may transfer a matter under
28 U.S.C. § 1404 (a) for the convenience of parties and witnesses to
any other district where it might have been brought. Braden v. 30th
Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 493-94, 93 S.Ct. 1123, 35 L.Ed.2d
443 (1973). Alternately, a court may transfer a matter under
28 U.S.C. § 1406 to a court with personal jurisdiction over the
defendant and where venue is appropriate. Wims v. Beach Terrace Motor
Inn, Inc., 759 F. Supp. 264, 270 (E.D.P.A. 1991); Klugman v. Anderson,
M.D., 1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12216 at *7 (Wash. 1991); Barnes v.
Bonifacio, 605 F. Supp. 223, 225 (M.D. Pa. 1985).
As example, an action may be transferred to the district in which the
petitioner is currently being held, as the place of detainment may often
be the most convenient forum to the parties. McCoy, 537 F.2d at 966;
Starnes v. McGuire, 512 F.2d 918, 928 (D.C. Cir. 1974). Alternately, a
habeas corpus petition may be transferred to the district court of the
state in which the petitioner was sentenced and convicted, even if the
petitioner was transferred to prison in a different state. Wilkins v.
Erickson, 484 F.2d 969, 972 (8th Cir. 1973). Furthermore, if an action is
brought in the district of confinement, a court may transfer it for
convenience. Hoffman v. Blaski, 363 U.S. 335, 344, 80 S.Ct. 1084, 4
L.Ed.2d 1254 (1960). Thus, an action may be transferred to the district
of sentencing and conviction. See Braden, 410 U.S. at 497.
Here venue is established either in Massachusetts, where Petitioner was
sentenced and convicted, or in Maryland, where Petitioner is currently
detained. To determine which venue is proper in a habeas corpus
petition, a court may analyze factors such as where the material events
occurred, where the records and witnesses are located, and the
convenience of forum for both parties. Braden, 410 U.S. at 493-94. See
also Henderson v. Immigration and Naturalization Serv., 157 F.3d 106, 128
n. 25 (2d Cir. 1998). The district in which sentencing and conviction
occurred is favored because of the availability of evidence and
e.g.. Knapp v. Romer, 909 F. Supp. 810, 811 (D. Colo.
1995). In the instant petition, original action occurred in Massachusetts
and all records and witnesses are located there. Accordingly,
Massachusetts appears to be a convenient forum for both Petitioner and
Respondent. Furthermore, because INS appears to continuously transfer
Petitioner to varying facilities along the East Coast, Massachusetts
appears to be the only district in which venue would remain appropriate
regardless of any future INS transfers.
This Court finds that it is not the proper venue, and transfers the
petition to the District of Massachusetts.