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Fuller v. Holder

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 19, 2013

JASON FULLER, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC HOLDER, JR., et al., Respondents.

JASON FULLER, A 205 753 380 Essex County Correctional Facility Newark, New Jersey, Petitioner Pro Se.

PAUL A. BLAINE, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Camden, New Jersey, Attorney for Respondents.

OPINION

DENNIS M. CAVANAUGH, District Judge.

Jason Fuller filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging his post-removal-period detention at Essex County Correctional Facility, where he is being held in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") without a bond hearing. This Court will summarily dismiss the Petition because Mr. Fuller has not alleged facts showing that he has been detained for more than six months after the beginning of the removal period, as required by Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 701 (2001), or that his detention is otherwise in violation of federal law. The dismissal is without prejudice to the filing of a new § 2241 petition (in a new case), after January 27, 2014.

I. BACKGROUND

Jason Fuller asserts that he is a native and citizen of Jamaica. He alleges that he was admitted to the United States in 1986, DHS took him into custody on April 26, 2013, and on June 27, 2013, an immigration judge ordered his removal.[1] Fuller alleges that his removal to Jamaica is not reasonably foreseeable because "[t]he Jamaican Government does not have any documents to verify that he is a national or citizen of Jamaica." (Petition, ECF No. 1 at 2.) He claims that his continued detention violates 8 U.S.C. 1231(a)(6), as interpreted by Zadvydas, and violates his right to due process. Id. at 5-6. He seeks an order to show cause and a writ of habeas corpus directing his release.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c), habeas jurisdiction "shall not extend to a prisoner unless... [h]e is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490 (1989). This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the Petition under § 2241 because Petitioner was detained within its jurisdiction in the custody of the DHS at the time he filed his Petition, see Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998), and he asserts that his detention violates federal law and his constitutional rights. See Bonhometre v. Gonzales, 414 F.3d 442, 445-46 (3d Cir. 2005).

B. Standard of Review

"Federal courts are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its face." McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); United States v. Thomas, 221 F.3d 430, 437 (3d Cir. 2000); Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985). Habeas Rule 4 requires a district court to examine a habeas petition prior to ordering an answer and "[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner." 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4, applicable through Rule 1(b). Dismissal without the filing of an answer or the State court record is warranted "if it appears on the face of the petition that petitioner is not entitled to relief." Id .; see also McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856; Thomas, 221 F.3d at 437 (habeas petition may be dismissed where "none of the grounds alleged in the petition would entitle [the petitioner] to relief").

C. Legality of Detention

"Detention during removal proceedings is a constitutionally permissible part of that process." Demore v. Kim, 538 U.S. 510 (2003). The Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") authorizes the Attorney General of the United States to issue a warrant for the arrest and detention of an alien pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed from the United States. See 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a) ("On a warrant issued by the Attorney General, an alien may be arrested and detained pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed from the United States..."). Once an alien's order of removal is final, the Attorney General is required to remove him or her from the United States within a 90-day "removal period." See 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(1)(A) ("Except as otherwise provided in this section, when an alien is ordered removed, the Attorney General ...


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