In re: Shannon William
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Motion disposition in opinion--denying Motion for extraordinary writ under FRAP 21 [1000133695-2]; granting Motion to proceed in forma pauperis (FRAP 24) [1000144227-2] Originating case number: 3:02-cr-00085-JRS-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. . Mailed to: Shannon Derrell Williams. [17-1918]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
In re: SHANNON DERRELL WILLIAMS, a/k/a Doe,
On Petition for Extraordinary Writ. (3:02-cr-00085-JRS-1)
Submitted: October 19, 2017
Decided: October 23, 2017
Before NIEMEYER, MOTZ, and KING, Circuit Judges.
Petition denied by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Shannon Derrell Williams, Petitioner Pro Se.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Shannon Derrell Williams has filed a petition for a writ of audita querela, pursuant
to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a) (2012), seeking to challenge his multiple life
sentences. Williams concedes, however, that he has been denied relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 (2012). A writ of audita querela is not available to a petitioner when other
avenues of relief are available, such as a motion to vacate under § 2255. See United
States v. Torres, 282 F.3d 1241, 1245 (10th Cir. 2002); United States v. Johnson, 962
F.2d 579, 582 (7th Cir. 1992) (explaining that audita querela may not be invoked by a
defendant challenging the legality of his sentence who could otherwise raise that
challenge under § 2255). The fact that Williams cannot proceed under § 2255 unless he
obtains this court’s authorization to file a successive motion does not alter this
conclusion. See United States v. Valdez-Pacheco, 237 F.3d 1077, 1080 (9th Cir. 2001)
(“A prisoner may not circumvent valid congressional limitations on collateral attacks by
asserting that those very limitations create a gap in the postconviction remedies that must
be filled by the common law writs.”).
Accordingly, although we grant Williams’ application to proceed in forma
pauperis, we deny his petition for a writ of audita querela. We dispense with oral
argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the
materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
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