Valles v. Thomas
MEMORANDUM The pending Petition fails to show that Valles instant claims fall within the statutory exceptions outlined above. There is also no indication that Petitioner has been granted leave to file a second or successive habeas corpus petition by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Consequently, under the standards announced in McCleskey and the requirements set forth in § 2244(a), Valles pending case is a second or successive petition which cannot be entertained by this Court. An appropriate Order will enter.Signed by Honorable Richard P. Conaboy on 6/26/12. (cc, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
JUAN VICTOR VALLES
CIVIL NO. 3:CV-12-1173
WARDEN J. E. THOMAS,
This pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 was filed on behalf of Juan Victor Valles, an inmate
presently confined at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg,
The Petition is signed by USP-
Lewisburg inmate Jose Cristobal Cardona.
28 U.S.C. § 2242 permits
the filing of a habeas corpus petition by someone acting on behalf
of the Petitioner.1
Petitioner has also filed a request for leave to proceed in
While Inmate Cardona may sign the § 2241 petition on
behalf of Valles, there is still the issue of is Cardona, as a pro
se litigant, can adequately represent Valles’ interests. A party
may represent his or her own interests in federal court. See
Winkelman v. Parma City School District, 127 S.Ct. 1994, 1999
(2007). However, it is well recognized that non-attorneys cannot
litigate the rights of others. Collinsgru v. Palmyra Board Of
Education, 161 F.3d 225, 232 (3d Cir. 1998). Pursuant to the above
discussion, Cardona is precluded from pro se representation of
Valles’ interests in federal court.
forma pauperis as well as a motion seeking appointment of counsel.
See Docs. 3 & 4.
Named as Respondent is USP-Lewisburg Warden J. E.
For the reasons outlined below, Petitioner will be granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis for the sole purpose of the
filing of this matter, however, his petition will be dismissed as a
second or successive petition.2
Petitioner’s pending action does not challenge the legality of
his federal criminal conviction or the resulting sentence. Rather,
the Petition initally contends that Valles is being “illegally
restrained in his liberty.”
Doc. 1, ¶ I.
He claims entitlement to
federal habeas corpus relief regarding his “placement in the USPLewisburg
“Special Management Unit (SMU).”
Id. at ¶ II.
petition further contends that due to his refusal to participate in
the reconditioning aspect of his SMU program, Valles faces a
“potential stripping of his good time credits.”
Id. at ¶ III.
On May 24, 2012, Inmate Cardona filed a similar, at most times
identical § 2241 action on behalf of Valles with this Court.
Valles v. Thompson Civil No. 3:12-CV-978.3
Both actions vaguely
assert that Petitioner potentially faces a loss of good time
credits for refusing to participate in recommended SMU programming.
By Memorandum and Order dated June 19, 2012, Petitioner’s initially
Petitioner’s request for appointment of counsel will be
dismissed without prejudice on the basis of mootnes.
Valles’ initial petition listed the USP-Lewisburg Warden as
being named Jeffrey Thompson.
filed action was dismissed without prejudice and Valles was advised
that he could reassert his claims in a properly filed civil rights
Section 2241 petitions are subject to judicial screening
pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the
United States District Courts, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (1977).
Patton v. Fenton, 491 F. Supp. 156, 158-59 (M.D. Pa. 1979) (the
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts are applicable to § 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b) of the
Section 2254 Rules.); Mutope v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and
Parole, Civil No. 3:CV-07-472, 2007 WL 846559, at *2 (M.D. Pa. Mar.
19, 2007)(Kosik, J.).
Rule 4 states in relevant part 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
28 U.S.C. § 2244(a) and Rule 9(b)4 of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, 28 U.S.C.
foll. § 2254 (1977), set forth the pertinent authority for
determination as to whether second or successive habeas corpus
Rule 9(b) of the Habeas Corpus Rules provides:
A second or successive petition may be dismissed if the
judge finds that it fails to allege new or different grounds for
relief and the prior determination was on the merits, or, if new
and different grounds are alleged, the judge finds that the failure
of petitioner to assert those grounds in a prior petition
constituted an abuse of the writ.
petitions may be reviewed by federal district courts.5 See Graham
v. Warden, FCI-Allenwood, 2009 WL 326010 *1 (3d Cir. Oct. 13,
2009)(§ 2244(a) bars second or successive challenges to the
legality of detention including § 2241 petitions which challenge
the execution of a federal sentence).
The Supreme Court in McCleskey vs. Zant, 499 U.S. 467, 483
(1991) expanded § 2244 to also preclude a person from raising a new
claim in a subsequent habeas petition that he could have raised in
his first habeas petition:
Our most recent decisions confirm that a petitioner can
abuse the writ by raising a claim in a subsequent
petition that he could have raised in his first,
regardless of whether the failure to raise it earlier
stemmed from a deliberate choice.
McCleskey, 499 U.S. at 489.
Following the 1996 amendments, Section 2244 now provides in
No circuit or district judge shall be required to
entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus
to inquire into the detention of a person pursuant
to a judgment of a court of the United states if it
appears that the legality of such detention has been
determined by a judge or court of the United States
on a prior application for a writ of habeas corpus,
except as provided in section 2255.
A claim presented in a second or successive habeas
corpus application under section 2254 that was
presented ina prior application shall be dismissed.
The Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts are applicable to § 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)
of the Section 2254 Rules.); Mutope v. Pennsylvania Board of
Probation and Parole, Civil No. 3:CV-07-472, 2007 WL 846559, at *2
(M.D. Pa. Mar. 19, 2007)(Kosik, J.).
A claim presented in a second or successive habeas
corpus application under section 2254 that was not
presented in a prior application shall be dismissed
the applicant shows that the claim relies on a
new rule of constitutional law made retroactive
to cases on collateral review by the Supreme
Court, that was previously unavailable, or
(i) the factual predicate for the claim could
not have been discovered previously through the
existence of due diligence; and
(ii) the facts underlying the claim, if proven
and viewed in the light as a whole, would be
sufficient to establish by clear and convincing
evidence that, but for constitutional error, no
reasonable fact finder would have found the
applicant guilty of the underlying offense.
(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
clearly filed a prior § 2241 action in this district
court regarding the same SMU programming which is the subject of
his pending action.
With the exception of describing the SMU
program as being faith based, his pending matter does not include
any arguments which were not included in his initial § 2441 action,
Petitioner has not presented any substantive arguments as to why he
failed to include that new assertion in his prior federal habeas
It is particularly noted that there is still no claim by
Valles that his refusal to participate in SMU programming has
actually had an adverse affect on the duration or execution of his
sentence at this point in time
The pending Petition fails to show that Valles’ instant claims
fall within the statutory exceptions outlined above.
There is also
no indication that Petitioner has been granted leave to file a
second or successive habeas corpus petition by the United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Consequently, under the
standards announced in McCleskey and the requirements set forth in
§ 2244(a), Valles’ pending case is a second or successive petition
which cannot be entertained by this Court. An appropriate Order
S/Richard P. Conaboy
RICHARD P. CONABOY
United States District Judge
DATED: JUNE 25, 2012
If Petitioner can present facts showing that he is being
required to participate in an SMU program and that his refusal to
do so has actually adversely affected the duration or execution of
his sentence at this point in time, he may file a motion for
reconsideration withing fourteen (14) days of the date of this
Memorandum and Order.
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