Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

James v. Quintana

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

September 27, 2019

JOSEPH ALAN JAMES, Petitioner,
v.
FRANCISCO QUINTANA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Danny C Reeves, Chief Judge

         Inmate/Petitioner Joseph Alan James is currently confined at the Federal Medical Center (“FMC”)-Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, James has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in which he seeks to challenge the validity of his conviction. [Record No. 1] This matter is pending for initial screening as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2243. Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 Fed.App’x 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011).[1]

         In October 2015, pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States, James pled guilty in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). He was sentenced in March 2016 to a term of imprisonment of 78 months. James did not appeal his conviction or sentence. In February 2017, however, James filed a motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The district court denied the motion and declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Although James appealed the district court’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the appellate court denied his application for a certificate of appealability and dismissed the appeal. United States v. Joseph Alan James, No. 0:15-cr-255-SRN-1 (D. Minn.).

         In his § 2241 petition filed with this Court, James argues that his conviction is invalid in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191 (2019), because the government did not show that he knew that he belonged to a category of persons prohibited from possession of a firearm or ammunition at the time that he committed his crime. [Record No. 1] However, on July 8, 2019 (prior to filing his § 2241 petition in this Court), James submitted a petition to file a second or successive habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, also seeking relief from his conviction in light of Rehaif. Joseph James v. United States, No. 19-2434 (8thCir. 2019).[2] The government has filed a response opposing the petition and James recently filed a reply to the response. The matter is currently pending for decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

         James’ § 2241 petition filed in this Court will be denied because his motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 remains pending. The correct mechanism for a federal prisoner to challenge his or her conviction or sentence is through a motion to vacate filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Terrell v. United States, 564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th Cir. 2009). See also United States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001) (explaining the distinction between a § 2255 motion and a § 2241 petition). A § 2241 petition may not be used for this purpose because it does not function as an additional or alternative remedy to the one available under § 2255. Hernandez v. Lamanna, 16 Fed.App’x 317, 320 (6th Cir. 2001).

         The “savings clause” of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) creates an extraordinarily 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 Fed.App’x 772, 773-74 (6th Cir. 2004). 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 Fed.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...”). In other words, prisoners cannot use a habeas petition under § 2241 as yet another “bite at the apple.” Hernandez, 16 Fed.App’x at 360.

         Here, James’ motion to file a second or successive §2255 petition challenging his conviction in light of Rehaif – the exact issue presented in his § 2241 petition – is presently pending before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, rendering resort to a § 2241 petition to obtain the same measure of relief in this Court premature. See Pullen v. Ormond, No. 18-6171 (6th Cir. Sept. 5, 2019) (petitioner could not make a colorable argument that his remedy under § 2255 was “inadequate or ineffective” for purposes of filing a § 2241 petition when a pending § 2255 motion may render his claims in his § 2241 petition moot). See also Smith v. United States, 89 F.3d 835 (6th Cir. 1996) (unpublished disposition).

         Because James’ pending request to file a § 2255 petition may render his claims in this proceeding moot, he must complete the process of seeking relief via § 2255 before he may make even a colorable argument that his remedy under that section is “inadequate and ineffective.” Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 756 (6th Cir. 1999); White v. Grondolsky, No. 6: 06-309-DCR, 2006 WL 2385358, at *3 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 17, 2006). Accordingly, it is hereby

         ORDERED as follows

         1. James’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [Record No. 1] is DENIED without prejudice.

         2. This action is STRICKEN from the Court’s docket.

---------

Notes:

[1] A petition will be denied “if it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.