United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 and supporting memorandum filed by
Raymond Mainor (“Petitioner”), an inmate confined
at the Low Security Correctional Institution at Allenwood,
Pennsylvania. (Docs. 1, 3.) He has paid the required filing
fee in this matter. The petition is presently before the
court for screening. See 28 U.S.C. § 2243. For
the reasons that follow, the petition will be dismissed for
lack of jurisdiction.
instant petition, Petitioner challenges a conviction and
sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on October 23, 2007.
Petitioner was indicted by a federal grand jury on December
6, 2006, of drug and related offenses, including the
following: Distribution and Possession with Intent to
Distribute Crack Cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1); Distribution of and Possession with Intent to
Distribute within 1, 000 feet of a School, Cocaine and Crack
Cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 860(a); Possession
of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g); and Use of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug
Offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
December 12, 2006, the Government filed an Information
charging Petitioner with Prior Criminal Offenses pursuant to
21 U.S.C. § 851(a)(1). The prior criminal offense
appears to be a felony conviction out of Philadelphia County.
Petitioner claims that this charge was never
“proven” and that he was never actually convicted
of this offense.
convicted of the drug and related offenses following a jury
trial, on October 23, 2007. He was sentenced to 300 months
imprisonment, 20 years supervised release, a $600 special
assessment, and a $60, 000 fine. He states that because the
“defective” information was considered, his
mandatory minimum was doubled.
states that his defense counsel raised the
“defective” information issue at sentencing.
(Doc. 3 at 3.) Petitioner also raised this issue on direct
appeal to the Third Circuit and his conviction and sentence
were upheld on January 15, 2010. (Id. at 3-4.) The
United States Supreme Court denied certiorari review on
January 18, 2011.
states that he did file a motion pursuant to § 2255 that
was denied on April 24, 2014, and admits that he is
challenging the validity of his conviction/ sentence in the
instant petition. However, he claims that the sentencing
court never considered the issue of the
“defective” Information because his appointed
counsel was not approved by him and did not raise this issue
in the § 2255 motion. As such, he claims that the matter
has never been ruled on by the sentencing court. He argues
counsel's ineffectiveness in the § 2255 proceeding.
He further argues that the courts committed error on direct
review when he did raise this issue. Based on the foregoing,
he seeks review of this matter by way of the instant §
2241 petition in this court.
corpus petitions brought under § 2241 are subject to
summary dismissal pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, 28
U.S.C. § 2254 (1977)(Rule 4 applies to § 2241
petitions under Rule 1(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts). See,
e.g., Patton v. Benton, 491 F.Supp. 156,
158-59 (M.D. Pa. 1979)(explaining that Rule 4 is
“applicable to Section 2241 petitions through Rule
1(b)”). Rule 4 provides in pertinent part: “If it
plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits
that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district
court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the
clerk to notify the petitioner.”
usual avenue for federal prisoners seeking to challenge the
legality of their confinement, ” including a challenge
to the validity of a conviction or to a sentence, is by way
of a motion filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In re
Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 249 (3d Cir. 1997). See
also United States v. Miller, 197 F.3d 644, 648 n. 2 (3d
Cir. 1999)(stating that § 2255 provides federal
prisoners a means by which to bring collateral attacks
challenging the validity of their judgment and sentence);
Snead v. Warden, F.C.I. Allenwood, 110 F.Supp.2d
350, 352 (M.D. Pa. 2000) (finding that challenges to a
federal sentence should be brought in a motion filed under 28
U.S.C. § 2255). Motions for relief under § 2255
must be filed in the district court where the defendant was
convicted and sentenced. Here, Petitioner is clearly
challenging his conviction and sentence. He admits this.
(Doc. 1 at 4.) Thus, his proper avenue of relief is a section
2255 motion filed in the district court where he was
convicted and sentenced. See 28 U.S.C. §
2255(e)(stating that the motion must be filed in “the
court which sentenced him”).
general rule, a § 2255 motion “supersedes habeas
corpus and provides the exclusive remedy” to one in
custody pursuant to a federal court conviction. Strollo
v. Alldredge, 463 F.2d 1194, 1195 (3d Cir. 1972).
“Section 2241 ‘is not an additional, alternative
or supplemental remedy to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.'”
Gomez v. Miner, No. 3:CV-06-1552, 2006 WL 2471586,
at *1 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 24, 2006)(quoting Myers v.
Booker, 232 F.3d 902 (10th Cir. 2000)).
defendant is permitted to pursue relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 only where he shows that the remedy under §
2255 would be “inadequate or ineffective to test the
legality of his detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e);
see also United States v. Brooks, 230 F.3d 643, 647
(3d Cir. 2000). The claimed inadequacy or ineffectiveness
must be “a limitation of scope or procedure ...
prevent[ing] a § 2255 proceeding from affording ... a
full hearing and adjudication of [a] wrongful detention
claim.” Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 120
(3d Cir. 2002)(citing Cradle v. United States, 290
F.3d 536, 538 (3d Cir. 2002)(per curiam)). “It is the
inefficacy of the remedy, not the personal inability to use
it, that is determinative.” Cradle, 290 F.3d
at 538-39 (citing Garris v. Lindsay, 794 F.2d 722,
727 (D.C. Cir. 1986)). The Petitioner has the burden of
proving that § 2255 would be an inadequate or an
ineffective remedy. Reyes-Racine v. United States,
243 F.3d 893, 901 (5th Cir. 2001)(citing Pack v.
Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 452 (5th Cir. 2000)). Accordingly,
“[s]ection 2255 is not inadequate or ineffective merely
because the sentencing court does not grant relief, the
one-year statute of limitations has expired, or the
petitioner is unable to meet the stringent gatekeeping
requirements of the amended § 2255.”
Cradle, 290 F.3d at 539. Section 2241 should not be
used as a way of evading the gatekeeping requirements of
section 2255. Brown v. Mendez, 167 F.Supp.2d 723,
727 (M.D. Pa. 2001). If a petitioner improperly challenges a
federal conviction or sentence under § 2241, the
petition must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Application of Galante, 437 F.2d 1164, 1165 (3d Cir.
it is apparent that the pending petition is not viable under
28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner admits that he has filed a
§ 2255 motion in the sentencing court thereby evidencing
that his remedy by way a motion under § 2255 is not
unavailable or inadequate. However, Petitioner claims that
the issue of the “defective” information was not
raised in the § 2255 motion due to an error on
counsel's part. Regardless of how Petitioner fares on
this issue, this does not open the federal court door to the
filing of the instant § 2241 petition. Petitioner is
first required to request permission from the appropriate
circuit court for leave to file a successive petition with
the sentencing court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
This he admittedly has not done. (Doc. 1 at 4.) He needs to
seek permission from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to
file a second or successive motion under § 2255. Without
passing judgment as to how the Third Circuit will rule, there
exists the possibility that Petitioner could be granted such
permission, if appropriate. Consequently, the court will
dismiss the instant petition filed under 28 U.S.C. §
2241, without prejudice, to Petitioner pursuing leave to file
a second or successive § 2255 motion with the Third
Circuit Court of Appeals. Even then, it is only where a
petitioner falls within the narrow exception outlined in
Dorsainvil in which § 2241 relief could be
sought in this court. In Dorsainvil, the ...