United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER, CHIEF JUDGE.
before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus
(Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by
petitioner Roalston Stevenson Kingston
(“Kingston”), an inmate confined at the State
Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Named as
respondents are the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia
County and the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York. Preliminary review of the petition has
been undertaken, see R. Governing § 2254 CASES
and, for the reasons set forth below, the court will dismiss
asserts that that he filed this action under the admiralty
jurisdiction of Rule 9(h), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701, 702,
703, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1361, and 2201. (Doc.
1, at 2). Kingston requests that the court “issue a
writ of possession and/or an arrest warrant, putting Roalston
Stevenson Kingston in exclusive possession and control of the
'surety' for, and, debtor/defendant/U.S.
vessel.” (Doc. 1, at 6-7). He further requests that the
court direct the United States Marshals Service “to
take into custody the 'real party in interest: Roalston
Stevenson Kingston and the prisoner(s) “Fidel
Clark” (a/k/a: Roalston Stevenson Kingston), . . .,
along with said inmate's medical, dental, and
psychological records.'” (Id. at 7).
habeas petition may be brought by a prisoner who seeks to
challenge either the fact or duration of his confinement.
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 45, 494 (1973);
Tedford v. Hepting, 990 F.2d 745, 748 (3d Cir.
1993). “Habeas relief is clearly quite limited:
'The underlying purpose of proceedings under the
'Great Writ' of habeas corpus has traditionally been
to 'inquire into the legality of the detention, and the
only judicial relief authorized was the discharge of the
prisoner or his admission to bail, and that only if his
detention were found to be unlawful.'” Leamer
v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting
Powers of Congress and the Court Regarding the
Availability and Scope of Review, 114 Harv.L.Rev. 1551,
1553 (2001)). However, when seeking to impose liability due
to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution and laws, the appropriate remedy
is a civil rights action. See Leamer, 288 F.3d at
540. “Habeas corpus is not an appropriate or available
federal remedy.” See Linnen v. Armainis, 991
F.2d 1102, 1109 (3d Cir. 1993).
review of the petition reveals that Kingston does not seek
speedier or immediate release from custody or challenge the
legality of his present incarceration. Rather, he
appears to request that the court direct the United States
Marshals Service to issue an arrest warrant and execute a
detainer. (Doc. 1, at 3). The claims asserted in
Kingston's § 2254 petition are not cognizable in a
habeas corpus action. See Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544
U.S. 74, 81 (2005) (habeas relief is available only when
prisoners “seek to invalidate the duration of their
confinement - either directly through an injunction
compelling speedier release or indirectly through a
judicial determination that necessarily implies the
unlawfulness of the [government's] custody”). See
also Montalvo v. Montalvo, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
79016, *7 (W.D. Va. 2008) (“The court simply finds no
ground upon which an inmate may use civil commercial statutes
or admiralty jurisdiction to challenge the fact or length of
his confinement.”). Summary dismissal is appropriate
because the habeas petition is frivolous, obviously lacking
in merit, and “it plainly appears from the face of the
petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner
is not entitled to relief in the district court.” See
R. Governing § 2254 Cases R. 4.
Kingston has failed to name a proper respondent. Kingston
named as respondents in this habeas action the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County and the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York. The
proper respondent in a federal habeas corpus action is the
applicant's custodial official. See 28 U.S.C. § 2242
(“the proper respondent to a habeas petition is
“the person who has custody over [the
petitioner].”); 28 U.S.C. § 2243 (“The writ,
or order to show cause shall be directed to the person having
custody of the person detained”). See also R. Governing
§ 2254 Cases R. 2(a). It is not necessary to provide
Kingston with the opportunity to add the proper respondent to
this case because it plainly appears that his allegations do
not entitle him to habeas relief.
on the foregoing, the petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 will be dismissed.
appropriate order shall issue.
 Rule 4 provides “[i]f it plainly
appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court
the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to
notify the ...