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Garvin v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

September 24, 2014

UMAN GARVIN, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

OPINION

ROBERT B. KUGLER, District Judge.

I. INTRODCUTION

Petitioner[1] has filed a motion to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence by a person in federal custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255. For the following reasons, the motion will be summarily dismissed.

II. BACKGROUND

On September 15, 2014, the Court received petitioner's original filing in this case. Petitioner filed this case by submitting a document on the form used by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for § 2255 motions.[2] Petitioner alleges that he was convicted in state court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania of carrying a firearm and possession of narcotics. He received a sentence of three-and-one-half to seven years to be followed by three years of probation. However, petitioner states that his sentence was vacated. Petitioner appears to have a civil case ongoing in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, E.D. Pa. Civ. No. 10-1294, that alleges false arrest, cruelty punishment, illegal search and seizure, fraud and wrongful conviction.

Petitioner states in this federal § 2255 case that "[t]he federal court seems to have a problem to render a decision to grant plaintiff Umar Garvin monetary damages as well as punitive monetary damages." (Dkt. No. 1 at p. 13.) He seeks monetary damages in this federal action.

III. STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL

Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings states the following:

The judge who receives the motion must promptly examine it. If it plainly appears from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the moving party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion and direct the clerk to notify the moving party. If the motion is not dismissed, the judge must order the United States attorney to file an answer, motion, or other response within a fixed time, or to take other action the judge may order.

As petitioner is proceeding pro se, his petition is held to less stringent standards than those 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).

IV. DISCUSSION

Section 2255(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code states in relevant part as follows:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

The petitioner in this case is not challenging a federal conviction or sentence. Indeed, petitioner is not challenging even a state conviction as he states that his state criminal conviction has been vacated. Instead, petitioner is asserting that his constitutional rights were violated during the course of his arrest and subsequent state court criminal proceedings (i.e., unlawful detention, ...


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