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John V. Caruso v. Charles Ellis

April 15, 2011

JOHN V. CARUSO,
PETITIONER,
v.
CHARLES ELLIS,
RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anne E. Thompson

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

THOMPSON, District Judge

Petitioner John V. Caruso filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his incarceration at Mercer County Correction Center in Trenton, New Jersey, as a result of a February 4, 2011, order of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer County, denying bail without prejudice. For the reasons expressed below, this Court will construe the matter as a habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, dismiss the petition without prejudice to the filing of a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 after Petitioner exhausts remedies available in the courts of the State of New Jersey, and deny a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254, Rule 4.

I. BACKGROUND

The Petition before this Court, dated March 31, 2011, is a § 2254 form. Petitioner challenges a February 4, 2011, order in State v. Caruso, Crim. No. 11-0029 order (N.J. Super. Ct., Law Div. Feb. 4, 2011), denying bail without prejudice. (Docket Entry #1-1, p. 2.) The challenged February 4, 2011, order is attached to the petition, as are several other documents from the state criminal case: (1) Complaint-Warrant for Petitioner's arrest on January 1, 2011, charging him with the following crimes on January 1, 2011: robbery with a knife, stabbing victim in the hand in the course of a theft, possession of a knife with the purpose to use it to stab victim; (2) Petitioner's notice of motion in State v. Caruso for speedy trial; (3) Petitioner's motion in State v. Caruso for bail reduction. (Docket Entry #1-1, pp. 6, 7, 8.)

Petitioner challenges the February 4, 2011, order on the following grounds:

Ground One: HELD ON UNSIGNED, UNSWORN WARRANT. Ground Two: DENIAL OF BAIL.

Ground Three: SPEEDY TRIAL.

Ground Four: CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT. (Docket Entry #1, pp. 5, 7, 8, 10.)

Petitioner states that he did not exhaust any of these claims before the New Jersey courts because he cannot get a hearing, the court is ignoring his motions, and it is pointless to appeal to an oblivious court. (Docket Entry #1, pp. 6, 7, 9, 10.)

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"Habeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading requirements." McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). A petition is required to specify all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner, state the facts supporting each ground, state the relief requested, and be signed under penalty of perjury. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 2(c), applicable to § 2241 petitions through Rule 1(b).

"Federal courts are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its face." McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856; Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1025 (1989). Habeas Rule 4 accordingly requires the Court to examine a petition prior to ordering an answer and, if it appears "that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the ...


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