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Bey v. Camden County Correctional Facility

December 20, 2007

RAVANNA S. BEY, PETITIONER,
v.
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



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

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on petitioner Ravanna S. Bey'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, Ravanna S. Bey ("Bey"), is presently confined at the Camden County Correctional Facility in Camden, New Jersey. Bey alleges that he was arrested on February 9, 2007 for failure to pay child support. While detained on this charge, on February 12, 2007, Bey was told that he had a pending probation violation under indictment No. 02-08-02980, and a third degree burglary charge under indictment No. 06-12-03897. Bey contends that he was never arrested on these charges and that these charges purportedly were dismissed by a judge no longer working for the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County. On February 16, 2007, Bey was transported to court where he learned that the charges were downgraded to municipal court, and he was given a court date for February 27, 2007.

On or about February 27, 2007, Bey pled not guilty to the charges and requested a copy of the complaint. He asked to proceed pro se. The matter was rescheduled for March 13, 2007 because the witness against petitioner was not available. The case was adjourned again for the same reason. A video conference took place in March 2007, however, and it was allegedly confirmed that Bey was indicted on a misdemeanor charge in state court.

In April 2007, Bey received discovery from the public defender's office although he was not assigned counsel at Bey's request. Bey states that Michael Friedman, Deputy Public Defender, was ordered to assign counsel for petitioner. At a court appearance in April 2007, Bey requested to proceed pro se. He also alleges that his counsel told him that he would not be released unless Bey accepted a plea. Bey refused to do so and was sent back to jail.

Then, in May 2007, Bey alleges that he was given a verbal plea agreement that he accepted under duress. He contends that the charges are false. He now asks the federal court to intervene and release petitioner from jail pending another hearing.

Bey claims that he has been denied his right to a republican form of government under Article 4, Section 4 of the National Constitution and the "Treaty of Tripoli". He further claims that he was denied his right to a name and nationality. Bey also asserts that (a) he was denied due process, (b) he was denied his right to an indictment (under the Fifth Amendment), (c) he was denied his right to a speedy trial, (d) he was subjected to double jeopardy, (e) he was denied bail in violation of the Eighth Amendment, (f) he "was denied of his right to probable cause supported by oath/affirmation when petitioner was unlawfully detained without a complainant/victim other than the arresting officer," (g) he was forced into involuntary servitude in violation of the Ninth and Thirteenth Amendments, and (h) that he was denied his right to proceed as his own attorney.

In addition to the federal constitutional claims, Bey asserts that the following treaties were violated: (a) the Moorish-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Moors and United States of America (1784), (b) the "Barbary Treaties" signed in 1796 at Tripoli, and (c) the "International Human Rights Treaties on Civil and Political Rights".

Bey asks that he be released from his unlawful sentence and that a new hearing be granted.

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.

Bey 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 ...


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