United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
se Petitioner Gregory Hamilton, a federal prisoner who
was sentenced in this Court, has filed a Petition for a Writ
of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc.
No. 1.) The matter is before the Court for initial screening.
See 28 U.S.C. §2243; Alexander v. Northern
Bureau of Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir.
2011). Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts (made applicable
to Section 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)), the Court must
dismiss the Petition “if it plainly appears from the
petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not
entitled to relief.” See also Allen v. Perini,
424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (the district
court has “a duty to screen out a habeas
corpus petition which should be dismissed for lack of
merit on its face.”).
reasons stated below, the Court finds that this Petition must
be summarily dismissed.
September 11, 2013, Petitioner was charged with one count of
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to
Distribute Heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States
Code, §§ 846 and 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A), and five
counts of Use of a Telephone to Facilitate Drug Trafficking,
in violation of Title 21, United States Code, § 843(b).
He executed a written plea agreement, in which he pleaded
guilty to Count One of the Superseding Indictment (Conspiracy
to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin).
Among other things, the plea agreement expressly stated that
Petitioner may qualify for a career offender enhancement. On
October 14, 2015, this Court sentenced him to 120 months
imprisonment, to be followed by six years of supervised
release, a sentence that included a career offender
enhancement. See United States v. Hamilton, Case No.
1: 13 CR 345-29 (N.D. Ohio).
did not file a notice of appeal. On March 14, 2016, he filed
a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct his Sentence under
28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting that his counsel was
ineffective. This Court denied the motion on May 18, 2016,
and declined to issue a certificate of appealability.
Petitioner filed a Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment, again
asserting ineffective assistance of his counsel, including in
connection with the appropriateness of the career offender
enhancement. The Court transferred the Motion to the Sixth
Circuit Court of Appeals as a Second or Successive §
2255 Motion. The Sixth Circuit dismissed the Motion for want
this case, Petitioner seeks relief from his enhanced sentence
under § 2241, citing Mathis v. United States,
136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016).
federal prisoner wishes to challenge the legality of his
conviction or sentence, he must do so by filing a motion for
post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Capaldi v. Pontesso, 135 F.3d 1122, 1123
(6th Cir. 2003). A habeas corpus petition
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is only “appropriate for
claims challenging the execution or manner in which the
sentence is served, ” such as claims challenging
computation of sentence credits or determining terms of
parole. United States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d
458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001); Terrell v. United States,
564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th Cir. 2009). Section 2255
contains a limited “savings clause, ” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(e), that allows a prisoner to bring a § 2241
claim challenging the legality of his conviction or sentence
in the extraordinarily narrow circumstances where a prisoner
can show that the remedy afforded under § 2255 is
“inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
detention.” In re Hanserd, 123 F.3d 922, 929
(6th Cir. 1997). The Sixth Circuit has regularly
indicated that the narrow scope of relief under the savings
clause does not apply to sentencing claims. See Jones v.
Castillo, 489 Fed.Appx. 864, 866, 2012 WL 2947933, at *1
(6th Cir. 2012) (“[c]laims alleging
“actual innocence” of a sentencing enhancement
cannot be raised under § 2241”); see also
Reminsky v. U.S., 523 Fed.Appx. 327, 329 (6th Cir. 2013)
(“The savings clause of § 2255(e) does not apply
to sentencing claims.”).
the Sixth Circuit held that a prisoner may raise a
sentence-enhancement claim in a § 2241 petition in very
limited circumstances. See Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d
591 (6th Cir. 2016). The Hill Court
expressly defined those circumstances as
a narrow subset of § 2241 petitions: (1) prisoners who
were sentenced under the mandatory guidelines regime
pre-United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 125 S.Ct.
738, 160 L.Ed. 621 (2005), (2) who are 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 articulated in Hill do not apply here.
Petitioner was not sentenced under the mandatory guidelines
regime pre-United States v. Booker. Rather, he was
sentenced in 2016, well after Booker was decided.
Further, Petitioner bases his § 2241 Petition on the
Supreme Court's decision in Mathis, 136 S.Ct.
2243. The Supreme Court has not declared Mathis to
apply retroactively on collateral review. See In ...