United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Sylvester Lindsey is an inmate at the United States
Penitentiary - McCreary in Pine Knot, Kentucky. Proceeding
without a lawyer, Lindsey filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [R. 1]. This
matter is now before the Court on initial screening pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2243. See Alexander v. Northern
Bureau of Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir.
2011). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny
2006, Lindsey pled guilty to numerous federal crimes,
including being a felon in possession of a firearm and
ammunition, delivering or transferring a firearm and
ammunition to a juvenile, possessing a firearm with an
obliterated serial number, and possessing and discharging a
firearm in a school zone. See United States v. Arnold
Sylvester Lindsay, Jr., No. 3:06-cr-021 (N.D. Fla.
2006). The trial court then determined that Lindsey's
applicable advisory sentencing guidelines range was 168 to
210 months in prison. See Id. at R. 48 at 66. That
said, the trial court imposed an upward variance based on the
factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and sentenced Lindsey to
420 months in prison. See Id. at R. 48 at 66-71.
Lindsey filed a direct appeal, but the United States Court of
Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district
court's judgment. See Id. at R. 56. Lindsey then
unsuccessfully sought relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
See Id. at Rs. 69, 71.
has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court. [R. 1].
Among other things, Lindsey argues that the trial court
erroneously determined that he was subject to an enhanced
sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines
because of his prior criminal convictions. [R. 1-1].
Ultimately, Lindsey claims that the trial court violated his
due process rights and, as a result, he asks that he be
“resentenced absent the excessive detention.” [R.
1 at 8].
petition, however, constitutes an impermissible collateral
attack on his sentence. While a federal prisoner may
challenge the legality of his sentence on direct appeal and
through a timely § 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,
Lindsey cannot use a § 2241 petition as a way of
challenging his sentence.
true that, in Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th
Cir. 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit indicated for the first time that a prisoner may
challenge his sentence in a § 2241 petition. However, in
doing so, the court expressly limited its decision to the
following, narrow circumstances:
(1) prisoners who were sentenced under the mandatory
guidelines regime pre-United States v. Booker, 543
U.S. 220 . . . (2005), (2) who were foreclosed from filing a
successive petition under § 2255, and (3) when a
subsequent, retroactive change in statutory interpretation by
the Supreme Court reveals that a previous conviction is not a
predicate offense for a career-offender enhancement.
Id. at 599-600.
circumstances do not apply in this case. As an initial
matter, it is not even clear that the trial court actually
enhanced Lindsey's sentence in the manner he suggests
(i.e., under the career-offender provision). Plus, more
importantly, the trial court sentenced Lindsey in 2006, well
after the Supreme Court's decision in Booker
made the sentencing guidelines advisory rather than
mandatory. On this basis alone, Lindsey's claim does not
fall within Hill's limited exception for
bringing a § 2241 petition to challenge his federal
sentence. See Contreras v. Ormond, No. 18-5020 (6th
Cir. Sept. 10, 2018) (“[The petitioner's] case does
not fall within the narrow exception recognized by
Hill because he was sentenced post Booker
in 2009, under the advisory sentencing guidelines.”);
Arroyo v. Ormond, No. 17-5837 (6th Cir. April 6,
2018) (holding that since the petitioner was sentenced after
Booker, his “claim does not fall within
Hill's limited exception for bringing a §
2241 habeas petition to challenge a federal sentence”).
And to the extent that Lindsey puts forth other claims in his
petition, he cites no legal authority that would allow him to
assert those claims via § 2241. In short, Lindsey's
petition is unavailing.
it is ORDERED as follows:
1. Lindsey's petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R. 1] is
2. This action is DISMISSED and
STRICKEN from the Court's docket.
3. A corresponding Judgment will be entered ...