Spengler v. Chandler
Opinion and Order: The petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and a certificate of appealability is DENIED. (Ordered by Judge Reed C O'Connor on 10/18/2016) (ewd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
FORT WORTH DIVISION
ANDREW R. SPENGLER,
RODNEY W. CHANDLER, Warden,
Civil Action No. 4:15-CV-716-O
OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 filed
by petitioner, Andrew R. Spengler, a federal prisoner confined at the Federal Correctional Institution
in Fort Worth, Texas (FCI-Fort Worth), against Rodney W. Chandler, warden of FCI-Fort Worth,
Respondent. After considering the pleadings and relief sought by Petitioner, the Court has concluded
that the petition should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Petitioner and other off-duty Milwaukee police officers were accused of savagely beating
Frank Jude on the morning of October 24, 2004. Petitioner and his codefendants were charged in
state court with conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and “substantial battery” but acquitted of the charges
following a lengthy trial. Pet’r’s Mem. 2, ECF No. 2. Petitioner was subsequently indicted in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin for conspiracy to deprive another
of civil rights under color of law (Count One) and deprivation of civil rights of another under color
of law (Count Two), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 241 and 242. On July 26, 2007, a federal jury found
Petitioner guilty of the offenses, and, on November 29, 2007, the convicting court sentenced
Petitioner to a total term of 188 months’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay costs and restitution.
J.,United States v. Spengler, Criminal Docket for Case No. 2:06-cr-273-CNC-2, ECF Nos. 160, 196.
Petitioner appealed his convictions and sentences and filed a § 2255 motion to vacate, set aside or
correct his sentences in the convicting court, all to no avail. Id., ECF No. 284.
Petitioner raises the following grounds for habeas relief:
(1) Federal subject matter jurisdiction is absent in the federal prosecution;
(2) He is actually innocent of Count One; and
(3) His consecutive sentences violate the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Clause
against multiple punishments.
Pet. 5-6, ECF No. 1.
As a general rule, a federal prisoner who seeks to challenge collaterally the legality of a
conviction or sentence must do so in a § 2255 motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence.
Padilla v. United States, 416 F.3d 424, 425-26 (5th Cir. 2005); Cox v. Warden, Fed. Det. Ctr., 911
F.2d 1111, 1113 (5th Cir. 1990). Such claims may only be raised in a § 2241 petition if the petitioner
establishes that the remedy under § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
detention. Tolliver v. Dobre, 211 F.3d 876, 877 (5th Cir. 2000). The burden of demonstrating the
inadequacy of the § 2255 remedy rests with the petitioner. Jeffers v. Chandler, 253 F.3d 827, 830
(5th Cir. 2001). In order to meet this burden, a petitioner must show that (1) the claim is based on
a retroactively applicable Supreme Court decision, (2) the claim was foreclosed by circuit law at the
time when the claim should have been raised in his trial, appeal, or first § 2255 motion, and (3) that
retroactively applicable decision establishes that he may have been convicted of a nonexistent
offense. Garland v. Roy, 615 F.3d 391, 394 (5th Cir. 2010); Reyes-Requena v. United States, 243
F.3d 893, 904 (5th Cir. 2001). Although Petitioner raises a savings-clause argument, he fails to meet
the three requirements.
First, Petitioner asserts that his acquittal of the same charges in state court bars prosecution
in federal court, and he relies primarily on Bond v. United States, 564 U.S. 211 (2011). However,
the Supreme Court has not held that Bond, a direct appeal, applies retroactively to cases on collateral
review. Nor does Bond invalidate 18 U.S.C. § 241–i.e., decriminalize Petitioner’s conduct, for
purposes of an actual-innocence claim as to Count One of the indictment. Williams v. Holder, 471
Fed. App’x 318, 2012 WL 1991764, at *1 (5th Cir. June 4, 2012); Bedolla v. Obama, 460 Fed.
App’x 292, 2012 WL386295, at *1 (5th Cir. Feb. 7, 2012); Blodgett v. Martin, 2011 WL 6187097
at *1 (5th Cir. Dec.14, 2011).
Second, while acknowledging that he raised his claims in his § 2255 motion or amendments
to the motion, Petitioner asserts that because the convicting court ruled the claims were procedurally
defaulted, § 2255 is rendered inadequate and ineffective. Pet’r’s Mem. 1, ECF No. 2. He further
asserts that a jurisdictional defect cannot be procedurally defaulted and that if he cannot bring the
claim under § 2255, he must be able to bring the claim under § 2241 or the writ of habeas corpus will
be impermissibly suspended. Although the question of federal subject matter jurisdiction is never
waived, the convicting court addressed and rejected Petitioner’s jurisdictional claim, albeit in the
context of an ineffective-assistance claim. (Pet’r’s App. 3-4, 11, 30, 33-35, ECF No. 3.) Petitioner’s
suspension-of-the-writ contention is also meritless. The savings clause under § 2255 does not violate
the Suspension Clause of the United States Constitution. Wesson v. U.S. Penitentiary, Beaumont,
305 F.3d 343, 346–47 (5th Cir. 2002).
In summary, Petitioner cites to no retroactively applicable Supreme Court decision that would
arguably decriminalize his conduct, nor were his claims foreclosed at the time of his trial, appeal and
§ 2255 motion. Therefore, Petitioner cannot show that the remedy by § 2255 motion is inadequate
or ineffective to test the legality of his convictions or sentences. A § 2241 petition is not an
additional, alternative or supplemental remedy to the one provided by § 2255. Jeffers, 253 F.3d at
830; Pack v. Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 452 (5th Cir. 2000) (quoting Williams v. United States, 323 F.2d
672, 673 (10th Cir.1963)). A prior unsuccessful § 2255 motion or the inability to meet procedural
hurdles under the statute does not make § 2255 inadequate or ineffective. Tolliver, 211 F.3d at 878.
Petitioner has not met the three criteria required to invoke the savings clause of § 2255 as to the
claims presented in this habeas corpus proceeding. The Court is therefore without jurisdiction to
consider the petition. Christopher v. Miles, 342 F.3d 378, 385 (5th Cir. 2003). Because Petitioner’s
claims do not fall within the savings clause of § 2255(e), they are not cognizable in a § 2241 petition.
For the reasons discussed herein, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and a certificate of
appealability is DENIED.
SO ORDERED on this 18th day of October, 2016.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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