BOATWRIGHT v. LEU, No. 1:2017cv04220 - Document 2 (D.N.J. 2017)

Court Description: OPINION. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 10/17/2017. (rtm, )
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BOATWRIGHT v. LEU Doc. 2 NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY CAMDEN VICINAGE ________________________ RONALD IAN BOATWRIGHT, Petitioner, v. WARDEN D. LEU, Respondent. ________________________ : : : : : : : : : : : : Civ. No. 17-4220 (RMB) OPINION BUMB, United States District Judge On June 12, 2017, Petitioner, a prisoner confined in FCI Fairton, in Fairton, New Jersey, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Pet., ECF No. 1; Mem. of Law in Supp. of Pet. (“Petr’s Mem.”), ECF No. 1-2.) Petitioner asserts that jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 because 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention. at 1-2.) (Petr’s Mem., ECF No. 1-2 Petitioner relies on Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016)1 and Holt v. United States, 843 F.3d 720 (7th 1 In Mathis, the Supreme Court held that a state qualify as an ACCA predicate if its elements are those of a listed generic offense, and there is no cases where the defendant is convicted under a crime cannot broader than exception in statute that Dockets.Justia.com Cir. 2016)2, concluding that his prior convictions do not qualify him as a career offender under the ACCA, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), and that he should be resentenced. (Id. at 2.) Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, applicable to § 2241 under Rule 1, the scope of the rules, a district judge must promptly examine a petition, and “[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 petitioner.” petition and direct the Clerk to notify the For the reasons discussed below, the Court lacks jurisdiction under § 2241. I. BACKGROUND On July 16, 2012, Petitioner entered a guilty plea, in the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, to charges of Conspiracy to violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. 3.) Distribute Cocaine Base, in (Petr’s Mem., ECF No. 1-2 at 2- He was sentenced to a 110-month term of imprisonment, a lists multiple, alternative means of satisfying one or more of its elements. 2 In Holt v. United States, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals noted the Government had conceded that Mathis applied retroactively on collateral review under § 2255. 843 F.3d at 721. However, because the Supreme Court has not held that Mathis is retroactive to cases on collateral review, the Seventh Circuit held that a second or successive collateral attack under § 2255(h)(2) is not permissible. Id. at 722. The Seventh Circuit did not consider whether Holt could pursue his claim under § 2241 in the district of confinement. Id. at 724. 2 three-year term of supervised release, and a fine. According under the offense to 2011 level Petitioner’s edition was of 28. presentence the (Id. report, Guidelines at 5-6.) (Id. at 3.) prepared Manual, his Petitioner’s base adjusted offense level was 28, and he was considered a career offender because he was at least 18 years old at the time of the instant offense, his instant offense was a felony controlled substance offense, and convictions Petitioner for either substance offense. a had at crime of least two violence or prior a felony controlled (Id. at 6.) As a career offender, his adjusted offense level was 32, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(b)(3). at 6.) of Petitioner received a two-level reduction for acceptance responsibility, (Id.) (Petr’s Mem., ECF No. 1-2 His eight bringing his total criminal history offense points level placed to him 30. in a Category IV criminal history category, but as a career offender, he was bumped up to Category VI. (Id.) This resulted in a custody range of 168 to 210 months, and the plea agreement was for a sentence between 100 to 120 months imprisonment. (Id.) Petitioner objected to the PSR, but he did not file a direct appeal of the sentence, nor did he file a motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. 3 (Id. at 6-7); U.S. v. Boatwright, 11cr252-WWC-1, (M.D. Pa).3 II. DISCUSSION Before the Court can reach the issue of whether Petitioner is a career offender under the framework of the Mathis decision, the Court must determine whether § 2241 is the proper vehicle for Petitioner’s challenge. “[A] federal prisoner's first (and most often only) route for collateral review of his conviction or sentence is under § 2255.” Bruce v. Warden Lewisburg USP, No. 14-4284, 2017 WL 3597705, at *4 (3d Cir. Aug. 22, 2017). Congress, however, provided a saving clause in § 2255(e): “a federal prisoner may resort to § 2241 only if he can establish that ‘the ineffective remedy to by test motion the [under legality § of 2255] his is inadequate detention.’” or Id. (citations omitted.) Here, Petitioner has never filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Although there is a one-year statute of limitations period to file such a motion, the limitation period does not begin to run until the latest of certain events, one of which is “the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(3). 3 See PACER case locator, available at https://pcl.uscourts.gov/search 4 If indeed the Third Circuit Court of Appeals determines that the Supreme Court in Mathis recognized a new right and that it is retroactive on collateral review, Petitioner is not barred by the statute of limitations from bringing his claim under § 2255. Under those conditions, § 2255 would not be an inadequate and ineffective remedy to bring a Mathis claim. Plaintiff is ultimately barred from bringing a But even if Mathis claim under the statute of limitations, § 2255 is not inadequate and ineffective solely because a petitioner gatekeeping requirements of § 2255. cannot meet the See Cradle v. Miner, 290 F.3d 536, 538 (3d Cir. 2002) (“Section 2255 is not inadequate or ineffective merely limitations has because ... expired.”) the one-year Furthermore, statute the of Dorsainvil exception, permitting jurisdiction under § 2241 where § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective to bring a claim that the conduct for which a petitioner was the convicted prisoner is no longer challenges criminal, his is inapplicable where sentence enhancement. See Sorrell v. Bledsoe, 437 F. App’x 94, 96 (3d Cir. 2011). III. CONCLUSION For these reasons, this Court lacks jurisdiction over the § 2241 petition because § 2255 is not an inadequate or ineffective remedy for Petitioner’s claim. Petitioner is not precluded from bringing this claim in a § 2255 motion in his sentencing court. 5 An appropriate order follows. Dated: October 17, 2017 s/Renée Marie Bumb RENÉE MARIE BUMB United States District Judge 6