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QUEZADA-RUIZ v. NASH

June 14, 2005.

EDUARDO FRANCISCO QUEZADA-RUIZ, Petitioner,
v.
JOHN NASH, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDA WOLFSON, Magistrate Judge

OPINION

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.

  I. BACKGROUND

  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:
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).

  B. Jurisdiction

  Section 2241 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides in relevant part:
(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 States.
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 ...


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