United States District Court, D. Maryland
April 24, 2015
ADRIAN JONES, #309-080, Petitioner,
STATE OF MARYLAND Respondent.
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, District Judge.
Petitioner is presently confined within the Maryland Division of Correction and housed at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland. He seeks mandamus relief to compel the State of Maryland "to furnish all materials[, ] transcripts[, ] etc" to him. ECF No. 1, p. 2. The request has been construed and docketed as a mandamus request filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Petitioner's mandamus request is best understood in the context of his prior court proceedings. Petitioner was convicted in 2002 in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland of attempted first-degree rape and related offenses, and sentenced to life imprisonment for the attempted rape conviction. See Jones v. Warden, et al., Civil Action No. L-05-2547 (D. Md.), ECF No. 11, Ex. 1, 5 and 6. Following direct appeal, he sought, and was denied, post-conviction relief. Id., Ex. 11-16. His application for habeas corpus relief was denied by the Honorable Benson Everett Legg on July 26, 2007. Id., ECF No. 4. Petitioner's appeal was dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion by the Fourth Circuit on December 27, 2007. See Jones v. Warden, 260 Fed.Appx. 560, 2007 WL 4554211 (4th Cir. Md.).
The Maryland electronic docket shows that Petitioner is seeking to reopen post-conviction proceedings related to his 2002 conviction. On November 15, 2013, Circuit Court Judge Woodard referred Petitioner's request to reopen to the Office of the Public Defender, Collateral Review Division. There is no indication that Collateral Review has acted on Petitioner's request. As of January 29, 2015, Petitioner's self-represented request to reopen was under review by Circuit Court Judge Jackson. Presumably, Petitioner seeks the documents relating to his conviction to support the request now before Judge Jackson.
Petitioner seeks mandamus relief to compel a certain action by the state and/or its agents, which is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1361. Federal district courts have original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States or one of its agencies to perform a duty owed to a petitioner. However, this federal district court has no mandamus jurisdiction over state employees, and cannot compel the Maryland state courts or state agencies to act on Petitioner's request to provide transcripts and other documents relating to his conviction. See Gurley v. Superior Court of Mecklenburg County, 411 F.2d 586, 586-87 (4th Cir. 1969).
For the foregoing reasons, the court will, by separate Order, DENY Petitioner's mandamus request and DIRECT the Clerk to CLOSE the case.