Mota v. Laughlin et al
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION dismissing petition. A separate Judgment shall be entered. Signed by District Judge Keith Starrett on February 11, 2013 (dsl)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
ELVIS MOTA, #53342-054
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:13-cv-5-KS-
VANCE LAUGHLIN, ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., and
CHARLES E. SAMULES, JR.
This matter is before the Court, sua sponte, for consideration of dismissal. On January 9,
2013, Petitioner Mota, a federal inmate currently incarcerated at the Adams County Correctional
Center (ACCC), Natchez, Mississippi, filed this pro se Petition for habeas corpus relief pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Upon liberal review of the Petition and subsequent pleadings, the Court has
reached the following conclusions.
Petitioner was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possession of a controlled
substance with intent to distribute in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York. U.S. v. Mota, No. 1:05-cr-1301 (S.D. N.Y. Jan. 30, 2007). As a result, Petitioner
was sentenced to serve 130 months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), followed by a
4 -year term of supervised release. Petitioner’s conviction and sentence was affirmed by the
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. See U.S. v. Mota, No. 07-0221 (2nd Cir.
June 24, 2008).
A. Southern District of New York filings
On April 22, 2009, Mota filed a pro se application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241, which the sentencing court construed as a Motion to Vacate pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255. The Motion was dismissed by the Southern District of New York as timebarred. See Mota v. USA, No. 1:09-cv-5189 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 30, 2009). On July 15, 2010, Mota
filed another pro se application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which
the sentencing court deemed an unauthorized second or successive § 2255 Motion and
transferred to the Second Circuit. See Mota v Laughlin, No. 1:10-cv-6698 (S.D. N.Y. Sept. 9,
2010). On January 25, 2011, the Second Circuit denied Mota permission to proceed with the
second or successive petition. See Mota v. Laughlin, No. 10-4317 (2nd Cir. Jan. 25, 2011).1
B. Southern District of Mississippi filings
On May 19, 2011, Mota filed a pro se application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241, in this Court. See Mota v. Laughlin, No. 5:11-cv-79 (S.D.Miss. Oct. 21,
2011). Mota asserted allegations he previously presented to the Southern District of New York
and the Second Circuit, regarding his arrest, prosecution and conviction and he added claims
regarding the validity of the immigration detainer lodged against him. He also claimed that his
constitutional right of access to the courts was violated by a mail conspiracy between two
Assistant United States Attorneys and prison officials. The Court concluded that Mota was
challenging the validity of his conviction and sentence, that he failed to satisfy the requirements
of the savings clause, that he was not in custody for purposes of the immigration detainer, that
Mota also filed a pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, § 1985, § 1986, and
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), alleging that various officials violated his
federally protected rights when he was arrested, searched, subsequently prosecuted, and convicted. The
Southern District of New York dismissed Mota’s claims, with prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), (iii), Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3), and Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). See Mota
v. DEA, No. 1:10-cv-9543 (S.D. N.Y. May 3, 2011). In addition, Mota filed a case involving the same
facts under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which was dismissed by the Southern District of New York
pursuant to Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Mota v. USA, No. 1:10-cv-9623
(S.D.N.Y. Feb. 23, 2011).
his access to the Court claims had already been litigated and any recent conditions claims were
not properly pursued in a habeas petition. See Mota v. Laughlin, No. 5:11-cv-79 (S.D.Miss. Oct.
21, 2011)(citing § 2255(e); Pack v. Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 454 (5th Cir. 2000); Solsona v.
Warden, F.C.I., 821 F.2d 1129, 1132 (5th Cir. 1987)). Therefore, this Court determined that it
was without jurisdiction to consider the claims brought in the § 2241 case and dismissed the
On June 19, 2012, Mota filed another pro se application for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, in this Court. See Mota v. Laughlin, No. 5:12-cv-86 (S.D. Miss.
Feb. 8, 2013). In this petition, Mota purported to challenge a 2003 arrest warrant issued by the
State of New York based on a conviction for driving under the influence, and he continued to
assert challenges to his confinement that he had already presented to either the Southern District
of New York, the Second Circuit or this Court. The Court found that to the extent the petition
sought relief based on the 2003 New York arrest warrant, it was dismissed for failure to
prosecute and failure to comply with the Orders of the Court under Rule 41(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court also concluded that Mota was not entitled to mandamus
relief and to the extent the petition was repetitive to at least one of Mota’s previous habeas cases,
it was an abuse of the writ. The Court entered the following sanction warning:
The Court is warning Mota that any future attempts of a similar nature will be
Mota also filed a pro se Complaint pursuant to the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, in this Court.
See Mota v. CCA, No. 5:11-cv-92 (S.D.Miss. Jan. 27, 2012). In this particular case, all of Mota’s claims
were based on the premise that his criminal conviction and sentence are illegal and the only basis for his
custody by the BOP is an immigration detainer. Therefore, his prison records are inaccurate in violation
of the Privacy Act. The Court concluded that prison records reflecting Mota is a federal inmate convicted
of a federal offense currently serving a sentence of imprisonment that has not been overturned or
invalidated by any Court are accurate and Mota was not entitled to relief.
found to be an abuse of the writ and will likely lead to the imposition of sanctions,
including but not limited to monetary fines or restrictions on his ability to file pro se
actions in this Court.
See Mem. Op. [ECF No.11] at 9, in Mota v. Laughlin, No. 5:12-cv-86 (S. D. Miss. 2013).
C. Present Habeas Petition
Mota filed the habeas petition currently before the Court prior to the Court’s disposition of
his 2012 habeas petition, Mota v. Laughlin, No. 5:12-cv-86. In the current petition, Mota details
the history of his criminal case and subsequent appeals, his habeas corpus cases, and his other
federal court filings. Mota does not assert any new grounds for habeas relief but simply repeats
the claims presented in his previous filings and reiterates his belief that he has been “illegally
imprisoned for more than 7 years.” Pet. [ECF No. 1] at 2. As relief, he is requesting restoration
of his liberty. Id. at 12.
The majority of Mota’s filings in this case relate to his federal conviction for conspiracy to
distribute and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. As detailed above,
the validity of this conviction and sentence and the lawfulness of Mota’s current imprisonment
have been repeatedly upheld by the federal courts. The Court finds that the repetitive claims
presented in the current petition are nothing more than an attempt by Mota to receive a result
contrary to the result he previously obtained from either the Southern District of New York, the
Second Circuit, or this Court. The Fifth Circuit has made clear that “[s]ection 2241 is simply not
available to prisoners as a means of challenging a result previously obtained from a court
considering their petition for habeas relief.” Kinder v. Purdy, 222 F.3d 209, 214 (5th Cir.2000).
Therefore, the Court finds that to the extent this current request for habeas relief repeats Mota’s
previous habeas petitions it is an abuse of the writ. See Davis v. Fetchel, 150 F.3d 486, 490-91
(5th Cir. 1998)(finding third § 2241 petition constituted an abuse of the writ); Falcetta v. U.S.,
403 F. App’x 882, 883 (5th Cir. 2010)(finding to the extent inmate’s § 2241 petition raises issues
already decided it is an abuse of the writ); Jennings v. Menifee, 214 F. App’x 406, 407 (5th Cir.
2007)(affirming dismissal of federal inmate’s repetitive § 2241 petition as an abuse of the writ).
Since Mota filed this petition prior to the sanction warning being issued in Mota v. Laughlin, No.
5:12-cv-86, the Court will not impose a sanction at this time. With that said, the Court finds that
Mota is now clearly on notice that any future attempts of a similar nature will be found to be an
abuse of the writ and will lead to the imposition of sanctions. These sanctions could include, but
are not limited to, monetary fines or restrictions on Mota’s ability to file pro se actions in this
The Court further finds that to the extent this latest petition can possibly be construed as
asserting any non-repetitive habeas claims, such claims are properly pursued in a § 2255 petition
and dismissal for failure to satisfy the requirements of the savings clause is proper. See ReyesRequena v. United States, 243 F.3d 893, 900-01 (5th Cir. 2001); Pack v. Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448,
452-53 (5th Cir. 2000). Likewise, to the extent this latest habeas petition can possibly be
construed as presenting new or recent conditions of confinement claims, these claims are not
properly pursued in a habeas petition. See Pierre v. United States, 525 F.2d 933, 935-36 (5th
Cir. 1976) (“Simply stated, habeas is not available to review questions unrelated to the cause of
detention. Its sole function is to grant relief from unlawful imprisonment or custody and it
cannot be used properly for any other purpose.”). This should not be news to Mota since this
Court has previously advised him that habeas relief is not available for conditions of
As a final point, Mota mentions that on November 19, 2012, he received a “Final
Administrative Removal Order” from the United States Government. However, a petitioner’s
“sole means of obtaining judicial review” of a final order of removal is “to file a petition for
review in the appropriate court of appeals.” Zamarripa-Torres v. BICE, 2009 WL 2981901, *1
(5th Cir. 2009)(citing Rosales v. BICE, 426 F.3d 733, 736 (5th Cir. 2005))(finding “the REAL
ID Act has divested federal courts of jurisdiction over § 2241 petitions attacking removal
orders”). As such, any claims Mota may be attempting to assert regarding this removal order are
not properly before this Court.
The Court finds that to the extent this petition is repetitive to Mota’s previous habeas
cases, it is dismissed as an abuse of the writ. Further, the Court finds that to the extent the
petition asserts any non-repetitive habeas claims, such claims are properly pursued in a § 2255
petition and Mota has failed to meet the requirements to proceed under the savings clause. To
the extent this petition can be construed as asserting any new or non-repetitive conditions claims,
these claims are not properly pursued in a habeas corpus petition. The Court also finds that it
lacks jurisdiction over this petition to the extent it seeks relief from a Final Administrative
As a final point, the Court will impose the following sanction warning in accordance with
Section II of this Memorandum Opinion:
The Court finds that to the extent this current request for habeas relief
repeats Mota’s previous habeas petitions it is an abuse of the writ. The Court is
warning Mota that any future attempts of a similar nature will be found to be
an abuse of the writ and will lead to the imposition of sanctions, including but
not limited to monetary fines or restrictions on his ability to file pro se actions in
A Final Judgment in accordance with this Memorandum Opinion will be issued.
SO ORDERED, this the 11th day of February, 2013.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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