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Prall v. Judgge

July 27, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Freda L. Wolfson United States District Judge


WOLFSON, District Judge

This matter is before the court pursuant to a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, filed by petitioner Tormu E. Prall ("Prall"), on or about May 28, 2009. The sole respondent is the "Assignment Judge".*fn1 Petitioner submitted an incomplete application to proceed in forma pauperis, which does not include a certification from an authorized official at Mercer County Correction Center ("MCCC") regarding petitioner's account balance. See Local Civil Rule 81.2(b). However, because it appears that Prall is not entitled to issuance of the writ, the Court will dismiss the Petition, and direct that the action be closed without assessing any fees or costs.


According to the allegations contained in the petition, Prall alleges that, in October 2008, he was transported from Connecticut to New Jersey by Mercer County Sheriff's Officers impersonating as United States Marshals, in violation of an Extradition Agreement entered into in Connecticut. Prall contends that he entered into a voluntary waiver of extradition proceedings on the condition that only the federal marshals who had seized him in Connecticut brought petitioner within the jurisdiction of the New Jersey state courts. However, allegedly unbeknownst to Prall at the time, it was Mercer County Sheriff's Officers who wrongfully brought Prall into the jurisdiction of the Trenton Municipal Court in Trenton, New Jersey, pretending to be federal marshals.

Since his return to New Jersey, Prall alleges that he has repeatedly written letters and filed applications asking that the Assignment Judge bring him to court for a hearing on his wrongful seizure claim, which Prall asserts violates the extradition agreement and deprives the New Jersey state courts of jurisdiction over him. Prall does not identify the Assignment Judge, or the New Jersey state court before which he purportedly seeks a hearing on his claim. Given the numerous, similar habeas actions that Prall has recently filed, this Court will assume that Prall's action is directed against the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, where he is awaiting trial on certain criminal charges, including homicide.

Indeed, Prall is no stranger to this Court. Since his extradition from Connecticut to New Jersey in October 2008, Prall has filed ten (10) actions within the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, including this habeas petition.*fn2 This Court also takes judicial notice of a criminal complaint filed in this District Court on August 26, 2008, United States v. Prall, Mag. No. 08-M-1127 (JJH), stating that:

On or about September 26, 2007 in the District of New Jersey and elsewhere, the defendant, Tormu Prall, did knowingly and wilfully move and travel in interstate and foreign commerce with the intent to avoid prosecution under the laws of the place from which he fled, namely, New Jersey, for a crime which is a felony under the laws of that State, specifically, homicide, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(3). The criminal investigator with the United States Marshals Service filed the criminal complaint alleging that the above act by Prall was a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1073. The complaint was based on the following facts from the investigator's reports and involvement with this fugitive investigation, filed as Attachment B to the criminal complaint:

1. On or about September 25, 2007, John Prall was killed when he was burned during an arson which was committed at a residence in Mercer County, New Jersey.

2. On or about October 10, 2007, a criminal complaint was filed against defendant Tormu Prall in Mercer County Superior Court, charging him with the New Jersey state felony offense of homicide, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(3). Pursuant to that complaint, a warrant for the arrest of defendant Prall was issued.

3. Following the homicide referenced in Paragraph 1 above, the United States Marshals Service and the Trenton Police Department conducted numerous interviews of associates and family members of defendant Tormu Prall. This extensive investigation conducted by law enforcement authorities to locate Prall in the State of New Jersey has been met with negative results.

4. On May 17, 2008, Prall was arrested by local police in Boston, Massachusetts on charges of drinking in public. At the time of his arrest, Prall provided an alias name and identifiers. Prall was subsequently fingerprinted and released from custody under the alias name he provided. On May 19, 2008, the fingerprints left by Prall in Boston were analyzed against fingerprints on file in the FBI national fingerprint database for Prall revealing that he was in fact the same person arrested for drinking in public. Members of the U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force responded to the Boston area to assist with the fugitive investigation on May 19, 2008. During the investigation in Boston, it was learned that Prall had committed another arson of an apartment building housing persons with physical and mental disabilities in the neighboring town of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

5. On August 2, 2008, Prall, again using an alias, was identified by local police in Providence, Rhode Island as a suspect in an assault and robbery occurring there. Warrants were subsequently issued for ...

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