United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Reeves, United States District Judge.
Tavaris Delino Battle is presently confined at the United
States Penitentiary - McCreary in Pine Knot, Kentucky.
Proceeding without a lawyer, Battle filed a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
[Record No. 1] For the reasons set forth below, Battle's
petition will be denied.
to a written plea agreement with the government, Battle pled
guilty in February 2015 to a charge of conspiring to
distribute and possessing with the intent to distribute 280
grams or more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(b)(1)(A) and 846 (Count 1). Additionally, he
pled guilty to a charge of using and carrying a firearm in
furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and aiding and
abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
924(c)(1)(A)(iii) (Count 9). Under the United States
Sentencing Guidelines applicable to his case, and based on a
total offense level of 43 and a criminal history category of
VI, Battle's range for imprisonment was life imprisonment
on Count 1 and 120 months imprisonment on Count 9. Battle was
sentenced in November 2014 to a term of life imprisonment on
Count 1 and a consecutive term of imprisonment of 120 months
on Count 9, for a total term of life imprisonment. The United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed
Battle's conviction and sentence. Further, his subsequent
efforts to vacate his sentence were unsuccessful. United
States v. Battle, No. 5:13-cr-237-D-1 (E.D. N.C. 2013).
has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court, citing
Dean v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 1170
(2017), as authority for the relief sought. [Record No. 1]
However, he may not pursue the claims he asserts in this
proceeding. A federal prisoner generally may not use a §
2241 petition to challenge the enhancement of his sentence.
See United States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461
(6th Cir. 2001). Typically, a § 2241 petition may only
be used as a vehicle for challenges to actions taken by
prison officials that affect the manner in which the
prisoner's sentence is being carried out, such as
computing sentence credits or determining parole eligibility.
Terrell v. United States, 564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th
Cir. 2009). Therefore, as a general matter, a federal
prisoner who wishes to challenge the legality of his
conviction or sentence must file a motion under § 2255.
Peterman, 249 F.3d at 461 (explaining the
distinction between a § 2255 motion and a § 2241
petition). A § 2241 petition does not function as an
additional or alternative remedy to the one available under
§ 2255. Hernandez v. Lamanna, 16 F. App'x
317, 320 (6th Cir. 2001).
“savings clause” of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)
creates a narrow exception to this prohibition if the remedy
afforded by § 2255 is “inadequate or
ineffective” to test the legality of the prisoner's
detention. Truss v. Davis, 115 F. App'x 772,
773-74 (6th Cir. 2004). However, a motion under § 2255
is not “inadequate or ineffective” simply because
the prisoner's time to file a § 2255 motion has
passed; he did not file a § 2255 motion; or he did file
such a motion and was denied relief. Copeland v.
Hemingway, 36 F. App'x 793, 795 (6th Cir. 2002);
Taylor v. Gilkey, 314 F.3d 832, 835 (7th Cir. 2002)
(holding that § 2241 is available “only when a
structural problem in § 2255 forecloses even one round
of effective collateral review ...”).
decidedly narrow scope of relief under § 2241 applies
with particular force to challenges not to convictions, but
to the sentence imposed. Peterman, 249 F.3d at 462;
Hayes v. Holland, 473 F. App'x 501, 502 (6th
Cir. 2012) (“The savings clause of section 2255(e) does
not apply to sentencing claims.”). In Hill v.
Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir. 2016), the Sixth Circuit
articulated the exception to the general rule, permitting a
challenge to a sentence to be asserted in a § 2241
petition, but only where: (1) the petitioner's sentence
was imposed when the Sentencing Guidelines were mandatory
before the Supreme Court's decision in United States
v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005); (2) the petitioner was
foreclosed from asserting the claim in a successive petition
under § 2255; and (3) after the petitioner's
sentence became final, the Supreme Court issued a
retroactively applicable decision establishing that - as a
matter of statutory interpretation - a prior conviction used
to enhance his federal sentence no longer qualified as a
valid predicate offense. Hill, 836 F.3d at 599-600.
does not satisfy the first requirement of Hill
because he was sentenced in 2014, long after Booker
was decided. And while he attempts to rely on the Supreme
Court's decision in Dean, for a claim based upon
a recently-issued Supreme Court decision interpreting a
statute to be cognizable in a § 2241 petition, the
holding must be retroactively applicable to cases on
collateral review. Wooten v. Cauley, 677 F.3d 303,
307-08 (6th Cir. 2012). Dean does not meet this
threshold requirement. United States v. Payne, No.
94-CR-150-TCK, 2017 WL 3730612, at *2 (N.D. Okl. Aug. 29,
2017) (“All authority located by this Court indicates
that Dean does not announce a new rule of law that
was made retroactive to cases on collateral review.”)
(collecting cases); Simmons v. Terris, No.
17-CV-11771, 2017 WL 3017536, at *3 (E.D. Mich. July 17,
2017) (holding claim under Dean is not cognizable in
§ 2241 petition); Wells v. Terris, No.
17-CV-12253, 2017 WL 3777120, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 31,
2017) (same). Finally, Battle's attempt to rely on
Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2245 (2012), to
establish Dean's retroactivity is unavailing.
Miller addressed the constitutionality of imposing
mandatory life imprisonment without parole for those under
the age of 18. It is not relevant to this case.
short, Battle's petition fails to establish any basis for
habeas relief Accordingly, it is hereby
Battle's petition for a writ of habeas corpus [Record No.
1] is DENIED.
matter is DISMISSED and
STRICKEN from the docket. This