United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
VINCENT V. HUNTLEY, Petitioner,
LAWARENCE MAHALLY, Respondent.
Matthew W. Brann United States District Judge
V. Huntley (“Petitioner”), an inmate presently
confined at the State Correctional Institution, Dallas,
Pennsylvania (“SCI-Dallas”), initiated this
pro se habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. Petitioner has also filed an in forma
pauperis application which will be granted for the
purpose of the filing of this action with this Court.
entered a negotiated plea of nolo contendere to
charges of first degree murder, criminal conspiracy,
aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and
abuse of a corpse on November 1, 2004 in the Court of Common
Pleas of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. As a result of his
plea, Huntley was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment
plus an aggregate twenty-three and a half (23 ½) to
forty-seven (47) year term of incarceration. The charges
stemmed from the abuse and murder of a seven (7) year old
child. There is no indication that Petitioner filed a direct
did seek collateral relief pursuant to Pennsylvania's
Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). The PCRA permits motions
for post-conviction collateral relief for allegations of
error, including ineffective assistance of counsel,
unlawfully induced guilty pleas, improper obstruction of
rights to appeal by Commonwealth officials, and violation of
constitutional provisions." Hankins v.
Fulcomer, 941 F.2d 246, 251 (3d Cir. 1991).
initiated the PCRA action on October 13, 2005 which was
thereafter dismissed by the sentencing court on August 23,
2006. On July 11, 2007, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania
affirmed the denial of PCRA relief. On December 20, 2007 the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied Huntley's petition
for allowance of appeal.
October 15, 2008, Huntley filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus in this Court. See Huntley v. McGrady, No.
4:08-CV-1901 (McClure, J.). By Memorandum and Order dated
January 27, 2009, Huntley's prior habeas corpus action
was dismissed as untimely. The United States Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit affirmed that determination by Order
dated June 30, 2009.
pending action, dated April 2, 2018 (approximately nine years
after the dismissal of his prior § 2254 action), claims
entitlement to federal habeas corpus relief on the grounds
that the sentencing court never stated what statute, if any,
was used to impose his life sentence. See Doc, . 1,
¶ 12. Huntley maintains that his sentence is illegal
because it lacks statutory authorization. He adds that his
pending claim should be deemed timely because it was filed
within one year of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's
decision affirming the final determination of the
Pennsylvania Office of Open Records regarding Huntley's
right to know request seeking a true and correct copy of his
Standard of Review
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. 1979).
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).
Second or Successive Petition
28 U.S.C. § 2244(a) and Rule 9 of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, 28
U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (1977), set forth the pertinent
authority for determination as to whether second or
successive § 2254 habeas corpus petitions may be
reviewed by federal district courts. SeeGraham
v. Warden, FCI-Allenwood, 348 Fed.Appx. 706 (3d Cir.
2009) (§ 2244(a) ...