United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SOROKIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
reasons set forth below, this action is dismissed without
prejudice. I. BACKGROUND Raheem Garrett, an inmate
in custody at MCI - Shirley, filed two pro se
pleadings as follows: (1) Motion to Vacate Sentence, Habeas
Corpus, Civil Rights Rule 16(b) and 16.4, Rule 60(b) and
40.2; and (2) Affidavit to Vacate Sentence, Habeas Corpus,
Civil Rights Tule 16(b), and 16.4, Rule 60(b) and 40.2. Doc.
Nos. 1, 2. Each pleading is one page and contains the case
caption for Garrett's state court appeal. Id.
The certificate of service for each pleading states that on
December 28, 2018, Garrett served the documents by mail to
the John Joseph Moakley U..S. Courthouse. Id. As
best can be gleaned from the sparse pleadings, Garrett seeks
to challenge his state court conviction. Id.
2015, Garrett's 2012 convictions for armed robbery with a
firearm while masked were vacated and remanded to Superior
Court for resentencing. Commonwealth v. Garrett, 473
Mass. 257 (2015). After resentencing, Garrett filed several
unsuccessful post-conviction motions. Commonwealth v.
Garrett, 94 Mass.App.Ct. 1104 (Oct 5, 2018). On March
17, 2017, the Mass. Appeals Court affirmed the Superior
Court's denial of Garrett's post-conviction motions.
Id. On November 30, 2018, the Supreme Judicial Court
denied Garrett's petition for further appellate review.
Commonwealth v. Garrett, 481 Mass. 1101 (November
courts must conduct a preliminary screening in any case in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
an officer or employee of a governmental entity. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In its review, the court must
identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims that
are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)(2). The Court also has an
independent obligation to inquire, sua sponte, into
its subject matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(h)(3) (“If the court determines ... it lacks subject
matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
has filed his motion pursuant to several rules of procedure,
however, he does not indicate whether he is referencing state
or federal rules of procedure. Although it appears Garrett
intends to file his motion in state court, it is not clear
why a copy was sent to this federal court.
extent Garret seeks to file an action in this federal court,
his motion references both “habeas corpus” and
“civil rights.” To the extent Garret may seek to
file a civil rights action directly challenging his
confinement, he cannot do so until and unless the reason for
his continued confinement has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal, or has otherwise been called into question by a
federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994).
more likely that Garrett seeks to challenge his state court
conviction, and such a challenge would be brought in federal
court by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. If Garrett wishes to
pursue habeas relief in this federal court, he may do so by
filing a “Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ
of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody”
accompanied by the $5.00 filing fee or a fee-waiver form. The
clerk will be directed to send Garrett such forms with a copy
of this Memorandum and Order.
28 U.S.C. § 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), an application
for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant
to a state court judgment may only be brought on the grounds
that his custody is “in violation of the Constitution
or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). A habeas petition must be filed within one
year of the latest of four dates specified by statute,
usually “the date on which the judgment became final by
the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time
for seeking such review.” 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(1)(A). The proper respondent in a habeas petition
challenging present confinement is the inmate's immediate
custodian. See Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426,
this action is DISMISSED without prejudice. The clerk shall