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 Roalston Stevenson Kingston, his DC-14,
DC-15, and DC-16 files and medical records, and Kevin
Kauffman. Preliminary review of the petition has been
undertaken, see R. G § 2254 C R.4, overning
and, for the reasons set forth below, the court will dismiss
asserts that he filed this action under the admiralty
jurisdiction of Rule 2, 9(h), 14(c), 17(a) 82, and 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1333, 1343(1)(4), and 1390. (Doc. 1, at 2).
Kingston argues that “[t]he attorneys for the plaintiff
are prosecuting the suit in maritime jurisdiction without
evidence entered into the record of the contract binding the
Petitioner to maritime law.” (Id. at 4). He
requests, inter alia, that the court order
respondent to “come forth with an [sic] superior lien
more paramount than Petitioner and/or Secured Party Creditor
UCC-1 Financing Statement.” (Id. at 6).
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).
habeas petition, Kingston argues that a maritime contract
does not exist between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and
himself, a/k/a Fidel Clark. (Doc. 1, at 3-4). He requests that
the court order respondents to produce a binding contract
signed by Kingston. (Id. at 4). He further requests
that the court “issue an [sic] possessory warrant for
arrest upon the vessel, Roalston Stevenson Kingston(c), a/k/a
Fidel Clark(c), immediately, for Petitioner does not have a
signed contract with defendant Kauffman.” (Id.
at 6). Kingston appears to claim that he is not subject to
the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Such a claim is
meritless. Similarly, his allegations that the state trial
court never had subject matter jurisdiction because a
maritime contract does not exist between the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania and Kingston, a/k/a Fidel Clark, is patently
frivolous. See United States v. Ramos, 2004 WL
356412, *1 (E.D. Pa. 2004) (rejecting the defendant's
“claims that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over
him because he is not a citizen of the United States but
rather ‘lives within his own skin'”).
reliance on the UCC and other commercial documents is also
insufficient to entitle him to habeas relief. The Ramos
decision is informative. It concluded that Ramos's
remaining “claims, purportedly under the Uniform
Commercial Code and other commercial statutes” were
equally meritless because “surety is not required in a
federal criminal case.” Ramos, 2004 WL 356412, at *2.
The court determined that “nothing in this case
involves or is governed by the provisions of the Uniform
Commercial Code or any other commercial statute or
agreement.” Id.; see also United States v.
Hamill, 252 Fed.Appx. 260 (10th Cir. 2007) (concluding
that the habeas claim that trial counsel was ineffective for
refusing to raise the UCC as a defense was frivolous because
the UCC is a civil code that governs only commercial
transactions); Montalvo v. Montalvo, 2008 WL
4533935, *3 (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.”). Kingston's claims are equally
misplaced. He has provided no basis in law or in fact for
relief under the UCC.
dismissal is appropriate because Kingston's habeas
petition is frivolous and obviously lacking in merit, and
“it plainly appears from the petition and [the]
attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court.” See R. Governing §
2254 Cases R. 4.
on the foregoing, the petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 will be dismissed. An
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 ...