Purchess v. Cross

Filing 2

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION : That 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed by Ashavan Purchess, be denied; and this action be summarily dismissed for lack of juridiction. Objections to R&R due by 4/5/2006. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jeanne J Graham on 3/17/06. (LPH)

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Purchess v. Cross Doc. 2 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 1 of 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA Civil No. 06-1033 (PAM/JJG) ASHAVAN PURCHESS, Petitioner, v. JAMES N. CROSS, Warden, Respondent. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION This matter is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on Petitioner's application for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241. 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 the petition for writ of habeas corpus be summarily dismissed pursuant to Rule 4 of The Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases In The United States District Courts.1 I. BACKGROUND Petitioner is a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota. His current petition provides very little information about why he is incarcerated, but he filed a previous 2241 habeas corpus action in this district, (Purchess v. Reese, Civil No. 00-1589 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 28 U.S.C. 2254, they also may be applied to habeas cases brought under 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 Dockets.Justia.com Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 2 of 9 (PAM/JGL), [hereafter "Purchess I"]), and the background of the present case can be gleaned from the record in the prior action. In 1995, Petitioner was indicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, for conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana into this country. He later pled guilty, and was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison, (which presumably explains his current confinement). Sometime after Petitioner was convicted and sentenced, he filed a direct appeal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming that the trial court had committed several errors during sentencing. His claims were rejected, and the Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence. United States v. Purchess, 107 F.3d 1261 (7th Cir. 1997). Petitioner later challenged his conviction and/or sentence in a motion brought under 28 U.S.C. 2255, but that motion was denied by the trial court. Petitioner filed two or three other motions, which also were denied. In Purchess I, Petitioner attempted to challenge his conviction and sentence in a habeas corpus petition brought under 28 U.S.C. 2241. That action was summarily dismissed, because, as a general rule, a federal prisoner cannot challenge his conviction or sentence in a 2241 habeas corpus petition. Undeterred by his past failures, Petitioner is once again attempting to challenge his conviction and sentence in his current 2241 habeas corpus petition. He is presently claiming, much like he did in Purchess I, that his conviction and sentence should be vacated because of defects in the indictment process by which he was charged. The Court finds, however, that Petitioner cannot raise his current claims for relief in a 2 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 3 of 9 2241 habeas corpus petition. It will therefore be recommended that this action, like Purchess I, be summarily 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. Abdullah v. Hedrick, 392 F.3d 957, 959 (8th Cir. 2004), cert. denied, 125 S.Ct. 2984 (2005). 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." (Emphasis added.) Thus, "[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." Hill v. Morrison, 349 F.3d 1089, 1091 (8th Cir. 2003). 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. No court has jurisdiction to hear such a challenge under 28 U.S.C. 2241 (or otherwise), 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). The "inadequate or ineffective remedy" exception is sometimes called the 3 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 4 of 9 "savings clause," (Abdullah, 392 F.3d at 959), because when it applies, it can save a 2241 habeas petition from being dismissed under the 2255 exclusive remedy rule. In this case, it is readily apparent that Petitioner is challenging the validity of his federal criminal conviction and sentence. Therefore, unless the savings clause applies, the present petition is barred by 2255's exclusive remedy rule. In some cases, a 2241 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 judge so the prisoner's claims can be addressed on the merits there. Here, however, Petitioner is precluded from seeking relief under 2255, because he has already sought such relief once before. Any new request for 2255 relief that might now come before the trial court would have to be treated as a "second or successive" 2255 motion, which, under the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, ("AEDPA"), could not be entertained by the trial court without the prior approval of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the circuit where Petitioner was convicted. 28 U.S.C. 2244(b)(3) and 2255 (final paragraph).2 2 According to the final paragraph of 28 U.S.C. 2255: "A second or successive motion [under 2255] must be certified as provided in section 2244 by a panel of the appropriate court of appeals to contain (1) newly discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense; or (2) a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable." 28 U.S.C. 2244(b)(3) provides that: 4 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 5 of 9 Without a pre-authorization order from the appropriate circuit court, a trial court cannot exercise jurisdiction over a second or successive 2255 motion. Nunez v. United States, 96 F.3d 990, 991 (7th Cir. 1996); see also Boykin v. United States, No. 99-3369 (8th Cir. 2000), 2000 WL 1610732 (unpublished opinion). Because the instant Petitioner has not obtained a pre-authorization order from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the trial court judge could not entertain a new 2255 motion at this time. Id. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to construe the present habeas corpus petition as a 2255 motion and attempt to transfer this matter to the court in which Petitioner was convicted and sentenced. It also appears that any 2255 motion that Petitioner might attempt to bring before the trial court at this time would be time-barred under the one-year statute of limitations applicable to 2255 motions. 28 U.S.C. 2255[ 6 ]. For this additional reason, it would be inappropriate to construe the present petition to be a 2255 motion, and then transfer it to the trial court. "(A) Before a second or successive application permitted by this section is filed in the district court, the applicant shall move in the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider the application. (B) A motion in the court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider a second or successive application shall be determined by a three-judge panel of the court of appeals. (C) The court of appeals may authorize the filing of a second or successive application only if it determines that the application makes a prima facie showing that the application satisfies the requirements of this subsection. (D) The court of appeals shall grant or deny the authorization to file a second or successive application not later than 30 days after the filing of the motion. (E) The grant or denial of an authorization by a court of appeals to file a second or successive application shall not be appealable and shall not be the subject of a petition for rehearing or for a writ of certiorari. 5 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 6 of 9 Furthermore, it appears that Petitioner may have deliberately elected to seek relief under the 2241 habeas corpus statute, because he believes the remedy provided by 2255 is "inadequate or ineffective to test the legality" of his sentence. He apparently thinks that his current petition is exempt from 2255's exclusive remedy rule under the savings clause, and that he can challenge his conviction and sentence in a habeas proceeding, because he is not presently eligible for relief under 2255. Such reasoning, however, must be rejected. The rule against successive 2255 motions, and the one-year statute of limitations, 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 rules governing successive 2255 motions, and the statute of limitations, to be so easily evaded. Thus, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has expressly confirmed 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). See also 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"); Abdullah, 392 F.3d at 959 (" 2255 is not inadequate or ineffective merely because the claim was 6 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 7 of 9 previously raised in a 2255 motion and denied, or because a remedy under that section is time-barred"); United States ex rel Perez v. Warden, FMC Rochester, 286 F.3d 1059, 106162 (8th Cir.) (reaffirming that 2255 is not rendered inadequate or ineffective by operation of the rules limiting successive 2255 motions), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 869 (2002). "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 his first 2255 motion." In re: Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611 (7th Cir. 1998). In other words, " 2255 is not inadequate or ineffective," thereby allowing a prisoner to challenge his conviction or sentence in a 2241 habeas corpus petition, "where a petitioner had any opportunity to present his claim beforehand." Abdullah, 392 F.3d at 963. Applying this rule here, it is clear that Petitioner cannot seek habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241, because his current claims for relief could have been raised in his direct appeal, or in his previous 2255 motion. He cannot claim that 2255 has become "inadequate or ineffective" simply because he previously failed to raise such claims, and he is now procedurally barred from raising them in a 2255 motion. III. CONCLUSION In sum, the Court finds that: (1) Petitioner's current application for habeas corpus relief challenges the validity of the conviction and sentence entered by the trial court in his federal criminal case; (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 relief under 2255 by the rules governing successive petitions and the statute of limitations; 7 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 8 of 9 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. Thus, the Court concludes that Petitioner's current 2241 habeas corpus petition cannot be entertained here, and that this action must be summarily dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. See DeSimone, 805 F.2d at 323-24 ( 2241 habeas petition challenging prior criminal conviction was properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, where petitioner had not demonstrated that 2255 motion was an inadequate or ineffective remedy); Abdullah, 392 F.3d at 964 ("[b]ecause Abdullah did not show that 2255 was inadequate or ineffective, the district court correctly concluded that it had no jurisdiction to consider his claim in a 2241 petition"). IV. RECOMMENDATION Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that: 1. Petitioner's application for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241, (Docket No. 1), be DENIED; and 2. This action be summarily DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction. Dated: March 17, 2006 s/Jeanne J. Graham JEANNE J. GRAHAM United States Magistrate Judge Pursuant to D. Minn. LR 72.2(b), any party may object to this Report and Recommendation by filing and serving specific, written objections by April 5, 2006. A party may respond to the objections within ten days after service thereof. Any objections or responses filed under this rule shall not exceed 3,500 words. A District Judge shall make a de novo determination of those portions to which objection is made. Failure to comply with this procedure shall operate 8 Case 0:06-cv-01033-PAM-JJG Document 2 Filed 03/17/2006 Page 9 of 9 as a forfeiture of the objecting party's right to seek review in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Unless the parties are prepared to stipulate that the District Court is not required by 28 U.S.C. 636 to review a transcript of the hearing in order to resolve all objections made to this Report and Recommendation, the party making the objections shall timely order and cause to be filed within ten days a complete transcript of the hearing. 9

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