United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons set forth below, the Court dismisses the petition for
a writ of habeas corpus.
April 26, 2019, Tabia Guillaume (“Guillaume” or
“petitioner”), an immigration detainee at the
Bristol County House of Correction, filed a pro se
petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. See Petition (“Pet.”), Dkt.
No. 1. In 2017, petitioner pled guilty to violating G.L. ch.
265, 13A(a) (assault and battery) and was sentenced in
Haverhill District Court to six-months (time served).
See Pet. at ¶¶ 1-6. However, the basis of
the instant petition appears to be a challenge to an abuse
prevention order that serves as a basis for Guillaume's
removal from the United States. Guillaume explains that he
“was enjoined with a false injunction (c. 209) for a
misdemeanor non-domestic offense which is civil in nature (c.
258E) [harassment prevention orders].” See
Pet. at ¶ 12 (Ground One (a)). Guillaume complains that
an abuse prevention order had been issued against him for
“a non-domestic relationship just because [he had a
female roommate].” Id. at ¶ 12 (Ground
One (e)). He contends that the abuse prevention order
“should have been a civil harassment order [pursuant to
G.L. c. 258E] because the alleged victim and [Petitioner]
were in a remote platonic rooming-house arrangement.”
Id. at ¶ 12 (Ground Four (a)). Petitioner
complains that his “civil rights were violated under
color of law of the State of Massachusetts on the basis of
[his] race, [his] gender, origin and social status by giving
a domestic restraining order for a non-domestic
offense.” Id. at ¶ 12 (Ground Three (a)).
did not exhaust his state remedies alleging “no law
[library] or computer access and no legal assistant available
at the Worcester Sheriff's Office to help [petitioner
file an] appeal.” Id. at ¶ 12 (Ground One
(b)). Petitioner also states that he lacked “financial
means to appeal [his] case.” Id. at ¶ 12
(Ground Three (d)(7)).
states that he is “not aware of any legal process in
the state criminal court [that would be] fast enough to stop
the removal proceedings on the basis of [petitioner's]
claims.” Id. For relief, petitioner seeks to
have this Court “vacate the matter for the violations
of petitioner's federal/state constitutional rights and
civil rights on the basis of gender, race, social class,
of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district
court to dismiss a petition if it “plainly appears from
the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is
not entitled to relief in the district court ....” Rule
4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. Thus, the Court
has a duty to screen and summarily dismiss a habeas petition
prior to any answer or other pleading when the petition
“appears legally insufficient on its face.”
McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). In
considering whether Guillaume's petition clears this
hurdle, the Court liberally construes his petition because he
is proceeding pro se. See Haines v. Kerner,
404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).
function of habeas corpus is to secure release from illegal
custody. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475
(1973). Therefore, this Court is only permitted to
“entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus
... on the ground that [Guillaume] is in custody in violation
of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United
States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). The Supreme Court
has held that “once the sentence imposed for a
conviction has completely expired, the collateral
consequences of a conviction are not themselves sufficient to
render an individual ‘in custody' for the purposes
of a habeas attack upon it.” Maleng v. Cook,
490 U.S. 488, 492 (1989).
challenge is not to the order of removal, but to his earlier,
state convictions. However, he is no longer in custody
pursuant to the state orders and convictions challenged in
this petition, as required for federal jurisdiction under the
that some, or all, of the state convictions are the basis for
his removal, the immigration consequences of those state
convictions are collateral and do not satisfy the “in
custody” requirement for the instant habeas petition.
As a result, the Court lacks jurisdiction over this action
and dismissal is required. See Maleng v. Cook, 490
U.S. at 490.
dismissal of this habeas action is without prejudice to any
future attempt by petitioner to file a civil complaint
against the Worcester County Sheriff, or others, seeking
redress for the alleged violation of his civil rights. An
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is a proper remedy for
constitutional challenges to the conditions of confinement,
but not to the fact or length of custody. See
Preiser, 411 U.S. at 499; see also 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a); Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477,