United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani, United States District Judge
Michael Redford, an inmate confined in the Calhoun State
Prison, Morgan, Georgia, initiated the above captioned in the
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. By Notice of Removal
dated March 29, 2019, the action was removed to the Middle
District of Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1). The sole Respondent is
Governor Tom Wolf. Presently before the Court is
Respondent's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs complaint.
(Doc. 3). The motion is fully briefed and is ripe for
disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
grant Respondent's motion to dismiss.
form complaint used in the Superior Court of the State of
Georgia, Petitioner, crossed out "Georgia,"
inserted "Pennsylvania" and entitled his action a
"Civil Action Mandamus," in which he seeks an order
of court releasing him from prison "within 24
hours". (Doc. 6-1 at 7). Specifically, Petitioner
alleges that Governor Tom Wolf allowed the governor of
Georgia, the Philadelphia Sheriff and Northeast
52nd Precinct Police Department to
"kidnap" him "without extradition procedures,
probable cause or Governor Wolfs official grant of
extradition," in violation of Petitioner's
"extradition process granted by the United States
Constitution." Id. He asserts claims under (i)
the Extradition Clause in the United States Constitution;
(ii) Pennsylvania's Uniform Extradition Act; and (iii)
various constitutional amendments. Id. For relief,
Petitioner "seeks immediate release from prison in
Georgia. Id. Specifically, he requests
"Governor Wolf to call Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia
and order within 24 hours of this court order release of
[Petitioner] from Georgia's Calhoun State Prison, to end
this interstate kidnapping." Id.
notice and pleading rules require the complaint to provide
the defendant notice of the claim and the grounds upon which
it rests. See Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515
F.3d 224, 232 (3d Cir. 2008). The plaintiff must present
facts that, accepted as true, demonstrate a plausible right
to relief. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Although
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires "only a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief," a complaint may
nevertheless be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) for its "failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted." See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court
accepts as true all factual allegations in the complaint and
all reasonable inferences that can be drawn from them, viewed
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009); In
re Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig., 618 F.3d 300, 314
(3d Cir. 2010). To prevent dismissal, all civil complaints
must set out "sufficient factual matter to show that
their claims are facially plausible. See Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678; Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203,
210 (3d Cir. 2009). The plausibility standard requires more
than a mere possibility that the defendant is liable for the
alleged misconduct: "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do
not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility
of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not
'show[n]' - 'that the pleader is entitled to
relief."' See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
the Third Circuit has identified the following steps that a
district court must take when reviewing a 12(b)(6) motion:
(1) identify the elements that a plaintiff must plead to
state a claim; (2) identify any conclusory allegations
contained in the complaint that are "not entitled"
to the assumption of truth; and (3) determine whether any
"well-pleaded factual allegations" contained in the
complaint "plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief." See Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629
F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010) (internal citations and
quotation marks omitted). The Third Circuit has specified
that in ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim, "a court must consider only
the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, matters of
public record, as well as undisputedly authentic documents if
the complainant's claims are based upon these
documents." See Mayer v. Belichick,
605 F.3d 223, 230 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Pension Benefit
Guar. Corp. v. White Consoi. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d
1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993)).
context of pro se prisoner litigation, the court
must be mindful that a document filed pro se is
"to be liberally construed." See Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). A pro se
complaint, "however inartfully pleaded," must be
held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers" and can be dismissed for failure to
state a claim only if it appears beyond a doubt that the
plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim
that would entitle him to relief. See Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).
to 28 U.S.C. § 1361, "[t]he district courts... have
original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus
to compel an officer or employee of the United States or any
agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff."
28 U.S.C. § 1361. Authority to issue a writ of mandamus
is bestowed by the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a).
See Mitchell v. United States, 419 F.Supp.2d 709,
712 (W.D. Pa.2005).
is a "drastic remedy that 'is seldom issued and [ ]
is discouraged.'" In re Patenaude, 210 F.3d
135, 140 (3d Cir.2000). The Supreme Court has said that
"[t]he extraordinary remedy of mandamus... will issue
only to compel the performance of a 'clear
nondiscretionary duty.'" Pittston Coal Group v.
Sebben, 488 U.S. 105, 121 (1988). To obtain such relief,
"[t]he Petitioner must show that he has no other
adequate means to attain the relief he desires and that he
has a clear and indisputable right to the writ."
Mitchell v. United States, 419 F.Supp.2d at 712
(citing Glenmede Trust Co. v. Thompson, 56 F.3d 476,
482 (3d Cir.1995)). See also Mallard v. United States
District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 490
U.S. 296, 309 (1989) (Petitioners seeking a writ of mandamus
"carry the burden of showing that their right to
issuance of the writ is 'clear and
indisputable.'") (citation omitted). Furthermore,
even if such a showing is made, it is still within the
district court's discretion to determine whether to issue
the writ. See Mitchell, supra at 712 (citing
Glenmede, 56 F.3d at 482). Finally, federal courts
have no authority to issue a writ of mandamus to state
officers or private citizens. See, e.g., In re
Razzoli, No. 05-3797, 161 Fed.Appx. 203 (3d Cir. Jan.3,
2006) (holding that inmate's request for court order
directing his release from prison was not available via a
writ of mandamus and that such relief as available by filing
a petition for writ of habeas corpus); U.S. ex rel.
Chapman v. Supreme Court of Pa., 151 F.Supp. 681, 682
(W.D.Pa.1957) (federal court is without authority to issue
writ of mandamus against state officers in exercise of their
prayer for a writ of mandamus in this case is misplaced on
all fronts. First, he has failed to carry his burden of
demonstrating that his right to the writ is "clear and
indisputable." Mallard, supra, 490 U.S. at 309.
Nor is Plaintiff seeking to compel the performance of a
"clear, nondiscretionary duty." Pittston Coal
Group, 488 U.S. at 121. On the contrary,
Petitioner's entitlement to relief here on the merits of
his claims is dubious at best. Moreover, Petitioner has other
adequate means besides mandamus to address the alleged
illegality of his underlying extraditions, convictions and
sentences-namely potential habeas relief under 28 U .S.C.
§ 2254. Finally, this Court has no authority
to issue writs of mandamus against county or state officers.
Thus, because Petitioner has failed to make the requisite
showing of entitlement to mandamus relief, Respondent's
motion to dismiss will be granted.