United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
13, 2017, the Court received and filed a petition for writ of
habeas corpus submitted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241
from pro se Petitioner Mark Lynn, a federal inmate
presently confined at the Allenwood Federal Correctional
Institute in White Deer, Pennsylvania. (Doc. No. 1.)
challenges the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia's resentencing Order of September
10, 2010, in which the Court sentenced Petitioner to a term
of 360 months of imprisonment upon finding that he qualified
under the career offender guidelines, U.S.S.G. 4B1.1 and
4B1.2 because he had at least two qualifying prior
convictions that supported the career offender enhancement.
(Id.) Citing Mathis v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (2016), and Holt v. United States, 843
F.3d 720 (7th Cir. 2016), Petitioner argues that he was
improperly given an enhanced sentence under the Sentencing
Guidelines because his prior New York conviction of attempted
second degree robbery is not a crime of violence.
review of the petition, as well as PACER, the online national
index providing public access to court electronic records,
reveals that Petitioner previously filed a motion to vacate,
set aside, and correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 in the District Court for Eastern District of Virginia.
It appears that Petitioner now seeks habeas relief in this
Court pursuant to the “savings clause” of §
petition will 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.
well settled that a 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. See, e.g., United States v.
Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 179 (1979). Indeed, to
challenge the validity of a sentence, a federal prisoner must
file a § 2255 motion in the sentencing court, “a
court already familiar with the facts of the case.”
See Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 774-75 (2008);
see also Swain v. Pressley, 430 U.S. 372, 378 (1977)
(“[Section] 2255 created a new postconviction remedy in
the sentencing court and provided that a habeas corpus
petition may not be entertained elsewhere.”); Brown
v. Mendez, 167 F.Supp.2d 723, 726 (M.D. Pa. 2001)
(“As a general rule, a § 2255 motion
‘supersedes habeas corpus and provides the exclusive
remedy' to one in custody pursuant to a federal court
conviction.”) (quoting Strollo v. Alldredge,
463 F.2d 1194, 1195 (3d Cir. 1972) (per curiam)).
a federal prisoner may challenge the execution of his
sentence, such as a claim concerning the denial or revocation
of parole, or the loss of good-time credits, by filing a
§ 2241 petition in the district court for the federal
judicial district where the prisoner is in custody.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a); Rumsfeld v.
Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 443-44 (2004); Coady v.
Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001).
if the petitioner shows “that a § 2255 motion
‘is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of
his detention, ' . . . [he may] resort to § 2241 to
challenge the validity of the conviction or sentence.”
Brown, 167 F.Supp.2d at 726; see also 28
U.S.C. § 2255(e); Litterio v. Parker, 369 F.2d
395, 395 (3d Cir. 1966) (per curiam) (“It is firmly
established that the remedy available to a federal prisoner
under 2255 is exclusive in the absence of a showing that such
remedy ‘is inadequate or ineffective to test the
legality of [the prisoner's] detention.'”).
This “safety valve” provision is strictly
enforced, and has been held to apply where a petitioner
asserts a claim of actual innocence grounded on a theory that
he has been detained for conduct subsequently decriminalized
due to an intervening and retroactive change in law and where
the petitioner “[has] had no prior opportunity to
challenge his conviction and c[an] not satisfy the stringent
standard for filing a second or successive § 2255
motion.” Long v. Fairton, 611 F.App'x 53,
55 (3d Cir. 2015) (citations omitted); United States v.
Tyler, 732 F.3d 241, 246 (3d Cir. 2013); In re
Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 251-52 (3d Cir. 1997)). The
burden is on the habeas petitioner to demonstrate inadequacy
or ineffectiveness. See In re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d
§ 2255 is not inadequate or ineffective merely because
the petitioner cannot satisfy § 2255's timeliness or
other gatekeeping requirements.” Long, 611
F.App'x at 55; see Tripati v. Henman, 843 F.2d
1160, 1162 (9th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S.
982 (1988); Cradle v. United States, 290 F.3d 536,
538 (3d Cir. 2002) (“Section 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.”).
“It is the inefficacy of the remedy, not a personal
inability to utilize it, that is determinative . . . .”
Garris v. Lindsay, 794 F.2d 722, 727 (D.C. Cir.
1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 993 (1986).
Petitioner challenges the imposition of his sentence, not its
execution. Therefore, to proceed under § 2241, he must
demonstrate that a § 2255 motion “is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention.” 28
U.S.C. § 2255(e). Petitioner has not met this burden, as
he has not established the inefficacy of a second or
successive § 2255 motion in challenging his sentencing
enhancement. See Parker v. Warden FCI-Schuylkill,
No. 3:CV-17-765, 2017 WL 2445334, at *3 (M.D. Pa. June 6,
2017) (“P[etitioner] has also not shown that he was
unable to present his claims in a successive § 2255
proceeding . . . . [Additionally], challenges to career
offender status are not properly raised under §
2241.”). Specifically, Petitioner makes “no
allegation that he is actually innocent of the . . . crime
for which he was convicted; he asserts only that his sentence
was improper.” Mikell v. Recktenwald, 545
F.App'x 82, 84 (3d Cir. 2013). Petitioner's issues with
his sentencing, however, do “not make § 2255
inadequate or ineffective.” Gardner v. Warden
Lewisburg USP, 845 F.3d 99, 103 (3d Cir. 2017) (citing
Okereke, 307 F.3d at 120-21). As Petitioner has not
adequately demonstrated that § 2255 is an inadequate or
ineffective mechanism through which to test the legality of
Petitioner's sentencing enhancement, his § 2241
petition will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction without
prejudice to any right he may have to obtain
pre-authorization from the appropriate United States Court of
Appeals before filing a second or subsequent § 2255
motion in the sentencing court.
on the foregoing, the petition (Doc. No. 1), will be
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to the Petitioner's right to
file a § 2255 motion in the sentencing court, subject to
the pre-authorization requirements of 28 U.S.C. §§
2244 and 2255(h), as they may apply. Because Petitioner is
not detained by virtue of a process issued by a state court
and the petition is not brought ...