United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MARLON C. TAYLOR, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER [RESOLVING ECF NO.
Y. Pearson, United States District Judge.
se Petitioner Marlon Taylor was confined at FCI Elkton
when he filed the above-captioned habeas corpus action under
28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the sentence imposed upon
him in the United States District Court, Eastern District of
Virginia, No. 2:10-CR-192 (“Criminal Case”). ECF
No. 1. For the reasons that follow, this case is dismissed.
Criminal Case began when Taylor's former girlfriend told
the police that he had raped her. On December 1, 2010, Taylor
was indicted on the charge of possession of a firearm after
conviction of a felony in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Taylor v. United States,
No. 2:10-CR-192, 2014 WL 12711976, at *1 (E.D. Va. Sept. 19,
2014). After a two-day jury trial, he was found guilty and
sentenced to the maximum term of 120 months of imprisonment.
Id. The trial judge found, by a preponderance of
evidence, that Taylor's ex-girlfriend's account of
the sexual assault was credible. Id. The sentencing
judge noted that, even without the rape, he would have had
“no trouble” sentencing Petitioner to the
statutory maximum term given Taylor's “long and
egregious criminal record[.]” Id.
filed a direct appeal challenging his conviction. United
States v. Taylor, 457 Fed.Appx. 282 (4th Cir. 2011). The
Fourth Circuit affirmed his conviction. Id. Taylor
then filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, but his motion
was denied. Taylor, 2014 WL 12711976. Taylor
appealed the district court's decision denying §
2255 relief, but the Fourth Circuit denied him a certificate
of appealability, and the appeal was dismissed. United
States v. Taylor, 600 Fed.Appx. 152 (4th Cir. 2015).
now seeks relief under § 2241. He contends that the
maximum statutory term to which he was sentenced and
requirement that he register as a sex-offender are erroneous
because they were based upon the “chicanery
findings” in his presentence investigation report and
resulting use of state court indictments related to his
ex-girlfriend's allegations of rape and sexual assault,
resulting in an enhancement of 18 offense levels to his
federal sentence. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 4-5. Petitioner
further argues that the district court's application of
sentencing enhancements violated his Sixth Amendment right to
a jury trial and Fifth Amendment right to due process,
resulting in a “fundamental defect” in his
sentence for which he has no source of redress absent
§ 2241 habeas relief. Id. at PageID #:
Standard of Review
Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions.
28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Bureau of
Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011).
“[I]f it plainly appears from the petition and any
attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief[, ]” the petition will be denied. Rule 4 of
the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases
(applicable to § 2241 petitions pursuant to Rule 1(b)).
As with all pro se filings, the Court evaluates
Taylor's petition under a more lenient standard than
pleadings prepared by an attorney. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Urbina v.
Thomas, 270 F.3d 292, 295 (6th Cir. 2001).
corpus petitions brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241
challenge the execution of a sentence, while motions brought
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the court where a
federal prisoner was convicted and sentenced challenge the
validity of the conviction and sentence. See Capaldi v.
Pontesso, 135 F.3d 1122, 1123 (6th Cir. 1998).
Generally, a habeas corpus petition pursuant to § 2241
may not be used to challenge the validity of a conviction or
sentence because “[t]he remedy afforded under §
2241 is not an additional, alternative or supplemental remedy
to that prescribed under § 2255.” Hernandez v.
Lamanna, 16 Fed.Appx. 317, 320 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing
Charles v Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 756-58 (6th Cir.
§ 2255(e) contains a “savings clause” which
provides a narrow exception to this prohibition if the remedy
afforded by § 2255 is “inadequate or
ineffective” to challenge the legality of the
prisoner's detention. It is the petitioner's burden
to establish that the savings clause applies to his petition.
Hill, 836 F.3d at 594 (citing United States v.
Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001)). Section
2255 is not inadequate or ineffective merely because a motion
under § 2255 has been previously denied or is
procedurally barred. Id.(citing Charles,
180 F.3d at 756 (“[T]he § 2255 remedy is not
considered inadequate or ineffective simply because §
2255 relief has already been denied, or because the
petitioner is procedurally barred from pursuing relief under
§ 2255, or because the petition has been denied
permission to file a second or successive motion to
vacate.”) (internal citations omitted)).
petition for a writ of habeas corpus under § 2241 must
be filed in the district court that has jurisdiction over a
prisoner's place of confinement. 28 U.S.C. §
2241(a). “As a result, habeas corpus proceedings may
occur in a court of confinement that is different from the
court of conviction.” Martin v. Perez, 319
F.3d 799, 803 (6th Cir. 2003). At the time the § 2241
petition was filed, Taylor was confined at FCI
considering a § 2241 petition from a prisoner convicted
in a different circuit, courts apply the procedural law from
the circuit where the petition is filed, and the substantive
law of the circuit in which the prisoner was convicted and
sentenced. See Burgess v. Merlak, No. 17-4147, 2018
WL 5778364, at *1 (6th Cir. June 22, 2018) (applying Sixth
Circuit's savings clause test in Hill v.
Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th Cir. 2016) to
petitioner's § 2241 challenge to his enhanced
sentence imposed in the Eastern District of North Carolina)
(citing Pittman v. Quintana, No. 16-6857, 2017 WL
6759113, at *1 (6th Cir. Sept. 18, 2017) (citing
Hill)); see also Bender v. Carter, No.
5:12-CV-165, 2013 WL 5636745, at *3 (N.D.W.Va. Oct. 15, 2013)
(denying motion for reconsideration of the court's
application of the Fourth Circuit's procedural rule as to
savings clause test because the petitioner was confined in
the Fourth Circuit, before considering the substantive law of
the Sixth Circuit (where petitioner was convicted) regarding
actual innocence) (citing Eames v. Jones, 793
F.Supp.2d 747, 750 (E.D. N.C. 2011) (holding that the
substantive law of the court of conviction should apply under
the overarching procedural law of the court reviewing the
petition)), aff'd, 564 Fed.Appx. 694 (4th Cir.
Court, therefore, applies the Sixth Circuit's test in
Hill to determine whether Taylor may invoke the
savings clause of § 2255 to bring a § 2241
challenge to his sentence enhancement imposed in the Criminal
Case. If Taylor satisfies the Sixth Circuit's savings
clause test, then the Court applies the substantive law of