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Ford v. Bradt

United States District Court, W.D. New York

November 21, 2014

GEORGE FORD, JR., Petitioner,
v.
MARK BRADT, Respondent

For George Ford, Jr, Petitioner: David Michael Abbatoy, Rochester, NY.

Page 365

DECISION AND ORDER

ELIZABETH A. WOLFORD, United States District Judge.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner George Ford, Jr. (" Petitioner" ) filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus on October 6, 2014. (Dkt. 1). Petitioner was convicted of murder in the second degree by the Hon. Joseph F. Cawley, Chenango County Court Judge, on February 19, 2009. ( Id. at ¶ 5). Petitioner was sentenced to a term of incarceration of twenty-five years to life. ( Id. at ¶ 6). Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. ( Id. at ¶ 30). Petitioner's petition identifies five bases for his request for relief: (1) insufficiency of the evidence; (2) admission of evidence obtained after an unlawful arrest; (3) prosecutorial misconduct; (4) ineffective assistance of counsel with respect to scientific proof; and (5) ineffective assistance of counsel with respect to failure to request a conviction for a lesser-included offense. ( Id. at ¶ 25).

On October 14, 2014, the Honorable Frank P. Geraci, United States District Judge, Western District of New York, entered an order transferring this case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (the " Northern District" ). (Dkt. 2) (the " Transfer Order" ). Judge Geraci found that " the Northern District of New York would be a more convenient forum for this action because all of the records relating to the Petitioner's underlying criminal conviction are located in that district." ( Id.).

On October 27, 2014, Petitioner filed an amended petition. (Dkt. 3). The amended petition identifies the same five bases for relief as the initial petition. ( Id. at ¶ 28).

On November 1, 2014, Petitioner filed the instant motion to vacate the Transfer Order. (Dkt. 4). Petitioner argues that the Court's entry of the Transfer Order without prior notice violated his due process rights and that the Transfer Order failed to take into account factors weighing in favor of maintaining the action in this district. For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's motion is denied.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

Petitioner brings his motion to vacate pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6), which provides: " On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: . . . any other reason that justifies relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). " 'This catch-all clause in Rule 60 gives the district court a grand reservoir [of] equitable power to do justice in a particular case.'" Smith v. Muccino, 223 F.Supp.2d 396, 401 (D. Conn. 2002) (quoting Radack v. Norwegian America Line Agency, Inc., 318 F.2d 538, 542 (2d Cir. 1963)). " Rule 60(b)(6) authorizes relief only in the exercise of a sound discretion." Cavalliotis v. Salomon, 357 F.2d 157, 159 (2d Cir. 1966) (quotation omitted).

Page 366

II. The Transfer Order did not violate Plaintiffs right to due process

Petitioner first argues that " a court must give the parties prior notice and an opportunity to be heard regarding its intention to sua sponte transfer a matter to another jurisdiction." (Dkt. 4-2 at ...


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