Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Prather v. Warden, FCI Fort Dix

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 10, 2017

DERRICK LAMONT PRATHER, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, FCI FORT DIX, Respondents.

          OPINION

          ROBERT B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner argues in his habeas petition that his prior convictions do not qualify him as a career offender under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Thus, he claims that he is entitled to resentencing. For the following reasons, the habeas petition will be summarily dismissed.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner pled guilty in 2009 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. In 2010, he was sentenced to 180 months imprisonment.

         In, 2014, petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the District of Maryland. In August, 2016, the District of Maryland denied petitioner's § 2255 motion. Petitioner did not appeal that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. However, in September, 2016, he filed a request with the Fourth Circuit to file a second or successive § 2255 motion. The Fourth Circuit denied that request in September, 2016.

         In April, 2017, petitioner filed this habeas petition. Citing to Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016); United States v. Hinkle, 832 F.3d 569 (5th Cir. 2016) and Holt v. United States, 843 F.3d 720 (7th Cir. 2016), petitioner argues that he was improperly given a career offender enhancement under the Sentencing Guidelines as his prior convictions did not qualify him as a career offender. He requests that his sentence be vacated for resentencing.

         III. STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE SCREENING OF HABEAS PETITION

         With respect to screening the instant habeas petition, 28 U.S.C. § 2243 provides in relevant part:

A court, justice or judge entertaining an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall forthwith award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto.

As petitioner is proceeding pro se, his petition is held to less stringent standards than those pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Rainey v. Varner, 603 F.3d 189, 198 (3d Cir. 2010) (“It is the policy of the courts to give a liberal construction to pro se habeas petitions.”) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); United States v. Otero, 502 F.3d 331, 334 (3d Cir. 2007) (“we construe pro se pleadings liberally.”) (citing Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S .Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972)). Nevertheless, “a district court is authorized to dismiss a [habeas] petition summarily when it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court[.]” Lonchar v. Thomas, 517 U.S. 314, 320 (1996).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Petitioner seeks to have this Court review the criminal judgment and sentence entered by the District of Maryland in this § 2241 habeas petition. Generally, a challenge to the validity of a federal conviction or sentence must be brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Jackman v. Shartle, 535 F.App'x 87, 88 (3d Cir. 2013) (citing Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir. 2002)). This is generally true because § 2255 prohibits a district court from entertaining a challenge to a prisoner's federal sentence through § 2241 unless the remedy under § 2255 is “inadequate or ineffective.” See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Indeed, § 2255(e) states that:

[a]n application for a writ of habeas corpus 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 a court has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.