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Alfredo Digno Meza v. Donna Zickefoose

June 29, 2011

ALFREDO DIGNO MEZA, PETITIONER,
v.
DONNA ZICKEFOOSE, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle United States District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Petitioner Alfredo Digno Meza, a prisoner currently confined at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey, submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction (docket entry 5). Because this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider this petition, and it is not in the interest of justice to transfer, this Court will grant the motion and dismiss the petition. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1631, 2243, 2244(a), 2255.

BACKGROUND

According to the record provided by Respondent, Petitioner was convicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida for conspiracy to possess cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, while on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 46 App. U.S.C. §§ 1903(a), (j), and 18 U.S.C. § 2.*fn1 Petitioner appealed his conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which affirmed on February 11, 2002. Petitioner's motion for a rehearing was denied by the Court of Appeals.

On October 7, 2003, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate his conviction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, arguing that he was not notified of his right to meet with a consular representative from his country, he was innocent of the statute charged, and his attorney was ineffective. He also filed a supplemental application alleging his sentence was unconstitutional under Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). Petitioner's motion was denied in 2004, and his attempts to relitigate and for a certificate of appealability were denied. In 2008, Petitioner filed a motion to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), which was denied by the District Court, with the Court of Appeals affirming the denial in 2009.

Petitioner filed this habeas petition on September 13, 2010. Petitioner argues that he was improperly prosecuted under the statutes in question, depriving him of due process, that the United States was not authorized to try Petitioner by the nation in which the vessel was registered (Panama), and that his rights under the Vienna Convention were violated when a consular representative was not notified of his arrest.

In lieu of an Answer, Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that this Court lacks jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to consider the petition. Petitioner filed a response to the motion on December 1, 2010, and a "motion for liberal pleading in support of Petitioner's habeas and reply brief."

DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

A pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A pro se habeas petition and any supporting submissions must be construed liberally and with a measure of tolerance. See Royce v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 118 (3d Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney General, 878 F.2d 714, 721-22 (3d Cir. 1989); United States v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 912 (1970). Nevertheless, a federal district court can dismiss a habeas corpus petition if it appears from the face of the petition that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. See Lonchar v. Thomas, 517 U.S. 314, 320 (1996); Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1025 (1989); see also 28 U.S.C. §§ 2243, 2255.

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. ยง 2241(c)(3). "Section 2241 is the only statute that confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the ...


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