Nava-Coronel v. United States of America

Filing 3

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that:(1) Petitioner's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, (Docket No. 2),be DENIED; and(2) Petitioner's application for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241, (Docket No. 1), be DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction. Objections to R&R due by 3/1/2006. Signed by Magistrate Judge Susan R Nelson on 2/13/06. (jam)

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Nava-Coronel v. United States of America Doc. 3 Case 0:06-cv-00544-JMR-SRN Document 3 Filed 02/14/2006 Page 1 of 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA VICENTE NAVA-CORONEL, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. This matter is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on Petitioner's application for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241. (Docket No. 1.) The case has been referred to this Court for report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636 and Local Rule 72.1. For the reasons discussed below, it is recommended that this action be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, pursuant to Rule 4 of The Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases In The United States District Courts.1 I. BACKGROUND Petitioner is currently serving a 63-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca, Minnesota. Petitioner's sentence was imposed in March 2004 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, following his conviction for a federal drug law offense. (Petition, [Docket No. 1], p. 2, s 1-5.) Petitioner Rule 4 provides that "[i]f 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." Although The Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases are most directly applicable to habeas petitions filed by state prisoners pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. 2254, they also may be applied to habeas cases brought under Title 28 U.S.C. 2241. Rule 1(b); Mickelson v. United States, Civil No. 01-1750 (JRT/SRN), (D.Minn. 2002), 2002 WL 31045849 at *2; Bostic v. Carlson, 884 F.2d 1267, 1270, n.1, (9th Cir. 1989); Rothstein v. Pavlick, No. 90 C 5558 (N.D.Ill. 1990), 1990 WL 171789 at *3. 1 Civil No. 06-544 (JMR/SRN) REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION Dockets.Justia.com Case 0:06-cv-00544-JMR-SRN Document 3 Filed 02/14/2006 Page 2 of 6 did not challenge his conviction or sentence by filing a direct appeal or a motion for postconviction relief under 28 U.S.C. 2255. (Id., p. 2, 7, p. 3, 10.) In his present application for habeas corpus relief, Petitioner claims that his 2004 federal criminal conviction and sentence should be vacated, because federal prosecutors did not allow him to consult with Mexican consular officials, and thereby violated his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. (Id., p. 3-A.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that Petitioner cannot raise his current claims for relief in a 2241 habeas corpus petition. recommended that this action be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. II. DISCUSSION As a general rule, a federal prisoner can maintain a collateral challenge to his conviction or sentence only by filing a motion in the trial court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255. The fifth paragraph of 2255 provides that "[a]n application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this section [i.e., 2255], shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention." In effect, a motion brought in the trial court under 2255 is the exclusive remedy available to a federal prisoner who is asserting a collateral challenge to his conviction or sentence. Hill v. Morrison, 349 F.3d 1089, 1091 (8th Cir. 2003)("[i]t is well settled a collateral challenge to a federal conviction or sentence must generally be raised in a motion to vacate filed in the sentencing court under 2255... and not in a habeas petition filed in the court of incarceration... under 2241"). No court has jurisdiction to hear such a 2 It will therefore be Case 0:06-cv-00544-JMR-SRN Document 3 Filed 02/14/2006 Page 3 of 6 challenge under 28 U.S.C. 2241, (or in any other non-2255 proceeding), unless the Petitioner has affirmatively demonstrated that the remedy provided by 2255 "`is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of...[his] detention.'" DeSimone v. Lacy, 805 F.2d 321, 323 (8th Cir. 1986) (per curiam), quoting 28 U.S.C. 2255. See also Von Ludwitz v. Ralston, 716 F.2d 528, 529 (8th Cir. 1983) (per curiam) (same). Here, it is readily apparent that Petitioner is challenging the conviction and sentence entered in his 2004 federal criminal case. He claims that his conviction and sentence should be set aside, and he should be immediately released from custody, because he allegedly was deprived of his rights under an international treaty. Because Petitioner is directly challenging his conviction and sentence, the Court finds that his present habeas corpus petition is clearly subject to, and barred by, the 2255 exclusive remedy rule. Therefore, Petitioner cannot bring his current claims for relief in a 2241 habeas petition, unless the remedy provided by 2255 is found to be "inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention." In some cases, a 2241 habeas petition that is barred by the exclusive remedy rule can simply be construed to be a motion brought under 2255. The matter can then be transferred to the trial court so the prisoner's claims can be addressed on the merits there. In this case, however, Petitioner is precluded from seeking relief under 2255 by reason of the one-year statute of limitations that applies to motions brought under that statute. See 28 U.S.C. 2255 [ 6]. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to construe the present habeas corpus petition as a 2255 motion, and attempt to transfer this matter back to the court in which Petitioner was convicted and sentenced. 3 Case 0:06-cv-00544-JMR-SRN Document 3 Filed 02/14/2006 Page 4 of 6 Moreover, it appears that Petitioner may have deliberately elected to seek relief under the 2241 habeas corpus statute, based, perhaps, on a belief that the remedy provided by 2255 is "inadequate or ineffective to test the legality" of his sentence. He may believe that his current petition is exempt from 2255's exclusive remedy rule, and that he can challenge his sentence in a 2241 habeas corpus proceeding, because he is not presently eligible for relief under 2255. Such reasoning, however, must be rejected. The procedural rules that limit the availability of relief under 2255 would be rendered meaningless if a prisoner who is procedurally barred from bringing a 2255 motion could simply argue that the remedy provided by that statute has become "inadequate or ineffective," and that he should therefore be allowed to bring his claims in a 2241 habeas corpus petition. Congress could not have intended for the procedural limitations on 2255 motions to be so easily evaded. Accordingly, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that 2255 will not be viewed as inadequate or ineffective "merely because 2255 relief has already been denied,... or because Petitioner has been denied permission to file a second or successive 2255 motion... or because a second or successive 2255 motion has been dismissed, ... or because Petitioner has allowed the one year statute of limitations and/or grace period to expire." United States v. Lurie, 207 F.3d 1075, 1077 (8th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted) (emphasis added). See also United States ex rel Perez v. Warden, FMC Rochester, 286 F.3d 1059, 1061-62 (8th Cir.) (reaffirming that 2255 is not rendered inadequate or ineffective by operation of the procedural limitations on 2255 motions), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 869 (2002); Hill, 349 F.3d at 1091 ("in order to establish a remedy is `inadequate or ineffective' under 2255, there must be more than a procedural barrier to bringing a 2255 petition"). 4 Case 0:06-cv-00544-JMR-SRN Document 3 Filed 02/14/2006 Page 5 of 6 "A federal prisoner should be permitted to seek habeas corpus [under 2241] only if he had no reasonable opportunity to obtain earlier judicial correction of a fundamental defect in his conviction or sentence because the law changed" after he had his opportunity to seek relief under 2255. In re: Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611 (7th Cir. 1998). Applying this rule here, it is clear that Petitioner cannot bring his current claims for relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241, because he could have raised those claims in a direct appeal or in a timely motion for relief under 2255. He cannot claim that 2255 has become "inadequate or ineffective" simply because he previously failed to raise such claims, and he is now barred from raising them under 2255 by reason of the one-year statute of limitations. III. CONCLUSION In sum, the Court finds that: (1) Petitioner's current habeas corpus petition directly challenges the validity of his 2004 federal criminal conviction and sentence; (2) such challenges can be raised only in a motion for relief under 28 U.S.C. 2255, unless the remedy provided by that statute is "inadequate or ineffective;" (3) the instant petition cannot be construed as a 2255 motion, because Petitioner is barred from seeking 2255 relief by the one-year statute of limitations that applies to such motions; and (4) Petitioner's present inability to seek relief under 2255 does not cause the remedy provided by 2255 to be "inadequate or ineffective" so as to excuse him from 2255's exclusive remedy rule. Because the "inadequate or ineffective remedy" exception is not available to Petitioner, his present 2241 habeas corpus petition challenging his federal prison sentence cannot be entertained here. See Bauer v. Ashcroft, Civil No. 02-4068 (JRT/FLN) (D.Minn. 2003) (Tunheim, J.), 2003 WL 541692 at *2. The Court will therefore recommend that this action be summarily dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. See DeSimone, 805 F.2d 5 Case 0:06-cv-00544-JMR-SRN Document 3 Filed 02/14/2006 Page 6 of 6 at 323-24 ( 2241 habeas petition challenging judgment entered in a prior criminal case was properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, where Petitioner had not demonstrated that 2255 motion was an inadequate or ineffective remedy). Lastly, the Court notes that Petitioner did not pay the $5 filing fee for this action, (see 28 U.S.C. 1914(a)), but instead filed an application seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis, ("IFP"). (Docket No. 2.) Because Petitioner has failed to state an actionable habeas corpus claim, his IFP application must be denied. See 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); see also, Kruger v. Erickson, 77 F.3d 1071, 1074, n. 3 (8th Cir. 1996) (per curiam) (IFP application should be denied where habeas petition cannot be entertained). IV. RECOMMENDATION Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that: (1) Petitioner's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, (Docket No. 2), be DENIED; and (2) Petitioner's application for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241, (Docket No. 1), be DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction. Dated: February 13, 2006 s/ Susan Richard Nelson SUSAN RICHARD NELSON United States Magistrate Judge Under D. Minn. LR 72.2(b) any party may object to this Report and Recommendation by filing with the Clerk of Court, and serving all parties by March 1, 2006, a writing which specifically identifies those portions of this Report to which objections are made and the basis of those objections. Failure to comply with this procedure may operate as a forfeiture of the objecting party's right to seek review in the Court of Appeals. This Report and Recommendation does not constitute an order or judgment of the District Court, and it is therefore not appealable to the Circuit Court of Appeals. 6

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