United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
JOHN D. PARKER, Petitioner
WARDEN FCI-SCHUYLKILL, Respondent
RICHARD P. CONABOY United States District Judge.
pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 was filed by John D. Parker, an
inmate presently confined at the Schuylkill Federal
Correctional Institution, Minersville, Pennsylvania
(FCI-Schuylkill). Named as Respondent is the FCI-Schuylkill
Warden. The required filing fee has been paid.
states that he pled guilty to two counts of armed bank
robbery on December 29, 2008 in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He was
thereafter sentenced on June 8, 2009 as a career offender to
concurrent 228 month terms of imprisonment.
to the petition, Parker's conviction and sentence were
affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit on April 20, 2010 following a direct appeal. The
appeal argued that Petitioner's career offender sentence
was substantively unreasonable, and the sentencing court
failed to consider 18 U.S.C. § 3553 factors.
See Doc. 1, ¶ 13.
acknowledges that he also previously filed a petition for
relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 with the sentencing
court. His petition is described as asserting claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel, impermissible enhancement
of his prior criminal history score; and violation of the
plea agreement by the prosecution because it made a
sentencing recommendation. See id., ¶ 3.
Parker's § 2255 petition was denied by the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on December 19, 2011. The Petitioner
also indicates that his request for issuance of a certificate
of appealability was denied. See id.
further admits that he filed a motion seeking permission to
file a successive § 2255 action based upon the United
States Supreme Court's decision in Descamps v. United
States, 570 U.S.___, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013) which was denied
by the Third Circuit on October 30, 2014.
pending action, Parker claims that he is entitled to federal
habeas corpus relief because he was improperly sentenced as a
career offender on the grounds under the standards recently
announced in Mathis v. United States, ___U.S.___,
136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). See id. at ¶ 14.
Petitioner contends that the two prior drug convictions which
were used as predicate offenses in designating him as a
career offender are no longer considered controlled substance
offenses under Mathis. Based upon the nature of
Petitioner's allegations, his action will be construed as
challenging the legality of his federal sentence.
corpus petitions are subject to summary dismissal pursuant to
Rule 4 (“Preliminary Review”) of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (2004). See,
e.g., Mutope v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation
and Parole, 2007 WL 846559 *2 (M.D. Pa. March 19,
2007)(Kosik, J.). The provisions of Rule 4 are applicable to
§ 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)). See, e.g.,
Patton v. Fenton, 491 F.Supp. 156, 158-59 (M.D. Pa.
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.” A petition may be dismissed without review
of an answer “when the petition is frivolous, or
obviously lacking in merit, or where. . . the necessary facts
can be determined from the petition itself. . . .”
Gorko v. Holt, 2005 WL 1138479 *1(M.D. Pa. May 13,
2005)(McClure, J.)(quoting Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d
134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970).
corpus review under § 2241 “allows a federal
prisoner to challenge the ‘execution' of his
sentence.” Woodall v. Federal Bureau of
Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 241 (3d Cir. 2005). A habeas
corpus petition may be brought by a prisoner who seeks to
challenge either the fact or duration of his confinement in
prison. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973),
Telford v. Hepting, 980 F.2d 745, 748 (3d Cir.),
cert. denied, 510 U.S. 920 (1993). Federal
habeas relief is available only “where the deprivation
of rights is such that it necessarily impacts the fact or
length of detention.” Leamer v. Fauver, 288
F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002).
challenging the validity of a federal sentence, and not the
execution of his sentence, a federal prisoner is generally
limited to seeking relief by way of a motion pursuant to
§ 2255. In re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 249 (3d
Cir. 1997); Russell v. Martinez, No. 08-3898, 2009
WL 1154194, at *2 (3d Cir. Apr. 30, 2009)(“a section
2255 motion filed in the sentencing court is the presumptive
means for a federal prisoner to challenge the validity of a
conviction or sentence”) A challenge can only be
brought under § 2241 if “it . . . appears that the
remedy by [a § 2255] motion is inadequate or ineffective
to test the legality of his detention.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(e). This language in § 2255, known as the
safety-valve clause, must be strictly construed.
Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d at 251; Russell, 2009
WL 1154194, at *2 (the safety valve “is ...