United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE.
ORDER and REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a state prisoner, filed a pro se petition for a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). After
Petitioner failed to comply with this Court's May 22,
2018, Order directing him to pay the required filing fee or
submit an application to proceed in forma pauperis
(Doc. 4), the Undersigned issued a Report and Recommendation
on June 28, 2018 (Doc. 5), recommending that the petition be
dismissed for failure to prosecute. Petitioner thereafter
submitted a meritorious application to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. 6). Accordingly, the Court
VACATES its June 28, 2018, Report and
Recommendation (Doc. 5), and GRANTS
Petitioner's application to proceed without prepayment of
fees or costs (Doc. 6).
to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the
United States District Court (“Rule 4”), the
Court must now conduct a preliminary review to determine
whether “it plainly appears from the petition and any
attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court . . . .” Rule 4. If it
does so appear, the petition must be dismissed. Id.
Rule 4 applies to habeas corpus petitions filed under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 and § 2241. Evans v. U.S. Marshal
Serv., No. 2:14-CV-1451, 2015 WL 1476654, at *2 (S.D.
Ohio Mar. 31, 2015). In addition, 28 U.S.C. § 2243
provides that a district court may summarily dismiss a habeas
petition if it appears that a petitioner is not entitled to
relief. See Blevins v. Lamanna, 23 Fed.Appx. 216,
218 (6th Cir. 2001). For the following reasons, it appears
that Petitioner is not entitled to relief because his claims
are not cognizable. Accordingly, the Undersigned
RECOMMENDS that this action be
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
is currently incarcerated at the Pickaway Correctional
Institute in Orient, Ohio. (Doc. 1). Petitioner indicates his
incarceration stems from a sentence imposed by the Court of
Common Pleas for Lake County, Ohio, in a case docketed there
as State of Ohio v. John L. Turner, 14-CR-000533.
The petition does not include many details about
Petitioner's state court case. The Lake County Clerk of
Court's on-line docket indicates, however, that
Petitioner was tried and convicted of seven counts of theft
and one count of intimidation in violation of Ohio's
criminal code. The on-line docket further indicates that on
October 1, 2015, Petitioner was sentenced to twelve months
for each of the seven theft counts and eighteen months for
the single count of intimidation, to be served consecutively
for a total of 102 months. The on-line docket also reveals
that Petitioner was given credit for 322 days of time that he
had already served.
petition, Petitioner alleges that the state trial court
denied him full credit for the time that he was detained
prior to the imposition of his sentence in violation of Ohio
Revised Code Section 2967.191, and Section 5120-2-04 of the
Ohio Administrative Code. (Doc. 1, at PAGE ID ## 2, 3).
Petitioner seeks three million dollars, a reduction of his
state prison term, and an earlier release date. (Doc. 1, at
PAGE ID # 2).
LAW AND ANALYSIS
preliminary matter, 28 U.S.C. § 2254, instead of §
2241, governs Petitioner's claims. Section 2254 applies
whenever a petitioner is “in custody pursuant to the
judgment of a State court.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a);
see also Allen v. White, 185 Fed.Appx. 487, 490 (6th
Cir. 2006) (explaining that although a federal prisoner may
collaterally attack the lawfulness of a sentence under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 and the execution of a sentence under
§ 2241, a state court prisoner can use § 2254 to
assert both types of challenges). Section 2241 can be used by
state prisoners to challenge the imposition of pretrial
custody even though a final judgment has not been rendered.
Atkins v. Michigan, 644 F.2d 543, 546 and n. 1 (6th
Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 964 (1981);
see also Fisher v. Rose, 757 F.2d 789, 792 n.2 (6th
Cir. 1985); Delk v. Atkinson, 665 F.2d 90, 93 (6th
Cir.1981). Petitioner does not, however, allege that he is a
state pretrial detainee.
of whether he proceeds under § 2254 or § 2241,
Petitioner's claims fail because he has not stated a
cognizable claim. In a federal habeas case, the Court's
review is limited to consideration of claims alleging a
violation of “the Constitution or laws or treaties of
the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Claims
based on a “perceived error of state law” fall
outside the scope of the Court's review and, therefore,
do not constitute cognizable grounds for federal habeas
relief. See id.; see also Wilson v.
Corcoran, 562 U.S. 1, 5 (2010) (quoting Estelle v.
McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991)) (noting that
“it is not the province of a federal court to reexamine
state-court determinations on state-law questions”);
Pulley v. Harris, 465 U.S. 37, 41 (1984) (holding
that “a federal court may not issue the writ based on a
perceived error of state law”).
alleges that the jail time credit that he received was not
properly added. (Doc. 1, at PAGE ID # 4.) But “[t]he
‘actual computation of [a prisoner's] term involves
a matter of state law that is not cognizable under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254.'” Haskell v. Berghuis, 511
Fed.Appx. 538, 551 (6th Cir. 2013) (citing Kipen v.
Renico, 65 Fed.Appx. 958, 959 (6th Cir.2003)). A state
court's alleged misinterpretation of state sentencing
guidelines and crediting statutes is a matter of state
concern. See Howard v. White, 76 Fed.Appx. 52, 53
(6th Cir. 2003) (finding that petitioner's claim that a
state trial court erroneously denied him credit for the time
that he was detained prior to sentencing was not cognizable
in a federal habeas action).
Petitioner's demand that he be awarded three million
dollars, money damages are unavailable in a federal habeas
action. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 494
(1973) (noting that the traditional purpose of habeas corpus
is to attack the fact or length of confinement and that
“[i]n the case of a damages claim, habeas corpus is not
an appropriate or available federal remedy”).
foregoing reasons, the Undersigned
RECOMMENDS that this action be
DISMISSED because ...