United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MICHAEL K. JARRETT, Petitioner,
ERIC A. HOOKS, Respondent.
D. WHITNEY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court upon Michael K.
Jarrett's pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1.) Also before
the Court is Petitioner's Motion to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (Doc. No. 5), which the Court shall grant.
January 9, 2012, Petitioner pled guilty in Transylvania
County Superior Court to felony larceny and attaining the
status of habitual felon. (Pet. 1, Doc. No. 1.) He was
sentenced to 80-105 months in prison. (Pet. 1.)
was released on Post Release Supervision on December 1, 2017,
which he subsequently violated on or about April 8, 2018.
(Pet. 6.) He was arrested on the violations and transported
to Tabor Correctional Institution (“TCI”).
filed the instant habeas Petition on May 29, 2019, when he
placed it in the prison mail system, see Houston v.
Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 267 (1988). (Pet. 17.) According to
Petitioner, his 2012 sentence fully expired on August 28,
2018, and he is not in custody under any other state criminal
judgment. (Pet. 6.) He claims TCI nevertheless refuses to
release him from its custody. TCI is a state correctional
institution within the North Carolina Department of Public
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court is guided by Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts, which directs
district courts to dismiss habeas petitions when it plainly
appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief. Rule 4, 28 U.S.C.A.
foll. § 2254. The Petition shall be dismissed as the
Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this
is not challenging the validity of his 2012 judgment or the
execution of his 2012 sentence. Instead, he claims the NCDPS
continues to keep him in custody past the expiration of his
sentence. In other words, Petitioner does not contend he is
in custody pursuant to an invalid or unconstitutional
judgment; he contends his continued custody is not pursuant
to any state court judgment. Accordingly, this action does
not fall under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See In re
Wright, 826 F.3d 774, 779 (4th Cir. 2016)
(“Section 2254, by its terms, . . . ‘applies to a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State
court[.]'” (quoting Medberry v.
Crosby, 351 F.3d 1049, 1059 (11th Cir. 2003) (internal
quote omitted) (emphasis in original))). It is more properly
considered a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241, which provides for habeas relief for
any prisoner in custody in violation of the Constitution or
the laws or treaties of the United States, see id.
at § 2241(c)(3).
III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides
that federal Courts may adjudicate only live cases or
controversies. See Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp.,
494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990); Nakell v. Attn'y Gen. of
N.C. , 15 F.3d 319, 322 (4th Cir. 1994). This means that
the “litigant must have suffered, or be threatened
with, an actual injury traceable to the defendant and likely
to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.”
Id. In the context of a habeas corpus proceeding,
the writ “does not act upon the prisoner who seeks
relief, but upon the person who holds him in what is alleged
to be unlawful custody.” Braden v. 30th Jud'l
Cir. Court of Ky., 410 U.S. 484, 494-95 (1973). An
incarcerated convict's or parolee's challenge to the
validity of his conviction always satisfies the case or
controversy requirement, but, once a convict's sentence
has expired, some collateral consequence of the conviction
must exist if the suit is to be maintained. Spencer v.
Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7-8 (1998).
records show Petitioner was released from NCDPS custody on
June 3, 2019, five days after he filed the instant habeas
Petition. Petitioner asserts no collateral
consequences upon which § 2241 relief should be granted,
so no case or controversy presently exists. See United
States v. Hardy, 545 F.3d 280, 284 (4th Cir. 2008);
see also Williams v. United States, 2018 WL 1612203
(W.D. N.C. April 3, 2018). Because there is no live case or
controversy before the Court, the instant Petition will be
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. If the
NCDPS records are incorrect, however, and Petitioner remains
in NCDPS custody in the absence of a state court judgment, he
should file a motion in this Court asking it to vacate this