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COHEN v. PENNSYLVANIA PAROLE BOARD

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania


July 26, 2004.

BRIAN COHEN
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PAROLE BOARD, et al.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DIANE WELSH, Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Presently before the Court is a pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Brian Cohen pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.*fn1 Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution in Albion, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Albion"), located in Erie County.*fn2 For the reasons which follow, the petition should be transferred to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. DISCUSSION

Title 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d) provides:

Where an application for a writ of habeas corpus is made by a person in custody under the judgment and sentence of a State court of a State which contains two or more Federal judicial districts, the application may be filed in the district court for the district wherein such person is in custody or in the district court for the district within which the State court was held which convicted and sentenced him and each of such district courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction to entertain the application. The district court for the district wherein such an application is filed in the exercise of its discretion and in furtherance of justice may transfer the application to the other district court for hearing and determination.
In the present case, petitioner and his custodian are located in the Western District of Pennsylvania.*fn3 Although petitioner may have been convicted by a state court within the Eastern District twelve years ago, see Hab. Pet. ¶¶ 1-6, the present petition does not challenge the lawfulness of his underlying convictions. Instead, petitioner challenges subsequent actions of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole ("Board"). See Hab. Pet. ¶ 12.

  Under the circumstances in the present case, it would be more practical and equitable to transfer petitioner's application to the Western District of Pennsylvania since that is where petitioner and his custodian are located. See Gellock v. Freeman, 1987 WL 7208, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 27, 1987) (transferring § 2254 petition to district where petitioner and custodian were located); Yacoubian v. Petsock, 1986 WL 2564, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 25, 1986) (same). Among other things, the inconvenience of transferring petitioner from Erie County, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia for any hearings makes the Western District a more appropriate forum. See Gellock, 1987 WL 7208, at *1; Yacoubian, 1986 WL 2564, at *1. Accordingly, this petition should be transferred, in the interest of justice, to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d). See Gellock, 1987 WL 7208, at *1; Yacoubian, 1986 WL 2564, at *1.

  My Recommendation follows. RECOMMENDATION

  AND NOW, this day of July, 2004, upon consideration of the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, for the reasons given in the accompanying Report, IT IS RECOMMENDED that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus be TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.


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