Sanders v. Bama et al
PRICS - ORDER re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Willie Sanders, ( Amended Pleadings due by 6/3/2011). Signed by Judge Janet C. Hall on 5/13/11. (Corriette, M.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
BARRACK “O” BAMA, et al.,
Case No. 3:11-cv-759 (JCH)
Petitioner currently is confined in the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner,
North Carolina. He challenges his federal conviction by a petition filed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241.
Since the enactment of the Judiciary Act of 1789, the federal court in the district
in which a prisoner is incarcerated has been authorized to issue a writ of habeas corpus
if the prisoner was in custody under the authority of the United States. See Triestman
v. United States, 124 F.3d 361, 373 (2d Cir. 1997). Today, this authority is codified at
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). In 1948, however, Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 2255. This
statute “channels collateral attacks by federal prisoners to the sentencing court (rather
than to the court in the district of confinement) so that they can be addressed more
Currently, “[a] motion pursuant to [section] 2241 generally challenges the
execution of a federal prisoner’s sentence, including such matters as the administration
of parole, computation of a prisoner’s sentence by prison officials, prison disciplinary
actions, prison transfers, type of detention and prison conditions.” Jiminian v. Nash,
245 F.3d 144, 146 (2d Cir. 2001) (citing Chambers v. United States, 106 F.3d 472, 47475 (2d Cir. 1997) (describing situations where a federal prisoner would properly file a
section 2241 petition)). The proper respondent is the petitioner’s custodian and the
petition is to be filed in the district in which the petitioner is incarcerated.
A section 2255 motion, on the other hand, is considered “the proper vehicle for a
federal prisoner’s challenge to [the imposition of] his conviction and sentence.” Id. at
146-47. A section 2255 motion is filed in the district in which the sentence was
imposed. Thus, as a general rule, federal prisoners challenging the imposition of their
sentences must do so by a motion filed pursuant to section 2255 rather than a petition
filed pursuant to section 2241. See Triestman, 124 F.3d at 373.
Petitioner argues that his conviction is invalid for two reasons. First, he contends
that neither the Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice
not the President authorized the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut to
convene a federal grand jury to indict him. Second, he argues that his crime was not
committed on federal land. Because petitioner is challenging his conviction, his
petition should be filed pursuant to section 2255, not section 2241.
A review of the criminal docket, reveals that petitioner has not filed a section
2255 motion. The Second Circuit has held that when a petitioner has never filed a
section 2255 motion, the district court may not simply construe a petition for writ of
habeas corpus brought pursuant to section 2241 as a section 2255 motion without
providing notice to the petitioner. See Adams v. United States, 155 F.3d 582, 583-84
(2d Cir. 1998).
Rather, the court must permit the petitioner to either: (1) agree to the
recharacterization of his petition or (2) withdraw the petition. See id. at 584.1 See
Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375, 383 (2003) (agreeing with circuits that have
adopted this warning procedure before characterizing a section 2241 petition as a first
section 2255 motion).
If petitioner wishes this court to consider his claims under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, he
should complete the enclosed section 2255 form including all challenges to his
conviction and return it to the court with a motion to have the petition recharacterized.
The Clerk is directed to send petitioner a section 2255 form with this Order. The
petition and motion to recharacterize shall be filed within twenty days from the date of
this Order. Petitioner also may withdraw this action. If petitioner fails to comply with
this Order, the court will recharacterize the petition as filed pursuant to section 2255
and transfer the case to the sentencing judge.
SO ORDERED this 13th day of May 2011, at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
/s/ Janet C. Hall
Janet C. Hall
United States District Judge
The court notes that 28 U.S.C. § 2255 contains a one year statute of limitations.
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