United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. MARIANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Julio Cesar Gutierrez-Jaramillo, an inmate currently confined
at the Federal Correctional Institution, Gilmer, in
Glenville, West Virginia, filed the instant petition for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241
challenging his extradition from Peru to the United States
for criminal prosecution. (Doc. 1). For the following
reasons, the Court will dismiss the petition for lack of
February 24, 1993, a second superseding Indictment was issued
in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of Texas charging Gutierrez-Jaramillo and several
co-defendants with conspiracy to import five kilograms or
more of cocaine, and importing more than five kilograms of
cocaine. (Doc. 9-1, pp. 3-15, United States v.
Gutierrez-Jaramillo, Criminal No. 4:92-cr-270-003,
Memorandum and Recommendation; Doc. 9-1, pp. 16-19, Judgment
in a Criminal Case).
states that he is a native and citizen of the Republic of
Colombia, however at the time of the extradition, he resided
in Peru. (Doc. 1). He further states that before his
extradition to the United States, he was convicted of drug
trafficking in Peru and sentenced to fifteen (15) years of
incarceration. (Id. at pp. 1-2). On October 2, 2002,
Gutierrez-Jaramillo was paroled from his Peruvian sentence.
(Id. at p. 2). Gutierrez-Jaramillo alleges that
after being paroled, he was taken into Peruvian custody and
held for eighty-seven (87) months pending his extradition to
the United States. (Id.). He was subsequently
extradited to the United States.
December 24, 2009, Gutierrez-Jaramillo was arrested on the
criminal charges in the Southern District of Texas. (Doc.
9-1, p. 22, Courtroom Minutes, Initial Appearance).
Gutierrez-Jaramillo plead guilty to conspiracy to import five
kilograms or more of cocaine, and importation of more than
five kilograms of cocaine. On February 23, 2011, he was
sentenced to a 210-month term of imprisonment followed by
five years of supervised release. (Doc. 9-1, pp. 17-18,
Judgment in a Criminal Case; Doc. 9-1, pp. 23-25, BOP SENTRY
Report). His projected release date is April 25, 2025. (Doc.
9-1, p. 23, BOP SENTRY Report).
appealed his sentence to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Fifth Circuit. (Doc. 9-1, p. 4, United States v.
Gutierrez-Jaramillo, Criminal No. 4:92-cr-270-003,
Memorandum and Recommendation). On May 16, 2012, the Fifth
Circuit affirmed the Judgment of Sentence. (Id.).
Gutierrez-Jaramillo subsequently filed a Motion to Vacate,
Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Texas. (Doc. 9-1, p. 26, Final Judgment). On
November 1, 2013, the District Court for the Southern
District of Texas denied the motion. (Id.).
challenges his extradition to the United States from Peru.
The only issue that a petitioner may properly raise regarding
his extradition in a writ for habeas corpus is whether
"[h]e is in custody in violation of the Constitution or
laws or treaties of the United States." 28
U.S.C. § 2441(c)(3) (emphasis added). In his petition,
Gutierrez-Jaramillo alleges that he was unlawfully extradited
from Peru in contravention of the treaty under which he was
of "state doctrine" holds that "American
courts are precluded from 'inquiring into the validity of
the public acts a recognized foreign sovereign power
committed within its own territory.'" Gross v.
German Foundation indus. initiative, 456 F.3d 363, 391
(3d Cir. 2006) (quoting Banco Nacional de Cuba v.
Sabbatino, 376 U.S. 398, 401 (1964)). The American court
must dismiss an action when the" resolution of a suit
would require the court to declare invalid and ineffective as
'a rule of decision for the courts of this country'
the official act of a foreign sovereign."
Gross, 456 F.3d at 391-92 (citations omitted). In
this case, Gutierrez-Jaramillo is essentially requesting that
the Court determine the validity of the Peruvian act in
extraditing him to the United States. Determining whether the
Peruvian government may lawfully authorize an extradition is
a question for the courts of Peru. See Banco Nacional de
Cuba, 376 U.S. at 416-20. Generally, federal courts must
abstain from determining challenges to a foreign state's
domestic law. "Every sovereign state is bound to respect
the independence of every other sovereign state, and the
courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of
the government of another, done within its own
territory." Banco Nacional de Cuba, 376 U.S. at
416 (quoting Underhill v. Hernandez, 168 U.S. 250,
252 (1897)). To the extent that Gutierrez-Jaramillo is
challenging the Peruvian government's decision to
extradite him to the United States, this Court must respect
the independence of Peru, and cannot declare that the laws of
Peru were violated by the extradition.
specifically challenges his extradition based upon the terms
of the treaty under which he claims he was extradited. He
asserts that he was extradited in violation of a treaty
between the United States and the Republic of Colombia. He
alleges that his extradition from Peru to the United States
was illegal because the criminal acts which form the basis of
his criminal charges in the United States occurred prior to
December 17, 1997, the date he claims that an extradition
treaty between the United States and Colombia was
promulgated. (Doc. 1, p. 2). However, at the time of his
extradition, Gutierrez-Jaramillo was residing in Peru, and he
challenges an act of the Peruvian government, not the
Colombian government. During sentencing in the Southern
District of Texas, counsel and Gutierrez-Jaramillo spoke to
the Court prior to the imposition of the sentence, and each
acknowledged that Gutierrez-Jaramillo was extradited pursuant
to an extradition order signed by Peruvian
authorities. See United States v.
Gutierrez-Jaramillo, Criminal No. 4:92-cr-270-003, at
(Doc. 500, pp. 8-16). There is no indication that the
Colombian government played any role in
Gutierrez-Jaramillo's extradition from Peru to the United
are agreements between nations, and therefore an individual
ordinarily may not challenge the interpretation of the treaty
in the absence of an express provision of the treaty or an
act brought by one of the signatory nations. See United
States ex rel. Saroop v. Garcia, 109 F.3d 165, 167 (3d
Cir. 1997). Thus, either the rendering state must object to
the demanding state's actions or the treaty must
expressly allow the challenge by an individual. Id.
at 167-68. In the case at bar, there is no record that the
Peruvian government or the Colombian government objected to
Gutierrez-Jaramillo's extradition or his prosecution in
the United States. See United States v. Riviere, 924
F.2d 1289 (3d Cir. 1991) (holding that the extradited person
could not assert rights under the treaty in light of the
express waiver by the Commonwealth of Dominica). In fact, the
Peruvian government considered the extradition request and
chose to grant it. The Peruvian government ultimately
authorized and consented to Gutierrez-Jaramillo's
extradition to the United States. Whether the extradition was
lawful is not a question for this Court, but should instead
be directed to Peru. Therefore, the Court lacks jurisdiction
to address the claims in the petition for a writ of habeas
on the foregoing, the Court will dismiss the habeas petition
for lack of ...