Wells-Bey v. Kizziah
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: 1. Wells motion for leave to proceed in IFP R. 3 is GRANTED to the extent that the $5.00 filing fee in this case is WAIVED. 2. Wells's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 R. 1 is DENIED. 3. This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Courts docket. 4. A corresponding judgment will be entered this date. Signed by Judge Karen K. Caldwell on 12/7/17.(MJY) cc: COR, pro se filer via US Mail.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
SOUTHERN DIVISION at PIKEVILLE
RODORRIO WELLS, a.k.a.
Civil Action No. 7:17-178-KKC
GREGORY KIZZIAH, Warden,
*** *** *** ***
Rodorrio Wells is an inmate at the United States Penitentiary – Big Sandy in Inez,
Kentucky. Proceeding without a lawyer, Wells filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R. 1]. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Wells’s petition.
In 1996, Wells was convicted of multiple crimes in the Superior Court for the District of
Columbia, including but not limited to armed robbery, armed kidnapping, carjacking, assault with
the intent to kill, and felony murder, and he was ultimately sentenced to decades in federal prison.
Wells appealed his case and later moved to vacate his convictions and sentences pursuant to D.C.
Code § 23-110, but his efforts were largely unsuccessful. More recently, in 2016, Wells filed a §
2241 petition with this Court in which he attacked his convictions and sentences. See id. This
Court, however, conducted an initial review of that petition and denied Wells’s request for relief.
See Wells v. Sepanek, No. 0:16-cv-123-KKC at R. 13 (E.D. Ky. June 5, 2017). Nevertheless, Wells
has now filed yet another § 2241 petition attacking his convictions and sentences. Wells has also
filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
As an initial matter, the Court will grant Wells’s fee motion. That is because the financial
documents accompanying Wells’s motion indicate that his inmate account balance is only $0.18.
In light of this information, it is clear that Wells does not have enough money to pay even a portion
of the filing fee in this case.
That said, the Court will deny Wells’s § 2241 petition because it constitutes another
impermissible collateral attack on his convictions and sentences. As this Court explained in its
June 5, 2017 decision denying Wells’s last petition, he must challenge his convictions and
sentences in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia utilizing the District’s own mechanism
for collateral attacks, D.C. Code § 23-110. See id.
It is true that, under certain limited circumstances, federal prisoners have been permitted
to challenge the validity of their convictions or sentences under § 2241. However, the Sixth Circuit
has explained that a prisoner can only proceed in this manner if he can demonstrate that an
intervening change in statutory law establishes his actual innocence, see Wooten v. Cauley, 677
F.3d 303, 307-08 (6th Cir. 2012), or shows that his sentence was improperly enhanced. See Hill
v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591, 599-600 (6th Cir. 2016). Here, while Wells cites various Sixth Circuit
and Supreme Court cases, as well as numerous provisions of the D.C. Code, his arguments are
very difficult to follow and he has not demonstrated in any clear way that he meets the
requirements set forth in either the Wooten or Hill cases. For these reasons, as well as those stated
in the Court’s June 5, 2017 decision, Wells’s § 2241 petition is unavailing.
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:
Wells’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [R. 3] is GRANTED to the
extent that the $5.00 filing fee in this case is WAIVED.
Wells’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R. 1] is
This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Court’s docket.
A corresponding judgment will be entered this date.
Dated December 7, 2017.
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