United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
H. RAMBO United States District Judge
Dwight Lewis, a federal inmate presently confined at the
Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Complex, White Deer,
Pennsylvania, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, in which he named the
warden of that facility as the Respondent. (Doc. No. 1.)
review of Lewis' petition and accompanying memorandum and
attachments thereto reveals that on August 23, 2000, Lewis
was charged in a two count indictment with possession with
intent to distribute fifty grams or more of cocaine base and
felon in possession of firearm. (Doc. No. 1-1 at 7.) On
December 20, 2000, Lewis was named in a superseding
indictment charging Lewis with conspiracy to distribute
cocaine, in addition to the previous two counts.
(Id.) On August 10, 2001, after a jury trial, Lewis
was found guilty on all three counts. (Id. at 8.)
Lewis was sentenced to a mandatory life in prison.
(Id. at 9.) A direct appeal was taken to the Court
of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which affirmed the
conviction and sentence and then Lewis pursued a petition for
certiorari with the Supreme Court which was denied on
November 17, 2003.
20, 2004, Lewis filed a motion to vacate, set aside, and
correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 with the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan, which was denied by that court on April 28, 2006.
On June 8, 2012, Petitioner's sentence was reduced
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). On November 8, 2016,
the Sixth Circuit denied an application by Lewis to file in
the district court a second § 2255 motion.
present § 2241 habeas petition, Lewis claims that his
June 8, 2012 resentencing constitutes a new judgment for
purposes of § 2244, that his constitutional rights were
violated by the government withholding Brady
materials from him, and that he is innocent as to being a
felon in possession of a firearm and the enhanced sentence he
received due to new intervening changes in law. Lewis
requests that this Court either immediately release him or
transfer his petition back to the Eastern District of
Michigan for an evidentiary hearing.
petition will now be given preliminary consideration pursuant
to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C.
foll. § 2254, as made applicable to § 2241 cases by
Rule 1 thereof. For the reasons set forth below, the
petition will be dismissed summarily.
federal criminal defendant's conviction and sentence are
subject to collateral attack in a proceeding before the
sentencing court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
E.g., United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S.
178, 179 (1979). The United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit has held that as to issues cognizable by the
sentencing court under § 2255, a motion under §
2255 “supersedes habeas corpus and provides the
exclusive remedy.” Strollo v. Alldredge, 463
F.2d 1194, 1195 (3d Cir. 1972) (per curiam), cert.
denied, 409 U.S. 1046 (1972).
Lewis' petition filed in this Court, he clearly maintains
that his federal conviction violates his federal statutory
and constitutional rights. Thus, his proper avenue of relief
is a § 2255 motion filed in the district court where he
was convicted and sentenced. Lewis is challenging his
conviction on the basis of a new judgement subsequent to a
resentencing and actual innocence due to intervening changes
in law. These are the types of claims which should be
presented to the court that sentenced Lewis.
2255 provides, in part, that “[a]n application for a
writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a prisoner who is
authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this
section, shall not be entertained if it appears that the
applicant has failed to apply for relief, by motion to the
court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him
relief, unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is
inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
motion under § 2255 is “ ‘inadequate or
ineffective' ” only where it is established “
‘that some limitation of scope or procedure would
prevent a Section 2255 proceeding from affording the prisoner
a full hearing and adjudication of his claim of wrongful
detention.' ” Application of Galante, 437
F.2d 1165, 1165 (3d Cir. 1971) (per curiam) (quoting
United States ex rel. Leguillou v. Davis, 212 F.2d
681, 684 (3d Cir. 1954)). It has been recognized that the
burden is on the habeas petitioner to allege or demonstrate
inadequacy or ineffectiveness. See id.; Cagel v.
Ciccone, 368 F.2d 183, 184 (8th Cir. 1966). Furthermore,
prior unsuccessful § 2255 motions filed in the
sentencing court are insufficient in and of themselves to
show that the motion remedy is inadequate or ineffective.
Tripati v. Henman, 843 F.2d 1160, 1162 (9th Cir.
1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 982 (1988);
Litterio v. Parker, 369 F.2d 395, 396 (3d Cir. 1966)
(per curiam). “It is the inefficacy of the remedy, not
a personal inability to utilized it, that is determinative .
. . .” Garris v. Lindsay, 794 F.2d 722, 727
(D.C. Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 993 (1986).
the petitioner's burden to prove that § 2255 would
be an inadequate or ineffective remedy. Reyes-Requena v .
United States, 243 F.3d 893, 901 (5th Cir. 2001) (citing
Pack v. Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 452 (5th Cir. 2000)).
Lewis has not met this burden. At best, under the present
circumstances, Lewis may demonstrate a personal inability to
utilize the § 2255 remedy, but he does not establish the
inadequacy or ineffectiveness of the remedy itself. See
Lawrence v. Ebbert, Civ. No. 3:14-CV-01768, 2015 WL
5089285, at *7 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 27, 2015); Jeffers v.
Holland, Civ. No. 97-1203 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 7, 1997)
(Conaboy, J.); Berry v. Lamer, Civil No. 96-1678,
slip op at 13-14 (M.D. Pa. April 30, 1997) (Kosik,
J.) (finding that existence of two orders from circuit court
warning petitioner that no other submissions shall be filed
or entertained in his case, did not render his remedy by way
of § 2255 motion inadequate or ineffective); Holland
v. Harding, Civil No. 95-0870, slip op at 4
(M.D.Pa. Nov. 21, 1995) (McClure, J.) (holding that entering
into a sentencing agreement wherein the right to challenge
the conviction or sentence by direct appeal or by § 2255
motion is waived does not render a § 2255 motion
inadequate or ineffective); see also In re
Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 251 (3d Cir.1997) (denying
motion for certification to file a second § 2255
petition without prejudice to petitioner filing a § 2241
habeas corpus petition because passage of a subsequent law
may negate the crime of which he was convicted, the Third
Circuit Court of Appeals stated in dicta, “[w]e do not
suggest that § 2255 would be ‘inadequate or
ineffective' so as to enable a second petitioner to
invoke § 2241 merely because that petitioner is unable
to meet the stringent gatekeeping requirements of the amended
§ 2255. Such a holding would effectively eviscerate
Congress's intent in amending § 2255.”)
legislative limitations on successive § 2255 proceedings
do not render the remedy either inadequate or ineffective so
as to authorize pursuit of a habeas corpus petition in this
Court. To hold otherwise would simply effect a transfer of
forum for the adjudication of successive challenges to the
validity of a conviction. That Congress did not intend such a
result is made manifest by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(a), which
provides that no district judge “shall be required to
entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus to
inquire into the detention of a person pursuant to a judgment
of a court of the United States if it appears that the
legality of such detention has been determined by a judge or
court of the United States on a prior application for a writ
of habeas corpus, except as provided in Section 2255.”
As noted above, § 2255 authorizes a district court to
consider a habeas corpus petition of a federal prisoner only
if the § ...