Brooks v. Wilson

Filing 15

MEMORANDUM OPINION. SEE OPINION FOR COMPLETE DETAILS. Signed by District Judge Robert E. Payne on 12/05/2017. Copy of Memorandum Opinion sent to counsels of record.(ccol, )

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IN THE UNITED FOR THE STATES DISTRICT COURT p p EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Richmond Division RICHMOND. VA Civil Action No. . 3;16CV857 WILSON, Respondent. MEMORANDUM OPINION Ashley U.S.C. Terrell Brooks, a federal inmate, § 2241 petition {"§ 2241 Petition," reasons set forth below, the § 2241 filed this ECF No. 1). Petition will 28 For the be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. I. Brooks convicted sentence months 328 pled felon under Cir. under ACCA.^ guilty and the in prison. (4th n' i' CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT Petitioner, ERIC C. DEC-•6 201? u ASHLEY TERRELL BROOKS, V fZ. was Armed BACKGROUND to possession sentenced Career Brooks a his firearm mandatory Act Brooks, challenges (§ 2241 Pet. 1-2.) the Criminal United States v. 2008) . to of ("ACCA") 296 F. by minimum of App'x enhanced a 180 327, sentence Brooks contends that in light ^ As noted by the Supreme Court, Federal law forbids certain people-such as convicted felons, persons committed to mental institutions, and drug users-to ship, possess, and receive firearms. § 922(g). In general, the law punishes violation [s] of this ban by up to 10 years' imprisonment. § 924(a)(2). But if the violator has of the decisions Cir. 2015), 2011), he and United States v. no sentence. in United States v. longer has (Id.) On three October response and agreed that, Newbold, Simmons, 649 predicate 24, predicate years." (Resp. Brooks 4, for F.3d 237 ECF No. as defendant's 8.) (4th (4th Cir. for an ACCA filed Respondent in light of Newbold, the F.3d 455 felonies 2017, prior drug offenses no longer qualifies offense' 791 his one of Brooks's "as a ACCA 'serious drug sentence of 15 Respondent further conceded that "no longer qualifies under ACCA and his maximum sentence is only 10 years in prison. amount [of time], prison." (Id. however, failed the Because he has already served that court at 4-5.) should order his release In making this concession. to address how, under the for the United States Court of Appeals from Respondent, established precedent for the Fourth Circuit, the Court had jurisdiction to grant such relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. 2017, Accordingly, the parties to Court file jurisdiction. three by Memorandum Order entered on October 25, appointed further The counsel briefs parties have for with Brooks respect filed or more earlier convictions the for a and to directed the required issue the of briefing. "serious drug offense" or a "violent felony," the Armed Career Criminal Act increases his prison term to a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life. § 924 (e) (1). Johnson v. United (citations omitted). States, 135 S. Ct. 2551, 2555 (2015) For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that it lacks jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to grant Brooks relief. II. Federal JURISDICTION UNDER 28 U.S.C. courts are courts of § 2241 limited jurisdiction, "constrained to exercise only the authority conferred by Article III of the Constitution and affirmatively statute." In re Bulldog Trucking, Cir. (citations omitted). 1998) required, sua jurisdiction sponte, exists, ground appears." Id. to "and determine to federal with means of 1111, 1113 under 28 remedy collateral sentencing court. (5th Cir. 2000) afforded § ineffective to test § 2255 (e).^ U.S.C. attack" basis action 28 the unless § 2255 on the and such a Pack v. 1990) ) . 2241 by 352 {4th federal court is valid the if for its no such U.S.C. imposition 218 of F.3d 448, Fed. Det. Ctr., A federal he "provides the a motion must be filed Yusuff, (quoting Cox v. Warden, (5th Cir. U.S.C. a a federal (citations omitted). conviction and sentence, the if dismiss by 147 F.3d 347, Accordingly, A motion made pursuant to 28 primary Inc., granted 451 911 F.2d inmate may not proceed or she § 22 55 demonstrates "is that the inadequate or legality of his detention." 28 U.S.C. "For example, attacks on the execution of a sentence ^ "This 'inadequate and ineffective' exception is known as the 'savings clause' to [the] limitations imposed by § 2255." Wilson V. Wilson, No. I:llcv645 (TSE/TCB), 2012 WL 1245671, at are properly raised in a 1192, 1194 F.3d 164, 632 n.l of n.5 166 (4th Appeals remedy for the procedurally 1996); § (citing Circuit 2255 because is an In re Vial, Bradshaw v. Hanahan v. Nevertheless, Fourth by merely obtain relief 1997) 1982)). afforded ineffective Cir. (10th Cir. (7th Cir. § 2241 petition." Luther, from has not rendered a 86 693 F.2d 629, emphasized individual filing Story, the United States Court has § 2255 that "the inadequate been under that provision or because an barred 115 F.3d or unable to individual motion." is Id. (citations omitted). The under Fourth Circuit has § 2241 to challenge his circumstances." Cir. 2008) stressed that an inmate may proceed conviction United States v. Poole, "in only very limited 531 F.3d 263, (internal quotation marks omitted). test," id., 269 (4th The "controlling 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 i s not one of constitutional In re Jones, added). *3 333 (E.D. The 226 Fourth Va. Apr. (4th Cir. F.3d 12, 2000)). 328, Circuit 2012) 333-34 (4th formulated law. Cir. this 2000) test (quoting In re Jones, to (emphasis provide a 226 F.3d 328, remedy for which ^ the "fundamental defect individual criminal but, is presented by a incarcerated for through no fault of his has no source of redress." The Fourth Circuit has Id. conduct [or her] at 333 instructed that n.3 if situation that own, § not [he or she] (emphasis a is in 2241 added). petitioner cannot satisfy the test of In re Jones, the "unauthorized habeas motion must be jurisdiction." Rivera, F.3d cannot 617 satisfy dismissed 802, this for 807 test, lack of (4th Cir. because 2010). his Rice Brooks conduct of v. obviously conviction- possession of a firearm by a convicted felon-remains criminal. The parties controlling "fundamental individuals acknowledge test in the defect" whose that Fourth test re Circuit, also conduct In Jones but embraces remains contend criminal, but the statutory maximum sentence. below, of this controlling test interpretation of in the view Fourth requires a Circuit his As not or the the for her explained revision and the binding precedent. that circumstances sentence exceeds adoption remains of merely the an See United States v. Surratt, 797 F.3d 240, 248-50 {4th Cir. 2015);^ Farrow v. Revell, ^ The Court recognizes that the panel decision in Surratt does not constitute binding precedent as i t was vacated by the Fourth Circuit's granting of rehearing en banc. See 4th Cir. Loc. R. App. P. 35(c). Further, the panel decision was not reinstated when the court found the petitioner's claims to be moot in its ruling on rehearing and dismissed the appeal. United States V. cert, Surratt, filed, July 855 21, F.3d 218 2017 (No. (4ch Cir. 17-5255) . 2017), petition Nevertheless, for the 541 F. App'x 327, 328 (4th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted) (concluding petitioner's "challenge to his armed career criminal status is not cognizable in a F.3d at 267 extended the n.7 ("Fourth reach of the § 2241 petition"); Circuit savings challenging only their sentence." at 333-34)). precedent clause see Poole, has to . those . . 531 not petitioners (citing In re Jones, 226 F.3d In the absence of an intervening decision from the Supreme Court or the Fourth Circuit, such a revision is beyond the power of this Court. In re Jones made a "clear limitation . case can be used to invoke § 2255(e), 'such v/hich that the conduct of deemed not to be criminal.'" In re Jones, Holder, 560 only logical, 226 U.S. F.3d 563 but at arguably having been 'convicted' applies petition full for enhancement." force a claim Brooks of (Reply 3, own actual ECF No. that, was before the to convicted F.3d at 248 that describe Mr. is (quoting Carachuri-Rosendo contends required its 797 Citing under ACCA. on prisoner Surratt, (2010), . the law must have changed the 334). . "it is Brooks v. not as On this understanding Jones terms, and innocence 11.) allows of the a habeas sentencing Surratt raised a similar argument and the Fourth Circuit explained why i t was foreclosed by the relevant precedent: Court cites to the panel opinion as i t reflects the current state of the law in the Fourth Circuit and addresses many of the arguments raised by the parties here. [Surratt] argues that his predicate convictions constitute elements of a separate, aggravated offense for recidivists. If that proved true, we might say that Surratt was not guilty of the prior conviction "element," and therefore innocent of the recidivist offense. an Yet we do not element United of States, [the] treat a offense." 523 U.S. 224, 247 Alleyne v. United States, 2151, 2160 & n. 1 ( 2 0 1 3 ) . . . . Surratt insists that Id. They are not. at alteration 248 {second . in (1998); s^ also , sentence enhancements . 133 v. U.S. his are different. prior conviction "as Almendarez-Torres S.Ct. . original)(parallel citations omitted). The Fourth Circuit does not recognize the sort of actual innocence of a sentencing enhancement as pressed by Brooks here: "[A]ctual "means innocence," factual the Supreme innocence, Court not has told us, mere legal insufficiency." Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 623 (1998); see also United States v. Tyler, 732 F.3d 241, 246 (3d Cir. 2013) ("While Bousley addressed the standard that a petitioner must meet for claims brought under § 2255, this standard applies equally to actual innocence claims brought under § 2241."). So, "actual innocence applies in the context of habitual offender provisions only where the challenge to eligibility stems from factual innocence of the predicate crimes, and not from the legal classification of the predicate crimes." Pettiford, 612 F.3d at 284; accord Damon v. United States, 732 F.3d 1, 5-6 (1st Cir. 2013); McKay v. United States, 657 F.3d 1190, 1199 (llth Cir. 2011) . Surratt does not suggest that he did not commit the crimes listed in the Government's original information. He only says Simmons changed the relevance of those crimes in determining constitutes his later sentence. Surratt's argument the sort of argument about "legal classification" Id. at 250 that we have deemed insufficient. (alteration in original). Additionally, Brooks contends pointing that " [a] to § his own procedural 2255 motion is actually inadequate and ineffective to test the legality of Mr. (Reply 4 history, (emphasis omitted, Brooks' detention." capitalization corrected).) Like, Surratt, Brooks "never suggests that the § 22 55 mechanism denied him a chance only that to make his [the Fourth Circuit's] Carolina law, argument. best, he pre-Simmons reading of" Surratt, says North and his own 797 F.3d at 254; (Reply 4- Allegations of this ilk do not render § 2255 inadequate so as to allow a petitioner access to § 2241. Finally, so. "[A] of the a prisoner is unable case. 'Congress Clause, . review.'" Cir. at Taylor, 529 U.S. is offended" benefit a new 362, without the 265 1998), [does not] source of law abrogated 376-77 on other (2000)). because interpretation of an a is simply not develop whenever later, offending (quoting Green v. simply (citations omitted). This to take advantage of a can, . narrow Id. (4th not Suspension Clause. Suspension Clause problem . Id. Brooks suggests that failing to afford him relief would run afoul 876 At the ineffective assistance of counsel, lack of legal acumen did. 8) . present the Suspension cognizable French, on 143 grounds, favorable habeas F.3d 865, Williams v. "[T]he Suspension Clause individual criminal is denied statute. the Id. When "a federal prisoner brings a § 2241 petition that does not fall within district motion . the court . . for scope must lack of supports the prisoner's citation and quotation here. Accordingly, of th[e] dismiss savings the then unauthorized jurisdiction, ' even position." marks clause, Id. omitted). the habeas if the Government at 247 (internal That is for the reasons set forth above, the case the § 2241 Petition will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Memorandum Opinion to counsel of record. It is so ORDERED. 1±L Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge Date 4^ 5 2^(7 Richmond, Virginia

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