United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.
Jacob Bergeron filed an unsigned petition for writ of habeas
corpus in this court, notwithstanding the fact that he is a
resident of Georgia and is not in custody in this state. For
the reasons set forth below, the petition will be denied and
the action will be dismissed.
August 9, 2019, Jacob Bergeron of Canton, Georgia, filed a
pro se pleading entitled “Petition for the
Issuance of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.” See
Petition, Docket No. 1. The case caption identifies the
respondent as “Unknown Agents of the State of
Georgia.” Id. Bergeron did not pay the filing
fee or file an application for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) (filing
fee for civil actions); 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (proceedings
in forma pauperis).
petition does not specify a particular section of the habeas
statute and is not signed. See Docket No. 1. The
jurisdictional statement alleges that Bergeron has an
“unalienable right to [police protection] by both state
and federal police and that involves the Federal Bureau of
Investigation.” See Pet. p. 1. He alleges that
a “federal crime is being committed against
petitioner” by a person who “is an agent of the
State of Georgia.” Id. at p. 1-2. He alleges
that he has been the victim of crimes committed pursuant to
18 U.S.C. §§ 1512, 1513, 2261. Id. at p.
2. For relief, he seeks and order (1) “for the ceasing
of this conduct directed to the State of Georgia;” (2)
“for a federal investigation into this conduct;”
and (3) convening of a federal grand jury for this
conduct.” Id. at p. 2-3.
essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in custody
upon the legality of that custody, and . . . the traditional
function of the writ is to secure release from illegal
custody.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475,
484 (1973). The rules governing Section 2254 cases may be
applied at the discretion of the district court to other
types of habeas petitions. See Rule 1(b) of the
Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings; Boutwell v.
Keating, 399 F.3d 1203, 1211 n. 2 (10th Cir. 2005)
(district court acted within its discretion by applying Rule
4(b) of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases Under Section
2254 to § 2241 petition); Perez v. Hemingway,
157 F.Supp.2d 790, 795 (E.D. Mich. 2001).
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings, the
court is required to examine a petition, and if it
“plainly appears from the petition and any attached
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the
district court, ” the court “must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the
petitioner.” Rule 4; see McFarland v. Scott,
512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994) (habeas petition may be dismissed if
it appears to be legally insufficient on its face);
Mahoney v. Vondergritt, 938 F.2d 1490, 1494 (1st
Cir. 1991) (upholding Rule 4 summary dismissal of § 2254
petition). A petition for a writ of habeas corpus may also be
summarily dismissed if it fails to set forth facts that give
rise to a cause of action under federal law. Marmol
v. Dubois, 855 F.Supp. 444, 446 (D. Mass. 1994);
see Eady v. Director, Charleston County Detention
Center, 2011 WL 3704225, *3 (D.S.C. 2011) citing
Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970)
(noting that district courts have a duty to screen habeas
petitions and eliminate burden on respondents caused by
ordering an unnecessary answer or return).
resides in Georgia and is not alleged to be subject to state
or federal custody or confinement. He complains that a
federal crime has been committed and seeks, among other
things, law enforcement protection and investigation. Because
the petition presents no facts indicating that he is in
custody following a conviction or sentence, or any other
colorable basis for relief, this court is without
jurisdiction to entertain his petition.
extent that Bergeron requests that the court initiate an
investigation concerning the alleged federal crimes, it does
not have the power to do so. See generally In re United
States, 441 F.3d 44, 58 (1st Cir 2006) (noting that
“the federal courts in the American criminal justice
system generally do not have the power to act as
investigators or prosecutors of misconduct, ” and that
“such powers are usually exercised by the grand jury
and the executive branch.”).
and for the foregoing reasons, the petition for writ of
habeas corpus is DENIED and this action is DISMISSED. The
clerk shall enter a separate order of dismissal.