United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHARLES B. GOODWIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Richard Leslie Wooten II, a state prisoner appearing pro se,
brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 seeking
a writ of habeas corpus. United States District Judge Vicki
Miles-LaGrange has referred this matter to the undersigned
Magistrate Judge for initial proceedings in accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 636. As outlined herein, the undersigned
recommends that the action be transferred to the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
is serving a sentence of 25 years' incarceration,
followed by a 15-year suspended sentence, pursuant to a
January 2012 criminal conviction entered in, and imposed by,
the District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Tulsa County
lies in the territorial jurisdiction of the Northern District
of Oklahoma. Pet. (Doc. No. 1) at 1; 28 U.S.C. § 116(a).
Petitioner, however, filed his Petition while confined at
Lawton Correctional Facility in Lawton, Oklahoma.
See Pet. at 1. The city of Lawton is located in
Comanche County, Oklahoma, which lies in the territorial
jurisdiction of the Western District of Oklahoma.
See 28 U.S.C. § 116(c).
allegations of the Petition therefore establish that both
this Court and the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Oklahoma have jurisdiction over this
habeas proceeding. See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d)
(prescribing that the district court of conviction and the
district court for the district of confinement have
“concurrent jurisdiction” over a state
prisoner's application for writ of habeas corpus).
Pursuant to the relevant statute, however, this Court may,
“in the exercise of its discretion and in furtherance
of justice, ” transfer the Petition “to the other
district court for hearing and determination.”
pleading, Petitioner alleges that he is entitled to relief
from his January 2012 Tulsa County District Court criminal
conviction because of various improprieties that occurred
during his criminal proceedings and upon the entry of his
guilty plea and sentence, e.g.: the invalid arrest of
Petitioner and unlawful seizure of items from his home; the
bias and improper conduct of the trial judge; the
unconstitutionality and inapplicability of the charging
statute; ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and the
invalidity of his plea and of the criminal sentence issued by
the trial court. See Pet. at 5-44; Pet. Ex. 1 (Doc.
No. 1-1) at 3-43. Thus, Petitioner's habeas claims
challenge his state-court criminal proceedings in the
Northern District of Oklahoma rather than the execution or
administration of any prison sentence being served in the
Western District of Oklahoma. See id.
follows that relevant records and officials generally will be
located in the judicial district in which Petitioner was
tried and convicted. And “if a hearing is required,
trial counsel for the prosecution and any necessary witnesses
should be available in the district where the conviction was
obtained.” Manning v. Oklahoma, No.
CIV-13-990-HE, 2013 WL 5923721, at *1 (W.D. Okla. Nov. 1,
2013) (transferring § 2254 action and noting that
“federal district courts in Oklahoma have had a
longstanding policy favoring transferring habeas actions to
the district of conviction”).
these circumstances, the undersigned recommends transfer of
the action to the Northern District of Oklahoma in the
exercise of the Court's discretion and “in
furtherance of justice.” See 28 U.S.C. §
2241(d); see, e.g., Watie v. Aldredge, No.
CIV-15-1205-HE, 2016 WL 1337287 (W.D. Okla. Apr. 5, 2016).
on these considerations, the undersigned recommends that this
action be transferred to the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Oklahoma for all further
OF RIGHT TO OBJECT
is advised of his right to file an objection to this Report
and Recommendation with the Clerk of this Court by April 25,
2017, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72. Petitioner further is advised that failure
to make timely objection to this Report and Recommendation
waives the right to appellate review of both the factual and
legal issues contained herein. See Moore v. United
States, 950 F.2d 656, 659 (10th Cir. 1991).
Report and Recommendation disposes of all issues referred to
the undersigned Magistrate Judge in this matter.
Clerk of the Court is directed to electronically serve a copy
of this Report and Recommendation on Respondent and on the
Attorney General for the ...