United States District Court, D. Vermont
OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND DISMISSING PETITIONER'S
PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS (DOCS. 3 & 4)
CHRISTINA REISS, DISTRICT JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter came before the court for a review of the Magistrate
Judge's September 14, 2017 Report and Recommendation
("R & R") (Doc. 3), in which the Magistrate
Judge recommended that the court dismiss self-represented
Petitioner Bahji Adams's petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 4). On
September 27, 2017, Petitioner filed an objection to the R
& R, contending that the R & R should be vacated. In
her forty-three page objection, she makes a number of
arguments that may be distilled as follows: (1) the
Magistrate Judge lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate her habeas
corpus petition because she did not consent; (2) she does not
need to be in custody in order for the court to proceed on
her petition because her incarceration for non-payment of
child support is capable of repetition; and (3) her
constitutional rights and her rights under an array of
federal statutes have been infringed and will continue to be
infringed as long as she is compelled to pay child support
which she cannot afford.
Factual and Procedural Background.
about September 14, 2017, Petitioner filed a Petition for
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, alleging
she was arrested and confined for criminal contempt of court
on October 27-29, 2015 and July 1-5, 2016. She asserts the
charge of criminal contempt was vacated March 23, 2016 and
arose out of her failure to appear in a Vermont Superior
Court, Family Division hearing after she allegedly requested
to appear via telephone and was not afforded this
accommodation. She contends her request was "supported
by medical professionals." (Doc. 4 at 2.) She has
appealed her incarceration to the Vermont Supreme Court. She
also appears to concede she has raised her claims previously
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging these claims were
disposed of as follows:
Federal District Court, Vermont District before Judge
Sessions, (D.Vt. 2015) and Judge Murtha (D.Vt2016)
1:15-cv-228-jgm. No hearing where evidence was submitted was
allowed. Results, both dismissed without prejudice, and with
prejudice against the State of Vermont. . . . Appeals for
both cases filed with the [S]econd [C]ircuit and filed in the
Supreme Court of the United States, with sending back with
correction and refiling available within 60 days.
Id. at 4-5, ¶¶ 15-16. She describes the
facts supporting her claims in paragraph seventeen of her
Petition as consisting of an inability to obtain access to
Office of Child Support programs because of a range of
disabilities resulting in "unlawful restraining and
unlawful detention of [her] right to medical-care and
self-governing of her medical care and implementation, and
the failure of [the] judicial body to recognize her medical-
rights[.]" Id. at 5-6, ¶ 17. She seeks
"recognition of her right to medical-care and
manage[ment] of her medical-modalities, her right to
medical-autonomy [, ]" and a permanent injunction
granting her access to Office of Child Support Programs, as
well as expungement and sealing of the records related to her
arrest and incarceration. Id. at 12.
Conclusions of Law and Analysis.
Standard of Review.
district judge must make a de novo determination of those
portions of a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation to which an objection is made. Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Cullen v. United
States, 194 F.3d 401, 405 (2d Cir. 1999). The district
judge may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); accord Cullen, 194 F.3d at
405. A district judge, however, is not required to review the
factual or legal conclusions of the magistrate judge as to
those portions of a reports and recommendation to which no
objections are addressed. Thomas v. Am, 474 U.S.
140, 150 (1985).
Magistrate Judge noted, Petitioner's claims all arise out
of events that occurred in Georgia and are now apparently
having consequences for Petitioner in Vermont. Petitioner has
the right to address her concerns in the Vermont Superior
Court and has apparently done so. She asserts no viable
federal cause of action and, as the Magistrate Judge properly
noted, federal court have limited jurisdiction and may not
proceed to adjudicate cases for which they lack subject
matter jurisdiction regardless of a petitioner's
self-represented status and notwithstanding compelling facts.
The court agrees with his explanation of the reasons why this
court lacks jurisdiction over Petitioner's petition.
foregoing reasons, the court ADOPTS the Magistrate
Judge's R & R (Doc. 3), and DISMISSES
Petitioner's § 2254 motion (Doc. 4).
to Fed. R. App. P. 22(b)(1) and 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2),
the court DENIES Petitioner a certificate of appealability in
this matter because Petitioner has failed to make a