United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
RICHARD P. CONABOY JUDGE
Antonion Reyes Vazquez (Petitioner) an inmate presently
confined at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Institution,
White Deer, Pennsylvania (FCI-Allenwood) filed this pro
se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. Although the caption lists multiple
federal officials as being Respondents, Warden White of
FCI-Allenwood will be deemed the sole Respondent.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2242. Petitioner's request
to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted for the
sole purpose of the filing of this action with this Court.
states that he is presently serving a 360 month sentence
which was imposed on May 6, 1998 by the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.
See Doc. 1, ¶¶ 2-3. According to the
petition and supporting memorandum, Vazquez was extradited
from the Dominican Republic on drug and racketeering related
charges. He subsequently entered a guilty plea in the
Southern District of new York on December 5, 1997.
indicates that he previously sought relief from the
sentencing court via motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. Furthermore, a prior request by Petitioner to file a
successive § 2255 motion seeking relief was denied on
November 27, 2017. See Doc. 1, ¶ 10.
pending action, Petitioner claims entitlement to federal
habeas corpus relief on the grounds that the sentencing court
lacked jurisdiction to accept his plea because his
extradition was unlawful and because he received ineffective
assistance of counsel. See Doc. 2, pp. 4, 10.
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. foil. § 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, Civ. No. 4:05-cv-956, 2005 WL 1138479
*1(M.D. Pa. May 13, 2005)(McClure, J.)(quoting Allen v.
Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970).
Petitioner initiated his action before this Court, he is
apparently arguing that he may bring his present claims via a
federal habeas corpus petition and that this Court has
jurisdiction over his § 2241 action by virtue of his
ongoing detention at FCI-Allenwood.
federal prisoner challenging the validity of a federal guilty
plea and sentence, and not the execution of his sentence, 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, 325
Fed.Appx. 45, 47 (3d Cir. 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"). Such 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, 325 Fed.Appx. at 47 (the
safety valve "is extremely narrow and has been held to
apply in unusual situations, such as those in which a
prisoner has had no prior opportunity to challenge his
conviction for a crime later deemed to be non-criminal by an
intervening change in the law").
is the inefficacy of the remedy, not the personal inability
to use it, that is determinative." 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." Id. at 539. See also,
Alexander v. Williamson, 324 Fed.Appx. 149, 151 (3d
Cir. Apr. 16, 2009).
recognized by the Hon. Kim R. Gibson in Pollard v.
Yost, No. 07-235, 2008 WL 4933599, at *6 (W.D. Pa. Nov.
18, 2008), for a challenge to a federal conviction to be
presented by a federal inmate by way of a § 2241
petition, there must not only be "a claim of actual
innocence but a claim of actual innocence coupled with the
inability to have brought the claim before because of a
change in the construction of the criminal statute by a court
having the last word on the proper construction of ...