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UNITED STATES EX REL. JORDAN v. MONTGOMERY CTY. CO
October 10, 1967
UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Leonard E. JORDAN
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COURT, NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, JR.
JOHN W. LORD, Jr., District Judge.
Petitioner seeks rehearing of his request to file and proceed in forma pauperis in an action for removal of a criminal prosecution on the ground that he is being denied effective assistance of counsel on appeal. While this may be the basis of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, such relief is not sought here. Indeed, petitioner admits that this remedy is not sought because he knows that a habeas corpus petition will be denied for failure to exhaust state remedies. So petitioner seeks to circumvent the law by bombarding the court with frivolous petitions for removal.
As stated in the original order, "removal" is inoperative here. The removal statute provides for the removal of a state criminal prosecution to the federal court when the accused is "denied or cannot enforce in the courts of such State a right under any law providing for the equal civil rights of citizens * * *." 28 U.S.C.A. § 1443(1). It has been held that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment constitutes a "law" providing for equal civil rights; but that the due process clause is not such a law providing for equal civil rights within the contemplation of the removal statute. Peacock v. City of Greenwood, 347 F.2d 679 (5th Cir. 1965) revd. on other grounds 384 U.S. 808, 86 S. Ct. 1800, 16 L. Ed. 2d 944 (1965). Furthermore, it is the view of the Supreme Court of the United States that not every violation of the equal protection clause justifies removal; rather only those violations involving discrimination based on race. In State of Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 792, 86 S. Ct. 1783, 1790, 16 L. Ed. 2d 925 (1965), the Supreme Court concluded: "* * * that the phrase 'any law providing for * * * equal civil rights' must be construed to mean any law providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of racial equality." It should be noted here that the Third Circuit ruled along these lines even before the definitive ruling of the Supreme Court. City of Chester v. Anderson, 347 F.2d 823 (3rd Cir. 1965). Petitioner's claim of ineffectiveness of counsel, on its face, in no way falls within the racial discrimination contemplation of the removal statute.
For the reasons stated above, Petitioner's request for leave to file and proceed in forma pauperis in petitioning this Court for rehearing in the above matter is denied.
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