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Ramon v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Texas

September 9, 2019

Noel Ramon, Petitioner,
v.
Lorie Davis, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION

          PETER BRAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Noel Ramon filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the outcome of a 2016 prison disciplinary proceeding. (D.E. 1.) For the reasons detailed below, the court lacks jurisdiction to hear this case and recommends that Ramon's petition be dismissed without prejudice.

         1. Background

         According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice ("TDCJ") website, Ramon is currently serving a life sentence for convictions in Dimmit County, Texas, and in Kendall County, Texas. Offender Information Details, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, <https://offender.tdcj.texas.gov/Of'enderSearch/offenderDetail.acti on?sid=03H3638> (last visited Sept. 5, 2019). Both Dimmit County and Kendall County are in the Western District of Texas. 28 U.S.C. § 124(d)(4).

         His petition asserts that a disciplinary proceeding took place at the Gib Lewis Unit prison in Tyler County. (D.E. 1 at 5.) Ramon is currently confined at the Eastham Unit in Lovelady, Texas. Lovelady, Texas, is in Houston County, which is in the Eastern District of Texas. 28 U.S.C. § 124(c)(6).

         2. Jurisdiction

         A "person in custody under the judgment and sentence of a State court" may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the federal district court where 1) he or she was convicted and sentenced, or 2) he or she is currently in custody. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d). A TDCJ disciplinary proceeding cannot render the type of judgment and sentence required under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d) because the TDCJ is not a state court. See Wadsworth v. Johnson, 235 F.3d 959, 961-62 (5th Cir. 2000). Therefore, the location of the disciplinary proceeding is not determinative of jurisdiction.

         Proper jurisdiction instead depends on the location of Ramon's original convictions and his current confinement. See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d). Ramon's state court convictions took place in the Western District of Texas. He is currently confined in the Eastern District of Texas. The proper district for Ramon's federal petition thus includes either the Western District of Texas or the Eastern District of Texas. This court lacks jurisdiction.

         3. Discretion to transfer

         In the interest of justice, a district court has discretion to transfer a petition for writ of habeas corpus to the appropriate district court. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d). Because Ramon's petition is barred by the AEDPA statute of limitations, and because he does not allege the deprivation of any constitutional right, the court declines to transfer this petition.

         A. Statute of Limitations

         28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1) establishes a one-year statute of limitations:

(d) (i) A l-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of-
(A) the date on which the: judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time ...

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