United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JEFFREY J. HELMICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Petitioner Jamie King, an inmate in the Federal
Correctional Institution in Elkton, Ohio filed the
above-captioned Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. He was convicted, pursuant to a guilty
plea, in May 2012 in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of West Virginia on charges of possession
of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
2252A(a)(5)(B) and (b)(2). He was sentenced to 46 months
incarceration, and five years of supervised release.
Petitioner was released from prison and began to serve the
supervised release portion of his sentence, but was arrested
for violating the terms and conditions of his release on
March 9, 2016. He was sentenced to serve an additional 14
months with credit for time served prior to sentencing.
contends the Bureau of Prisons is arbitrarily treating his
conviction as a “crime of violence” under 18
U.S.C. § 16 and is denying him privileges such as access
to email, the ability to work at Uni-Core Industries, and to
be transferred to a lower security prison. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.)
He contends § 16 is functionally equivalent to the
residual clause contained in a portion of the Armed Career
Criminal Act that the Supreme Court of the United States held
unconstitutional in Johnson v. United States, __
U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Relying on Johnson,
Petitioner seeks an order requiring the Bureau of Prisons to
“strike all references to a crime of violence from his
central inmate file” and to cease and desist
“from applying [a]ny punishment derived from 18 U.S.C.
§ 16” to him. (Doc. No. 1 at 16.)
of habeas corpus “may be granted by the Supreme Court,
any justice thereof, the district courts and any circuit
judge within their respective jurisdictions.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241(a). Section 2241 “is an affirmative grant
of power to federal courts to issue writs of habeas corpus to
prisoners being held ‘in violation of the Constitution
or laws or treaties of the United States.'”
Rice v. White, 660 F.3d 242, 249 (6th Cir. 2011)
(quoting Section 2241(c)). Because Petitioner is appearing
pro se, the allegations in his petition must be
construed in his favor, and his pleadings are held to a less
stringent standard than those prepared by counsel. Urbina
v. Thoms, 270 F.3d 292, 295 (6th Cir. 2001). However, I
may dismiss the Petition at any time, or make any such
disposition as law and justice require, if I determine the
Petition fails to establish adequate grounds for relief.
Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 775 (1987);
see also Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th
Cir. 1970) (holding district courts have a duty to
“screen out” petitions lacking merit on their
face under Section 2243).
is not entitled to relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. To the
extent Petitioner is challenging an actual sentence imposed
on him under 18 U.S.C. § 16, he must assert such claim
in the sentencing court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. As
a general matter, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2255 and 2241
provide the statutory scheme for federal prisoners to obtain
habeas relief. See Terrell v. United States, 564
F.3d 442, 447 (6th Cir. 2009). Section 2255 is the primary
avenue for relief for federal prisoners to challenge their
conviction or sentence, while § 2241 “is
appropriate for claims challenging the execution or manner in
which the sentence is served.” United States v.
Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001). Therefore,
federal prisoners “that seek to challenge their
convictions or imposition of their sentence” must
assert such claim in the sentencing court under § 2255.
See Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 755-56 (6th
Cir. 1999). Moreover, the Supreme Court has recently made
clear that Johnson constitutes a new substantive
rule of law having retroactive effect for purposes of
challenging a sentence under §2255. See Welch v.
U.S.___, __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016). Accordingly,
any claim by Petitioner that a sentence imposed on him under
18 U.S.C. § 16 is unconstitutional under
Johnson is not cognizable in a § 2241 petition.
extent Petitioner is not challenging an actual sentence
imposed on him, but is challenging the Bureau of Prison's
treatment of him, including restricting his access to email,
denying him work at Uni-Core Industries, and barring his
transfer to a lower security prison, he is also not entitled
to habeas relief under § 2241. Habeas corpus is not the
appropriate vehicle for a prisoner to challenge his
conditions of his confinement. Preiser v. Rodriguez,
411 U.S. 475, 498-99 (1973); Luedtke v. Berkebile,
704 F.3d 465, 466 (6th Cir. 2013). If a federal prisoner
seeks relief regarding the conditions of his confinement, he
must file a civil rights action under Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403
U.S. 388 (1971). See Luedtke, 704 F.3d at 466.
the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 is denied and this action is dismissed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243. Further, I certify,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), ...