United States District Court, D. New Jersey
KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.
The petitioner, Anthony Chaparro, is a pretrial detainee at the Union County Jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Mr. Chaparro's application to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted based on the information provided therein. For the following reasons, his habeas petition will be dismissed without prejudice.
Mr. Chaparro was sentenced in 2003 to life plus ten years with a thirty-three-and-one half year parole disqualifier for first degree aggravated sexual assault and second degree robbery in New Jersey Superior Court. See New Jersey v. Chaparro, Indictment No. 03-01-0038, 2013 WL 827979, at *1 (N.J.Super. Ct. A.D. Mar. 7, 2013). Based on the allegations in the habeas petition, it appears that Mr. Chaparro's conviction was overturned and that he is awaiting retrial. Petitioner lists himself as a pretrial detainee in this habeas petition.
This petition requests that this federal court intervene on Chaparro's behalf in his retrial proceedings in state court. Specifically, he requests
the Court to issue an order and order to stop the [state] court from manipulating the proceedings to favor the prosecutor, to appoint competent counsel for [his] defense and order prison authorities to return all legal materials to me here at the county jail that are being retained at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey[, ] or for the Court to dismiss all charges against [him].
(Dkt. No. 1 at p. 8.) He further requests that this Court stop all further criminal proceedings in state court at this time because he is innocent. ( See id. )
III. STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL
With respect to screening a habeas petition, the relevant portion of 28 U.S.C. § 2243 provides:
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.
Because petitioner is proceeding pro Se, his petition is held to less stringent standards than those that apply to pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Rainey v. Varner, 603 F.3d 189, 198 (3d Cir. 2010) ("It is the policy of the courts to give a liberal construction to pro se habeas petitions.") (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); United States v. Otero, 502 F.3d 331, 334 (3d Cir. 2007) ("we construe pro se pleadings liberally.") (citing Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)). Nevertheless, "a district court is authorized to dismiss a [habeas] petition summarily when it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court[.]" Lonchar v. Thomas, 517 U.S. 314, 320 (1996).
A habeas petition is most commonly brought to challenge a state conviction. In a proper case, however, federal courts do have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to issue a writ of habeas corpus before a criminal judgment is entered against the petitioner in state court. See Moore v. De Young, 515 F.2d 437, 441-42 (3d Cir. 1975); see also Duran v. Thomas, 393 F.Appx. 3, 4 (3d Cir. 2010) (per curiam) ("[S]ection 2241 authorizes a federal court to issue a writ of habeas corpus to any pretrial detainee who is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.") (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Summarizing the ...