MINES v. JOHNSON
OPINION. Signed by Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 8/28/2017. (rtm, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
No. 17-4493 (JBS)
Rasheen Mines, Petitioner pro se
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 420
Fairton, NJ 08320
SIMANDLE, Chief Judge:
Rasheen Mines, a federal prisoner confined at FCI Fairton,
New Jersey, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, asking the Court to resentence him
without the career offender sentencing enhancement. Petition,
Docket Entry 1. For the reasons expressed below, this Court will
dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.
A jury convicted Petitioner and his co-defendants of
conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951(a),
(b)(1), and (b)(3), and the Travel Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1952(a)(2),
(a)(3)(B), (b) and (2); substantive violations of the Hobbs Act
and the Travel Act; brandishing a firearm in connection with a
crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and (2);
and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, under 18
U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and (2). See Amended Judgment, United States
v. Mines, Cr. No. 06–126–JBS–4 (D.N.J. entered May 1, 2007),
Docket Entry 147 at 1. Petitioner received a prison sentence of
480 months. Id. at 2.1 The Third Circuit affirmed the conviction
and sentence. United States v. Hernandez, 306 F. App'x 719, 723
(3d Cir. 2009). The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. Mines
v. United States, 558 U.S. 905 (2009).
Petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct
his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on October 7, 2010
raising various ineffective assistance of counsel claims. This
Court denied the motion. Mines v. United States, No. 10-5163,
2013 WL 6187185, at *2 (D.N.J. Nov. 26, 2013), certificate of
appealability denied, No. 14-4059 (3d Cir. June 8, 2015).
Petitioner thereafter filed a motion in the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)
requesting permission to file a second or successive § 2255
motion. In re: Rasheen Mines, No. 16-2545 (3d Cir. stayed May
The court takes judicial notice of this public record.
26, 2016).2 Petitioner argued his sentence was unconstitutional
due to the Supreme Court’s new decision in Johnson v. United
States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015)(holding residual clause of Armed
Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) was void for vagueness).
Petitioner filed the instant petition on June 16, 2017. He
argues that his state court burglary conviction is broader than
the generic burglary charge, meaning he can no longer be
considered a career offender due to the Supreme Court’s decision
in Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016) (holding a
prior conviction does not qualify as the generic form of a
predicate violent felony offense listed in the ACCA if an
element of the crime of conviction is broader than an element of
the generic offense). He asks the Court to resentence him
without the career offender designation.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Petitioner brings this petition as a pro se litigant. The
Court has an obligation to liberally construe pro se pleadings
and to hold them to less stringent standards than more formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007); Higgs v. Attorney Gen. of the U.S., 655 F.3d 333, 339
(3d Cir. 2011), as amended (Sept. 19, 2011) (citing Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). A pro se habeas petition and
The court takes judicial notice of this public record.
any supporting submissions must be construed liberally and with
a measure of tolerance. See Royce v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 118 (3d
Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney Gen., 878 F.2d 714, 721–22 (3d
Cir. 1989); United States v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d
Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 912 (1970).
Nevertheless, a federal district court must dismiss a
habeas corpus petition if it appears from the face of the
petition that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. 28
U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4 (made applicable through Rule 1(b)); see
also McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); Siers v.
Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S.
Section 2241 “confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the
petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the
validity but the execution of his sentence.” Coady v. Vaughn,
251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001). A challenge to the validity of
a federal conviction or sentence must be brought under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. See Jackman v. Shartle, 535 F. App’x 87, 88 (3d Cir.
2013) (per curiam) (citing Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d
117, 120 (3d Cir. 2002)). “[Section] 2255 expressly prohibits a
district court from considering a challenge to a prisoner's
federal sentence under § 2241 unless the remedy under § 2255 is
‘inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
detention.’” Snyder v. Dix, 588 F. App’x 205, 206 (3d Cir. 2015)
(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)); see also In re Dorsainvil, 119
F.3d 245, 249 (3d Cir. 1997).
“A § 2255 motion is inadequate or ineffective only where
the petitioner demonstrates that some limitation or procedure
would prevent a § 2255 proceeding from affording him a full
hearing and adjudication of his wrongful detention claim.”
Cradle v. U.S. ex rel. Miner, 290 F.3d 536, 538 (3d Cir. 2002)
(citations omitted). “Section 2255 is not inadequate or
ineffective merely because the sentencing court does not grant
relief, the one-year statute of limitations has expired, or the
petitioner is unable to meet the stringent gatekeeping
requirements of . . . § 2255.” Id. at 539 (citations omitted).
“It is the inefficacy of the remedy, not the personal inability
to use it, that is determinative.” Id. at 538 (citation
omitted); see also Okereke, 307 F.3d at 120-21.
Petitioner does not argue that he is innocent of the
offense for which he was convicted. Instead, he asserts the
career offender sentencing enhancement no longer applies to his
sentence. “[B]ecause he is challenging his career offender
designation and is not claiming that he is now innocent of the
predicate offense, he does not fall within the ‘safety valve’
exception created in In re Dorsainvil and cannot proceed under §
2241.” Scott v. Shartle, 574 F. App'x 152, 155 (3d Cir. 2014).
See also United States v. Brown, 456 F. Appx. 79, 81 (3d Cir.
2012) (per curiam) (holding prisoner not entitled to proceed
under § 2255's “safety valve” when he “makes no allegation that
he is actually innocent of the crime for which he was convicted,
but instead asserts only that he is ‘innocent’ of being a career
offender”) (internal citation omitted), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct.
201 (2012). The Court therefore lacks jurisdiction over the
petition under § 2241.
Whenever a civil action is filed in a court that lacks
jurisdiction, “the court shall, if it is in the interests of
justice, transfer such action . . . to any other such court in
which the action . . . could have been brought at the time it
was filed.” 28 U.S.C. § 1631. As Petitioner has already filed a
§ 2255 motion, he would need permission from the Third Circuit
before this Court would have jurisdiction over a second or
successive § 2255 motion. The Court finds that it is not in the
interests of justice to transfer this habeas petition to the
Third Circuit as Petitioner already has a § 2244(b) motion
pending in that court. In re: Rasheen Mines, No. 16-2545 (3d
Cir. stayed May 26, 2016).3 Nothing in this opinion, however,
Petitioner indicated in his original filing that he had not
“ever filed a motion in a United States Court of Appeals under
28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A), seeking permission to file a second
or successive Section 2255 motion to challenge this conviction
or sentence[.]” Petition ¶ 10(b). The Court reminds Petitioner
that submissions to the Court are done under penalty of perjury,
should be construed as expressing any view of the merits of
Petitioner's presently pending motion under § 2244(b) in the
Court of Appeals.
For the reasons stated above, the petition is dismissed for
lack of jurisdiction. An accompanying Order will be entered.
August 28, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
U.S. District Judge
as Petitioner acknowledged on the signature page of the
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