Scarmazzo v. Langford

Filing 12

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATION to Categorize 1 Petition as 2255 Motion and to Deny Petitioner's Request to Reinstate Case in Central District of California 10 , signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 9/29/17. Referred to Judge O'Neill. Objections to F&R Due Within Thirty Days. (Gonzalez, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 LUKE SCARMAZZO, 10 Case No. 1:17-cv-01188-LJO-EPG-HC Petitioner, 11 12 v. 13 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO CATEGORIZE PETITION AS § 2255 MOTION AND TO DENY PETITIONER’S REQUEST TO REINSTATE CASE IN THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA S. LANGFORD, Respondent. 14 (ECF No. 10) 15 Petitioner Luke Scarmazzo is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ 16 17 of habeas corpus. On August 28, 2017, Petitioner filed the instant petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in 18 19 the United States District Court for the Central District of California, seeking dismissal of his 20 criminal judgment in United States v. Scarmazzo, No. 1:06-cr-00342-LJO-1 (E.D. Cal.), 21 “because the expenditure of funds to continue his incarceration violates § 537 and the 1 22 Appropriations Clause of the Constitution of the United States.” (ECF No. 2 at 18). The United 23 States District Court for the Central District of California found that that § 2255 is the exclusive 24 means by which Petitioner may bring his claim. Consequently, the Central District transferred 25 the petition to this Court, which has jurisdiction as the sentencing court. (ECF No. 6). See 26 Hernandez v. Campbell, 204 F.3d 861, 865 (9th Cir. 2000) (“§ 2255 motions must be heard in 27 the sentencing court”). 28 1 Page numbers refer to the ECF page numbers stamped at the top of the page. 1 On September 14, 2017, Petitioner filed a “request[] that his case be reinstated in the 1 2 Central District of California.” (ECF No. 10 at 1). Petitioner argues that he “is challenging the 3 conditions (funding) of his incarceration” and “does not consent to his case being transferred to 4 the Eastern District[].” (Id. at 1, 2). “[I]n order to determine whether jurisdiction is proper, a court must first determine 5 6 whether a habeas petition is filed pursuant to § 2241 or § 2255 before proceeding to any other 7 issue.” Hernandez, 204 F.3d at 865. “Generally, motions to contest the legality of a sentence 8 must be filed under § 2255 in the sentencing court, while petitions that challenge the manner, 9 location, or conditions of a sentence’s execution must be brought pursuant to § 2241 in the 10 custodial court.” Id. at 864. “Under the law of the case doctrine, the transferee court should not 11 revisit the transferor court’s characterization of the petition unless that characterization was 12 clearly erroneous or would result in manifest injustice.” Muth v. Fondren, 676 F.3d 815, 818 (9th 13 Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Although “some district court must 14 address the threshold issue whether a petition was properly brought under § 2241, it does not 15 require both the transferor court and the transferee court to conduct a full analysis.” Id. at 819. In the instant case, the United State District Court for the Central District of California 16 17 has conducted a full analysis regarding whether the petition was properly brought under § 2241. 18 (ECF No. 6). Although Petitioner asserts that he is only challenging the “conditions (funding) of 19 his incarceration,” the Court notes that Petitioner’s request for relief states: “I ask this Court to 20 enjoin the DOJ from the continued expenditure of funds to enforce my judgment and dismiss the 21 said judgment.”2 (ECF No. 1 at 8) (emphasis added). The Central District found that Petitioner’s 22 claims fall under § 2255 because “Petitioner does not challenge the manner, location, or 23 conditions of his sentence; rather, he seeks to contest the legality of his sentence in light of recent 24 congressional acts and Ninth Circuit law.” (ECF No. 26 at 1). This determination was not clearly 25 erroneous. Cf. Davies v. Benov, 856 F.3d 1243, 1247 (9th Cir. 2017) (considering a § 2241 26 petition that “challenges the execution of the sentence—because the BOP’s expenditure of funds 27 28 2 The conclusion of Petitioner’s memorandum in support of the petition states: “Petitioner asks this court to dismiss the judgment against him because the expenditure of funds to continue his incarceration violates § 537 and the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution of the United States.” (ECF No. 2 at 18) (emphasis added). 2 1 to incarcerate [petitioner] unlawfully contravenes the appropriations rider—and does not 2 challenge the legality of the sentence itself” or “ask[] that his sentence be vacated”). 3 4 5 6 Accordingly, the undersigned HEREBY RECOMMENDS that: 1. Petitioner’s request to reinstate the case to the Central District of California (ECF No. 10) be DENIED; and 2. The petition be categorized as a § 2255 motion in United States v. Luke Scarmazzo, Case 7 No. 1:06-cr-00342-LJO-1. 8 This Findings and Recommendation is submitted to the assigned United States District 9 Court Judge, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of the Local 10 Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. Within 11 THIRTY (30) days after service of the Findings and Recommendation, Petitioner may file 12 written objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be 13 captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendation.” The assigned 14 United States District Court Judge will then review the Magistrate Judge’s ruling pursuant to 28 15 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the specified 16 time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 17 834, 839 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Baxter v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th Cir. 1991)). 18 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 29, 2017 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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