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Corbin v. Attorney General of the State of New Jersey

December 19, 2007

WILLIAM A. CORBIN, PETITIONER,
v.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bumb, District Judge

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on petitioner William A. Corbin's petition for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be dismissed without prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

According to the allegations contained in the petition, petitioner, William A. Corbin ("Corbin"), is presently confined at the Camden County Correctional Facility in Camden, New Jersey. Corbin alleges that he was arrested on May 10, 2007, on a warrant issued without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Police officers allegedly found drugs on petitioner and charged him with possession and possession with the intent to distribute CDS. He also was cited for possessing drugs within 1000 feet of a school. Corbin claims that there has been no probable cause hearing and only one bail reduction hearing since he was arrested.

Construing the petition liberally for petitioner, it would appear that Corbin is asserting that (a) he was denied due process, (b) he was denied his right to a speedy trial, (c) his arrest was without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment, (d) he was subjected to an unlawful search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and (e) the police falsified the charges against him.

The petition does not appear to ask for any relief, although it may be construed as a challenge against the state court charges against him and for petitioner's release from detention.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Standards for Sua Sponte Dismissal United States Code

Title 28, Section 2243 provides in relevant part as follows:

A court, justice or judge entertaining an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall forthwith award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto.

Corbin brings his habeas petition as a pro se litigant. A pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A pro se habeas petition and any supporting submissions must be construed liberally and with a measure of tolerance. See Royce v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 118 (3d Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney General, 878 F.2d 714, 721-22 (3d Cir. 1989); United States v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 912 (1970). Nevertheless, a federal district court can dismiss a habeas petition if it appears from the face of the application that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. See Lonchar v. Thomas, 517 U.S. 314, 320 (1996); Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1025 (1989).

B. Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction to issue a writ of habeas corpus before a judgment of conviction is rendered in a state criminal proceeding lies under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). See Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484 (1973); Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437, 442, 443 (3d Cir. 1975). To invoke habeas corpus review under § 2241, the petitioner must satisfy two jurisdictional requirements: (1) the status requirement that the person be "in custody," and (2) the substance requirement that the petition challenge the legality of that custody on the ground that it is "in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); see also Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490 (1989); 1 James S. Liebman & Randy Hertz, Federal Habeas Corpus Practice and Procedure ยง 8.1 (4th ed. 2001). Although Corbin may be sufficiently "in custody" at this time to attack the New Jersey ...


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