669 F.2d 433 (7th Cir. 1982), 80-2469, United States ex rel. Hoover v. Franzen

Docket Nº:80-2469.
Citation:669 F.2d 433
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, ex rel., Larry HOOVER, et al., Petitioners-Appellees, v. Gayle FRANZEN, Director, Illinois Department of Corrections, Louis Brewer, Warden, Stateville Prison, Respondents-Appellants.
Case Date:January 12, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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669 F.2d 433 (7th Cir. 1982)

UNITED STATES of America, ex rel., Larry HOOVER, et al.,

Petitioners-Appellees,

v.

Gayle FRANZEN, Director, Illinois Department of Corrections,

Louis Brewer, Warden, Stateville Prison,

Respondents-Appellants.

No. 80-2469.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

January 12, 1982

Argued May 28, 1981.

Page 434

Jonathan C. Moore, Asst. U. S. Atty., Dan K. Webb, U. S. Atty., Chicago, Ill., for petitioners-appellees.

Patricia J. Bornor, Chicago, Ill., for respondents-appellants.

Before SPRECHER, Circuit Judge, MARKEY, Chief Judge, [*] and CUDAHY, Circuit Judge.

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CUDAHY, Circuit Judge.

This appeal arises from the transfer of ten inmates from state custody at Stateville prison, an Illinois prison in Joliet, Illinois (Stateville), to federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 5003.

I.

The inmates (petitioners) brought these petitions for habeas corpus relief against both federal and state custodians. The petitions alleged that the transfer violated their rights to due process under the fifth and fourteenth amendments, their statutory rights under Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 4001(a), 5003 (1976) as interpreted in Lono v. Fenton, 581 F.2d 645 (7th Cir. 1978) (en banc), 1 and article I, section 11 of the Illinois Constitution, which provides, "No person shall be transported out of the state for an offense committed within the state." 2 The transfer from Stateville to the MCC was the first step in the transfer of eight of the petitioners to federal prisons outside of Illinois. 3 Petitioners Larry Hoover and Herbert Stephens were to remain incarcerated in Illinois in the federal prison at Marion.

The district court granted relief for the eight petitioners who were to be transferred to federal prisons outside of Illinois. In affording relief, the district court relied on the state constitutional claim asserted by petitioners, reasoning that under the doctrine of pendent jurisdiction set forth in United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 86 S.Ct. 1130, 16 L.Ed.2d 218 (1966), it could entertain the state constitutional claims and should reach those claims before reaching the federal constitutional claims. The district court concluded that the plain language of the Illinois Constitution prohibited the transfer of the petitioners to prisons outside of Illinois. Therefore, the district court granted writs of habeas corpus as to these eight petitioners.

As to petitioners Hoover and Stephens, who were to be transferred to the federal prison at Marion, the district court held that the Illinois Constitution provided no relief, its provisions being limited to the prohibition of out-of-state transfers only. However, the district court held that on the basis of our decision in Lono v. Fenton, 581 F.2d 645 (7th Cir. 1978) (en banc), section 5003(a) required that a hearing be held to determine whether a need for specialized treatment existed to justify Hoover's and

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Stephens' transfer. The district court ordered Hoover and Stephens' transfer. The district court ordered Hoover and Stephens returned to state custody and further ordered that once returned no prisoner could be transferred from state to federal custody without a hearing first being held to determine whether a need for specialized treatment existed. The district court further ordered that no prisoner could be transferred to a prison outside of Illinois. 4

On appeal the State of Illinois challenges the district court's exercise of pendent jurisdiction and also the district court's decision that section 5003(a) requires a pretransfer hearing. We vacate and remand.

II.

The district court concluded that it had pendent jurisdiction over the state constitutional claim and that the petitioners' rights under the Illinois Constitution were violated; the court determined that writs of habeas corpus should issue. On appeal the parties focus on the propriety of the exercise of pendent jurisdiction in a habeas corpus proceeding. But this focus ignores the more fundamental question whether the district court had the power to issue a writ of habeas corpus for a violation of state law.

The district court, in ordering habeas relief, based its exercise of power on 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the provision that governs the procedure for habeas relief to state prisoners:

The Supreme Court, a Justice thereof, a circuit judge, or a district court shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) (1976) (emphasis added). This provision, like the corresponding general jurisdictional grant applying to habeas corpus, 5 limits habeas relief to violations of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. 6 Cases interpreting the habeas corpus statutes have uniformly held that a writ of habeas corpus can be issued only for a violation of federally protected rights. 7 Cronnon v. Alabama, 587 F.2d 246

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(5th Cir.), cert. denied, 440 U.S. 974, 99 S.Ct. 1542, 59 L.Ed.2d 792 (1979); Chance v. Garrison, 537 F.2d 1212 (4th Cir. 1976); Israel v. Odom, 521 F.2d 1370 (7th Cir. 1975); McCord v. Henderson, 384 F.2d 135 (6th Cir. 1967). 8

The district court ignored this principle in issuing a writ of habeas corpus for a state law violation. Instead, the district court apparently assumed that, if pendent jurisdiction over the state law claim existed, the federal remedy (embodied in § 2254) was available. This analysis, however, fails to recognize the distinction between the existence of federal court jurisdiction over the state law claim and the law that governs the state law claim.

The district court erred in failing to recognize this crucial choice-of-law issue which is implicit in the exercise of pendent jurisdiction. 9 The pendent state law claim is governed in all respects by state law and the federal remedy of habeas corpus is unavailable. Merely because the state law claim is in federal court does not lead to the application of federal law. As Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817, 82 L.Ed. 1188 (1938) and its offspring make clear, absent a valid and controlling federal law, state law governs a state law claim (even in nondiversity cases). In providing for habeas relief, Congress intended to limit the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus to violations of federally protected rights, and therefore state law must govern the issue of remedy for violations of state law. Since the district court lacked the power to issue the writ of habeas corpus, that portion of the district order granting the writ must be reversed.

III.

But our holding that the district court lacked the power to issue a writ for the violation of state law does not end our inquiry. Ordinarily this holding would simply require the district court to determine, on remand, whether a state law remedy exists for the violation of state law (and, if so, to impose the state remedy). It is at this point that the issue of the propriety of pendent jurisdiction becomes properly presented-that is, the question whether the district court may determine that a violation of state law occurred and may order a state law remedy. Rather than remand for this determination, we believe that we must here and now decide the scope of pendent jurisdiction in these circumstances. The parties have fully briefed the issue and the district court did in fact hold that it had jurisdiction over the pendent claim. As noted above the court merely applied the wrong law in disposing of the claim and on remand would presumably continue to exercise jurisdiction to decide whether state law provided a remedy. Therefore, the issue of subject matter jurisdiction is now properly presented for review.

The district court concluded that under the doctrine of pendent jurisdiction, as set forth in United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 86 S.Ct. 1130, 16 L.Ed.2d 218, it could decide the state law claim. Gibbs set forth a two-part test to determine whether

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a state law claim could be pended to a federal claim. First, there is the question whether the federal claim is of sufficient substance to confer federal jurisdiction. Second, the issue is presented whether the federal and state claims arise out of a "common nucleus of operative fact (which plaintiff) would ordinarily be expected to try ... in one judicial proceeding...." 383 U.S. at 725, 86 S.Ct. at 1138. 10

Resolution of these two issues is relevant to determining the reach of the constitutional power of a federal district court to entertain state law claims. For Article III of the Constitution circumscribes the judicial power of federal courts to hear certain cases, and it must be determined whether a federal court's attempt to dispose of state law claims is beyond the grant of power contained in Article III. 11 Gibbs, 383 U.S. at 725, 86 S.Ct. at 1138. The issue in Gibbs was, assuming that Congress has conferred jurisdiction over the case or controversy, whether the exercise of this jurisdiction is consistent with the limitations in Article III. Gibbs attempted to provide a pragmatic analysis for determining when the relationship between the federal and state claims is such that a federal court has the constitutional power to try all the issues. Thus Gibbs applied the "sufficient substance" and "common nucleus of operative facts" tests.

After determining that this power to try all the issues existed, Gibbs vested discretion in the district courts to determine whether or not this power should be exercised. Resolution of this...

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