United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
September 9, 2005.
SA'EED MASSAQUOI, Petitioner
JOSEPH SMITH, Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SYLVIA RAMBO, Senior District Judge
Petitioner, Sa'eed Massaquoi, an inmate at the United States
Penitentiary at Lewisburg (USP-Lewisburg), Pennsylvania,
commenced this action pro se with a petition for writ of habeas
corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1.) Petitioner
challenges the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") acceptance of a
detainer lodged against him by the Pennsylvania Board of
Probation and Parole ("PBPP") on April 11, 2001. For the reasons
that follow, the petition will be dismissed.
Petitioner has previously filed a petition pro se for habeas
relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in this court. See Massaquoi v.
Dodrill, Civil No. 1:CV-03-0055. The prior petition was denied
by this court in a memorandum and order dated April 28, 2004.
See Massaquoi v. Dodrill, Civil No. 1:CV-03-0055, slip op.
April 28, 2004 (M.D. Pa.) (Rambo, J.). The relevant facts of this
case were set forth in the court's memorandum and order in the
prior action. Petitioner was paroled from a Pennsylvania state
court sentence on July 27, 1998. On July 14, 1999, he was
recommitted to Pennsylvania state prison as a technical parole
On September 21, 2000, while still in Pennsylvania state
custody, Petitioner was produced in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania ("Eastern District") pursuant to a
federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, for sentencing
on federal charges related to crimes committed while he was
initially on parole from his state sentence in 1998. Petitioner
was sentenced by the Eastern District to a term of 646 months for
conspiracy, armed bank robbery, using a firearm during a violent
crime, brandishing a firearm during a violent crime, carjacking,
and as a felon unlawfully in possession of a firearm. Petitioner
was returned to Pennsylvania authorities upon satisfaction of the
federal writ, to serve his remaining parole violation term. The
federal sentence was lodged as a detainer.
On February 27, 2001, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
relinquished custody of Petitioner, and he was committed to
USP-Lewisburg to serve his 646 month federal sentence. On April
11, 2001, while Petitioner was serving his federal sentence, the
PBPP lodged a detainer in his case for a parole violation.
Petitioner claimed that the detainer should not be recognized by
Respondent because it is invalid. Respondent argued that (1)
Petitioner had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies in
regard to acceptance of the detainer, and (2) his challenge to
validity of the detainer was premature. The court agreed, and the
petition was denied. Thereafter, Petitioner filed the instant
petition in which he again argues that the detainer is invalid,
and therefore should not be recognized by the BOP.
Section 2241 confers jurisdiction to hear a habeas petition of
a federal prisoner challenging the execution of his sentence.
See U.S. v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185-88 (1979). However,
the ability to seek habeas relief pursuant to the provisions of
28 U.S.C. § 2241 has limitations. The district court may
summarily dismiss a successive habeas petition challenging
detention of a federal prisoner "if the legality of such detention has been determined by a judge or court of the United
States on a prior application . . . except as provided in section
2255." 28 U.S.C. § 2244(a); see also Valona v. U.S.,
138 F.3d 693, 694 (7th Cir. 1998). Although not specifically referenced in
§ 2244(a), courts have held that the substantive provisions of
section 2244 are applicable to § 2241 habeas petitions brought by
federal prisoners. Felker v. Turpin, 518 U.S. 651, 664 (1996);
Valona, 138 F.3d at 694 (holding that § 2244(a) bars successive
§ 2241 petitions directed to a prior issue related to execution
of a sentence); Chambers v. U.S., 106 F.3d 472, 474-75 (2d Cir.
1997) (dismissing successive § 2241 petition under § 2244).
Moreover, habeas corpus petitions brought under § 2241 are
subject to the Rules Governing § 2254 cases in the United States
District Courts. 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (1977) (applicable to §
2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)); see, e.g., Patton v. Fenton,
491 F. Supp. 156, 158-59 (M.D. Pa. 1979). Under Rule 9, "[a]
second or successive petition may be dismissed if the judge finds
that it fails to allege new or different grounds for relief and
the prior determination was on the merits."
In Petitioner's prior petition he argued that the PBPP "had
relinquished jurisdiction by releasing Petitioner" to federal
custody, and the detainer was invalid. (1:03-CV-0055, Doc. 4 at
9.) Similarly, in the instant case he argues that the
"Commonwealth of Pennsylvania relinquished custody of petitioner
by releasing him into the custody of federal authorities," and
the subsequent detainer should not have been honored by the BOP.
(Doc. 1 at 4.) After review of the documents in the two cases,
the court concludes that the issue in the instant petition was
raised in the prior habeas petition.
Moreover, the issue was denied on the merits in the prior case.
Petitioner argued that the PBPP lost jurisdiction over him when
it released him to federal custody on February 27, 2001 to serve
his federal sentence. This court concluded that "even a cursory examination of the substance of Petitioner's claim
reveals that it has been rejected by the Commonwealth Court of
Pennsylvania . . . [in] Bellochio v. Pennsylvania Board of
Probation and Parole, 559 A.2d 1024 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1989). . . .
`[I]t is well-settled that either sovereign may voluntarily
surrender a prisoner to the other without loss of jurisdiction
and without the prisoner's consent.' Bellochio at 1026-27."
See Massaquoi v. Dodrill, Civil No. 1:CV-03-0055, slip op.
April 28, 2004 (M.D. Pa.) (Rambo, J.). Accordingly, since
Petitioner has raised an identical issue in both actions, and
this court previously addressed and denied the claim on the
merits, the instant petition will be dismissed under the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(a) and under Rule 9 of the Rules
governing habeas petitions, as a successive petition.
For the aforementioned reasons, Petitioner's petition will be
denied. An appropriate order will issue. ORDER
In accordance with the accompanying memorandum, IT IS HEREBY
1) Petitioner's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
(Doc. 2) is GRANTED only for the purpose of filing this
2) The petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) is
3) The Clerk of Court is directed to close this case.
4) The court declines to issue a certificate of appealability.
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