Challoner v. Kizziah, No. 7:2018cv00078 - Document 4 (E.D. Ky. 2018)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: 1. Challoner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus 1 is DENIED. 2. This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from Court's docket. 3. A corresponding Judgment will be entered this date. Signed by Judge Karen K. Caldwell on 7/19/2018. (RCB)cc: COR, Challoner via U.S. mail
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Challoner v. Kizziah Doc. 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY SOUTHERN DIVISION PIKEVILLE DALE LLOYD CHALLONER, Petitioner, v. Civil Action No. 7:18-078-KKC MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GREGORY KIZZIAH, Warden, Respondent. *** *** *** *** Dale Lloyd Challoner is an inmate at the United States Penitentiary – Big Sandy in Inez, Kentucky. Proceeding without a lawyer, Challoner recently filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [R. 1]. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Challoner’s petition. In 2000, a federal jury in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado convicted Challoner of seven offenses stemming from a bank-robbery conspiracy, and the district court sentenced him to an aggregate term of 1,080 months of imprisonment. See United States v. Challoner, 65 F. App’x 222, 224-25 (10th Cir. 2003). Challoner’s direct appeal was unsuccessful, id.; Challoner v. United States, 540 U.S. 922 (2003), as was his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion to vacate, United States v. Challoner, 2008 WL 4211103 (D. Colo. Sept. 10, 2008), aff’d, 583 F.3d 745 (10th Cir. 2009). Challoner has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court. Challoner claims that he is actually innocent of two of the crimes with which he was convicted; specifically, he argues that, “[i]n light of the Sessions v. Dimaya, [548 U.S. ___ (2018)], the residual clause of [18 U.S.C. §] Dockets.Justia.com 924(c)(3)(B) is unconstitutionally vague” and, therefore, two of his convictions “must be vacated.” [R. 1 at 6-7]. Challoner’s § 2241 petition, however, constitutes an impermissible collateral attack on his underlying convictions. While a federal prisoner may challenge the legality of his convictions in a § 2255 motion, he generally may not do so in a § 2241 petition. See United States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001) (explaining the distinction between a § 2255 motion and a § 2241 petition). After all, a § 2241 petition is usually only a vehicle for challenges to actions taken by prison officials that affect the way the prisoner’s sentence is being carried out, such as computing sentence credits or determining parole eligibility. See Terrell v. United States, 564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th Cir. 2009). Simply put, Challoner cannot use a § 2241 petition as a way of challenging his underlying convictions. To be sure, there is a limited exception under which federal prisoners have been permitted to challenge the validity of their convictions in a § 2241 petition. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has explained that a prisoner can only proceed in this manner if he can demonstrate that an intervening change in statutory law establishes his actual innocence, see Wooten v. Cauley, 677 F.3d 303, 307-08 (6th Cir. 2012). In this case, Challoner has not made such a showing. While Challoner relies exclusively on the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dimaya, that case involved a specific constitutional question, not an alleged change in statutory interpretation. Thus, the Wooten exception, which requires a petitioner to highlight “the existence of a new interpretation of statutory law,” Wooten, 677 F.3d at 307 (emphasis added), is simply inapplicable. As a result, Challoner’s § 2241 petition constitutes an impermissible collateral attack on his underlying convictions. 2 Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows: 1. Challoner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R. 1] is DENIED. 2. This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Court’s docket. 3. A corresponding Judgment will be entered this date. Dated July 19, 2018. 3