CONYERS v. HOLLINGSWORTH
OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 10/27/2015. (drw)n.m.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JAMES JUNIOR CONYERS,
Civ. No. 14-7035 (NLH)
James Junior Conyers, # 25915-083
F.C.I. Fort Dix
P.O. Box 2000
Fort Dix, NJ 08640
Petitioner Pro se
HILLMAN, District Judge
This matter is before the Court upon receipt of
Petitioner’s Motion to Amend and Supplement. (ECF No. 2).
the reasons set forth below, Petitioner is granted leave to
amend his petition, provided he submits his amended petition on
the forms provided by the Clerk of the Court.
Petitioner James Junior Conyers is a prisoner confined at
the Federal Correctional Institution (“FCI”) in Fort Dix, New
On November 10, 2014, he paid the filing fee and filed
a petition for writ of habeas corpus under the All Writs Act, 28
U.S.C. § 1651, and under Article I, § 9 of the Constitution.
(Pet. 4, ECF No. 1).
On August 24, 2015, Petitioner filed a
“Motion to Amend and Supplement a Pending § 2241.” (ECF No. 2).
1. Article I, § 9, Clause 2 of the Constitution
As an initial matter, the Court notes that Petitioner
cannot file a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
Article I, § 9, Clause 2 of the Constitution.
The reference to
a Writ of Habeas Corpus in Article I, § 9, Clause 2 of the
Constitution does not confer jurisdiction upon district courts.
Rather, it simply places limitations on when the privilege of a
writ of habeas corpus may be suspended. See U.S. Const. art. I,
§ 9, cl. 2 (“The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall
not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion
the public Safety may require it.”).
Federal courts have jurisdiction and authority to issue
writs of habeas corpus to federal prisoners only through the
statutes enacted by Congress in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1651(a), 2241 and
2255; and, in extremely rare circumstances, through common law. 1
See Brian R. Means, Federal Habeas Manual § 5:5 (June 2013)
(“Federal prisoners challenging their conviction or sentence
must typically seek postconviction relief under 28 U.S.C.A. §
2255. The § 2255 motion, however, is not a petition for writ of
habeas corpus, and federal prisoners are generally precluded
from challenging their convictions or sentences by way of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 2241. Two exceptions to this
rule exist. First, a challenge to the execution of a sentence —
See e.g., Jackman v. Hollingsworth, No. 14-1799, 2015 WL
5693130, at *3 (D.N.J. Sept. 25, 2015) (collecting cases);
United States v. Kirkpatrick, No. 1:96-CR81, 2009 WL 2823658, at
*11 (E.D. Tenn. Aug. 28, 2009) (“Article I, § 9, Clause 2 is not
itself an independent source of jurisdiction for federal courts
to issue the writ of habeas corpus.”); see also Modena v. United
States, No. 1:13-CV-293, 2014 WL 1154612, at *6 (W.D. Mich. Mar.
21, 2014) (holding that federal courts lack jurisdiction to
entertain writs for habeas corpus which demand relief based upon
Article I, § 9, Clause 2 of the Constitution).
in contrast to the imposition of a sentence — is properly filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 2241. And second, on rare occasions,
federal prisoners may attack their convictions and sentences
pursuant to § 2241, as opposed to § 2255, if the § 2255 remedy
is inadequate or ineffective. Federal courts have authority to
issue a writ of error coram nobis under the All Writs Act, 28
U.S.C.A. § 1651(a). The All Writs Act is a residual source of
authority to issue writs that are not otherwise covered by
statute. But this source of federal court power is to be used
only in extraordinary circumstances. And a movant cannot avoid
the restrictions imposed on § 2255 motions by simply labeling
the § 2255 motion as a petition for writ of error coram nobis.
The common law writ of audita querela remains available to
petitioners who raise legal objections that are not cognizable
under existing federal postconviction remedies and is used to
attack a judgment that was correct when rendered, but later
became incorrect because of circumstances that arose after the
judgment was issued. But a federal prisoner may not use the
writ of audita querela where postconviction relief is available
through § 2255 or coram nobis motions. And equitable reasons
alone, even of the most compelling nature, are insufficient to
invoke audita querela.”).
Accordingly, to the extent Petitioner intended to file his
initial Petition (ECF No. 1) pursuant to Article I, § 9, Clause
2 of the Constitution, such a filing was improper and the
Petition is subject to dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.
federal prisoner, any request for a writ of habeas corpus that
Petitioner submits to a federal court is governed by 28 U.S.C.
§§ 2241 or 2255. See Modena v. United States, 450 F. App'x 119,
120 (3d Cir. 2011) (holding that petitioner’s claim under
Article I, § 9, Clause 2 of the Constitution should have been
raised in a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255).
2. All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Likewise, the All Writs Act does not confer jurisdiction on
the Court in this case.
The All Writs Act is a residual source
of authority to issue writs in exceptional circumstances only.
Pennsylvania Bureau of Correction v. U.S. Marshals Serv., 474
U.S. 34, 43 (1985); Massey v. United States, 581 F.3d 172, 174
(3d Cir. 2009).
Moreover, “[w]here a statute specifically
addresses the particular issue at hand, it is that authority,
and not the All Writs Act, that is controlling.” Massey, 581
F.3d at 174 (internal quotation omitted) (cited in Jenkins v.
United States, 450 F. App'x 103, 105 (3d Cir. 2011)).
Because, as set forth above, Petitioner’s claims should
have been raised in a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 or
2255, the All Writs Act does not apply to Petitioner’s claims.
See Jenkins, 450 F. App’x at 105 (“Jenkins’ claims challenging
his sentence should be raised in a § 2255 motion”).
All Writs Act does not provide a proper jurisdictional basis for
the instant Petition.
3. 28 U.S.C. § 2241
Petitioner subsequently filed his Motion to Amend or
Supplement his Petition in order to assert an argument based on
the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Johnson v. United States,
135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). (ECF No. 2).
In this Motion, Petitioner
refers to his Petition as one filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241. (ECF No. 2).
Thus, despite his previously stated bases
for jurisdiction — the All Writs Act and Article I, § 9, Clause
2 of the Constitution — Petitioner has clarified that his
Petition is filed under § 2241.
Without making any
determination as to the merits of such a petition, the Court
finds that the Petition is, at the least, filed pursuant to a
viable source of jurisdiction.
B. Form of the Petition
The Court notes that the Petition was not submitted using
the habeas form supplied by the Clerk of the Court for § 2241
petitions. See AO 242 Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Under
28 U.S.C. § 2241 (12/11).
Local Civil Rule 81.2(a) requires use
of the Court’s form unless the petition is prepared by counsel.
Here, Petitioner filed the Petition pro se and failed to utilize
the Court-provided forms.
Moreover, the Petition in this case fails to substantially
follow the content of the form supplied by the Clerk and, as
such, does not comport with Rule 2 of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases, (amended Dec. 1, 2004), made applicable to §
2241 petitions through Rule 1(b) of the Habeas Rules.
Petitioner will be required to submit an Amended Petition on
Requiring him to do so will assist him,
and the Court, in determining the appropriateness of a petition
under § 2241. See Habeas Rule 2, advisory committee’s note
(“Administrative convenience, of benefit to both the court and
the petitioner, results from the use of a prescribed form.”).
Accordingly, Petitioner will be granted leave to amend his
Petition to assert an argument pursuant to Johnson.
days of the date of this Order, Petitioner shall submit to the
Court an amended Petition — submitted using the forms supplied
by the Clerk of the Court — which sets forth all grounds for
relief, and which otherwise comports with the Habeas Rules.
Petitioner is reminded that his Amended Petition is subject
to screening pursuant to Habeas Rule 4. See Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases, (amended Dec. 1, 2004), made
applicable to § 2241 petitions through Rule 1(b) of the Habeas
In the event that Petitioner fails to submit an Amended
Petition within 45 days, the Court will conduct its sua sponte
screening on the initial Petition, as filed.
For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner’s Motion to Amend or
Supplement his Petition (ECF No. 2) is granted.
shall, within 45 days of the entry of this Order, submit an
Amended Petition using the forms supplied by the Clerk of the
An appropriate Order will be entered.
____s/ Noel L. Hillman____
NOEL L. HILLMAN
United States District Judge
Dated: October 27, 2015
Camden, New Jersey
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?