United States District Court, D. New Jersey
June 14, 2005.
EDUARDO FRANCISCO QUEZADA-RUIZ, Petitioner,
JOHN NASH, Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDA WOLFSON, Magistrate Judge
Petitioner Eduardo Francisco Quezada-Ruiz filed a Petition for
a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging
his federal sentence. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
summarily dismisses the Petition for lack of jurisdiction.
Petitioner challenges a sentence imposed by Senior Judge
Charles R. Butler, Jr., in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Alabama on April 12, 1996, and amended
October 16, 1996, based on his plea of guilty to one count of
conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute
cocaine, see 21 U.S.C. § 846. See United States v.
Quezada-Ruiz, Docket No. 92-cr-0048 (CB) j. conviction (S.D.
Ala. filed April 12, 1996). Judge Butler sentenced Petitioner to a 168-month term of imprisonment,
followed by five years of supervised release.*fn1 Petitioner
did not appeal. On April 13, 1998, he filed a motion to vacate,
set aside or correct the sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255,
which Judge Butler denied by order filed June 23, 1998.
On November 12, 2004, the Clerk accepted the Petition under
28 U.S.C. § 224. Petitioner challenges his sentence on the following
Ground One: Due to the terms of my extradition
agreement I can only be required to serve that
portion of a sentence which is based on the charges
that formed the basis of my extradition and which
does not punish or penalize me for any past
offense. Detaining me beyond November 2, 2004 which
represents a 151 months sentence minus good time
earned is illegal.
Facts: On October 24, 1994 the President of Colombia
granted the extradition request made by the United
States government. I was to appear in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of
Alabama where I was charged with (1) count of
conspiracy to import cocaine, in violation of
21 U.S.C. § 963.
(Pet. at p. 1.)
Petitioner asserts that his sentence expired on November 1,
2004, and he seeks a Writ directing Respondent to immediately
release him from confinement. II. DISCUSSION
A. Standard of Review
"Habeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading
requirements." McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). A
petition must "specify all the grounds for relief" and set forth
"facts supporting each of the grounds thus specified." See
28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 2(c) (amended Dec. 1, 2004), applicable to §
2241 petitions through Habeas Rule 1(b).
Habeas Rule 4 requires the Court to examine a petition prior to
ordering an answer and to summarily dismiss the petition if "it
plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that
the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court."
28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4. "Federal courts are authorized to
dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally
insufficient on its face." McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856; see
also United States v. Thomas, 221 F.3d 430, 437 (3d Cir.
2000); Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.3d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert.
denied, 490 U.S. 1025 (1989).
Section 2241 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides in
(c) The writ of habeas corpus shall not extend to a
prisoner unless . . . He is in custody in violation
of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).
As a result of the practical difficulties encountered in
hearing a challenge to a federal sentence in the district of
confinement rather than the district of sentence, in its 1948
revision of the Judicial Code, Congress established a procedure
whereby a federal prisoner might collaterally attack his sentence in the sentencing court.*fn2 See
28 U.S.C. § 2255; Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 343-44
(1974); United States v. Hayman, 342 U.S. 205, 219 (1952).
Section 2255 provides in relevant part:
A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court
established by Act of Congress claiming the right to
be released upon the ground that the sentence was
imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of
the United States, or that the court was without
jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the
sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by
law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack,
may move the court which imposed the sentence to
vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.
28 U.S.C. § 2255, ¶ 1.
"Motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 are the presumptive means
by which federal prisoners can challenge their convictions or
sentences that are allegedly in violation of the Constitution."
Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir. 2002).
This is because § 2255 expressly prohibits a district court from
entertaining a challenge to a prisoner's federal sentence under §
2241 unless the remedy under § 2255 is "inadequate or
ineffective" to test the legality of the petitioner's
detention.*fn3 See 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Specifically,
paragraph five of § 2255 provides: An application for a writ of habeas corpus [pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241] in behalf of a prisoner who is
authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to
this section, shall not be entertained if it appears
that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by
motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that
such court has denied him relief, unless it also
appears that the remedy by motion is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention.
28 U.S.C. § 2255, ¶ 5; see Cradle v. U.S. ex rel. Miner,
290 F.3d 536 (3d Cir. 2002); In re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 251
(3d Cir. 1997); Millan-Diaz v. Parker, 444 F.2d 95 (3d Cir.
1971); Application of Galante, 437 F.2d 1164 (3d Cir. 1971)
(per curiam); United States ex rel. Leguillou v. Davis,
212 F.2d 681, 684 (3d Cir. 1954).
A § 2255 motion is inadequate or ineffective, authorizing
resort to § 2241, "only where the petitioner demonstrates that
some limitation of scope or procedure would prevent a § 2255
proceeding from affording him a full hearing and adjudication of
his wrongful detention claim." Cradle, 290 F.3d at 538. "It is
the inefficacy of the remedy, not the personal inability to use
it, that is determinative." Id. "Section 2255 is not
`inadequate or ineffective' merely because the sentencing court
does not grant relief, the one-year statute of limitations has
expired, or the petitioner is unable to meet the stringent
gatekeeping requirements of the amended § 2255. The provision
exists to ensure that petitioners have a fair opportunity to seek
collateral relief, not to enable them to evade procedural
requirements." Id. at 539.
In In re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d at 251, the Third Circuit
applied the "inadequate or ineffective" test to a § 2241 claim
based on a change of substantive law that occurred after
Dorsainvil's first § 2255 motion was decided.*fn4 The Third
Circuit first determined that Dorsainvil could not raise the Bailey claim in a successive § 2255 motion
because the AEDPA restricted successive § 2255 motions to
constitutional claims.*fn5 However, the court held that, in
this narrow situation where the government conceded that Bailey
applied retroactively and Dorsainvil had no other opportunity to
raise the claim because his first § 2255 motion had already been
rejected by the time his Bailey claim became available, § 2255
was inadequate and ineffective. The Court reasoned:
Dorsainvil does not have and, because of the
circumstances that he was convicted for a violation
of § 924(c)(1) before the Bailey decision, never
had an opportunity to challenge his conviction as
inconsistent with the Supreme Court's interpretation
of § 924(c)(1). If, as the Supreme Court stated in
[Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333 (1974)], it
is a "complete miscarriage of justice" to punish a
defendant for an act that the law does not make
criminal, thereby warranting resort to the collateral
remedy afforded by § 2255, it must follow that it is
the same "complete miscarriage of justice" when the
AEDPA amendment to § 2255 makes that collateral
remedy unavailable. In that unusual circumstance, the
remedy afforded by § 2255 is "inadequate or
ineffective" to test the legality of [Dorsainvil's]
Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d at 251 (quoting Davis v. United States,
417 U.S. 333
, 346-47 (1974)). The Third Circuit emphasized the narrowness of its holding:
We do not suggest that § 2255 would be "inadequate or
ineffective" so as to enable a second petitioner to
invoke § 2241 merely because that petitioner is
unable to meet the stringent gatekeeping requirements
of the amended § 2255. Such a holding would
effectively eviscerate Congress's intent in amending
§ 2255. However, allowing someone in Dorsainvil's
unusual position that of a prisoner who had no
earlier opportunity to challenge his conviction for a
crime that an intervening change in substantive law
may negate, even when the government concedes that
such a change should be applied retroactively is
hardly likely to undermine the gatekeeping provisions
of § 2255.
Dorsainvil at 251.*fn6
The claim raised in this Petition is within the scope of claims
cognizable under § 2255. See, e.g., Gallo-Chamorro v. United
States, 233 F.3d 1298, 1304 (11th Cir. 2000); U.S. ex rel.
Saroop v. Garcia, 109 F.3d 165 (3d Cir. 1997). Therefore, § 2255
prohibits this Court from entertaining Petitioner's extradition claim under § 2241 unless §
2255 is inadequate or ineffective for him to raise it. It is
clear that Petitioner could have raised his extradition claim in
the sentencing court, either at the time of sentencing or
thereafter in his motion to vacate the sentence under § 2255.
Because the sentencing court "could have entertained the
prisoner's claim, inquired fully into the facts and granted the
very relief the prisoner is seeking," this Court lacks
jurisdiction to entertain the claim under § 2241 and will dismiss
the Petition. Leguillou, 212 F.2d at 684.
The Petition is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.