Brown v. United States of America
MEMORANDUM OPINION. See for complete details. Signed by District Judge Henry E. Hudson on 10/18/2016. Clerk mailed copy to pro se Petitioner. (nbrow)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
ERIC D. WILSON,
L lE ~
OCT I 8 20IS
CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT
Civil Action No. 3: 16CV177
(Dismissing 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Petition)
Juleen Brown, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, submitted this Petition for a
Writ of Habeas Corpus("§ 2241 Petition," ECF No. 1.) The matter is before the Court
for preliminary review. See Rule 4, Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the U.S. District
Courts ("If 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 petitioner."). 1 For the reasons set forth below, the
§ 2241 Petition will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
A. Procedural History
Brown was convicted in this Court of "conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine,
distribution of crack cocaine, and aiding or inducing the distribution of crack cocaine."
United States v. Brown, No. 97-4242, 1998 WL 66590, at *1 (4th Cir. Feb. 19, 1998).
Thereafter, the Court denied a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion filed by Brown. See United
Rule 1(b) of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases permits this Court to apply the Rules
Governing § 2254 Cases to petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Rule l(b), Rules Governing
§ 2254 Cases; see Aguayo v. Harvey, 476 F.3d 971, 976 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
States v. Brown, No. 99-7008, 1999 WL 1020772, at *1 (4th Cir. Nov. 10, 1999). In her
§ 2241 Petition, Brown contends that she is entitled to relief because this Court lacked
jurisdiction to prosecute her. As explained below, it is plain under the precedent in the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that Brown may not utilize 28
U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge her conviction or sentence.
B. Motions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Compared to Petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
A motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 '"provides the primary means of collateral
attack"' on the imposition of a federal conviction and sentence, and such motion must be
filed with the sentencing court. See Pack v. Yusujf, 218 F.3d 448, 451 (5th Cir. 2000)
(quoting Cox v. Warden, Fed. Det. Ctr., 911 F.2d 1111, 1113 (5th Cir. 1990)). A federal
inmate may not proceed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 unless he or she demonstrates that the
remedy afforded by 28 U.S.C. § 2255 "is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of
his detention." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). 2 "For example, attacks on the execution of a
sentence are properly raised in a § 2241 petition." In re Vial, 115 F .3d 1192, 1194 n.5
(4th Cir. 1997) (citing Bradshaw v. Story, 86 F.3d 164, 166 (10th Cir. 1996); Hanahan v.
Luther, 693 F.2d 629, 632 n.1 (7th Cir. 1982)). Nevertheless, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has emphasized that "the remedy afforded by§ 2255 is not
rendered inadequate or ineffective merely because an individual has been unable to
"This 'inadequate and ineffective' exception is known as the 'savings clause' to [the]
Wilson v. Wilson, No. 1:llcv645 (TSE/TCB), 2012
limitations imposed by § 2255."
WL 1245671, at *3 (E.D. Va. Apr. 12, 2012) (quoting In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 333 (4th Cir.
obtain relief under that provision or because an individual is procedurally barred from
filing a§ 2255 motion." Id. (citations omitted). 3
The Fourth Circuit has stressed that an inmate may proceed under § 2241 to
challenge his conviction "in only very limited circumstances." United States v. Poole,
531 F.3d 263, 269 (4th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The "controlling test," id., in the Fourth Circuit is as follows:
[Section] 2255 is inadequate and ineffective to test the legality of a
conviction when: ( 1) at the time of conviction, settled law of this circuit or
the Supreme Court established the legality of the conviction; (2) subsequent
to the prisoner's direct appeal and first § 2255 motion, the substantive law
changed such that the conduct of which the prisoner was convicted is
deemed not to be criminal; and (3) the prisoner cannot satisfy the
gatekeeping provisions of § 2255 because the new rule is not one of
In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 333-34 (4th Cir. 2000) (emphasis added). The Fourth Circuit
formulated this test to provide a remedy for the "fundamental defect presented by a
situation in which an individual is incarcerated for conduct that is not criminal but,
through no fault of his [or her] own, [he or she] has no source of redress." Id. at 333 n.3
C. Analysis of Brown's 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Petition
Brown fails to satisfy the second prong of In re Jones.
See id. at 334.
Specifically, Brown fails to demonstrate that "subsequent to [her] direct appeal and [her]
Brown cannot avoid the bar on filing successive 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motions by suggesting that
she is filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. "Call it a motion for a
new trial, arrest of judgment, mandamus, prohibition, coram nobis, coram vobis, audit
querela ... , the name makes no difference. It is substance that controls." Melton v. United
States, 359 F.3d 855, 857 (7th Cir. 2004) (citing Thurman v. Gramley, 97 F.3d 185, 186-87 (7th
first§ 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such that the conduct of which [she] was
convicted is deemed not to be criminal." Id. (emphasis added). Brown's conduct in
distributing crack and conspiring to distribute crack remains a crime.
Brown's § 2241 Petition will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The Court will deny a
certificate of appealability.
An appropriate Final Order will accompany this Memorandum Opinion.
HENRY E. HUDSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Date:O::t: II 201'
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