United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se with a
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Previously, this matter was administratively
terminated as petitioner had not paid the filing fee nor had
he submitted an application to proceed in forma
pauperis. Thereafter, petitioner paid the filing fee and
filed a motion to reopen this case. Petitioner's motion
to reopen this case will be granted in light of the filing
fee that has now been paid. Petitioner argues in his habeas
petition that two of his prior convictions do not qualify him
as a career offender under the United States Sentencing
Guidelines. For the following reasons, the habeas petition
will be summarily dismissed.
was found guilty by a jury of one count of possession of
firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of possession of
a controlled substance in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Thereafter, he pled
guilty to another count of unlawful possession of a firearm
and another count of possession of a controlled substance. In
February, 2005, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
sentenced petitioner to 240 months imprisonment. In June,
2006, the Third Circuit affirmed the judgment of conviction.
November, 2007, petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set
aside or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In January,
2009, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied
petitioner's § 2255 motion. Thereafter, the Third
Circuit denied a certificate of appealability.
2014, petitioner filed another § 2255 motion in the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania. However, that petition was
dismissed by that court as a second or successive § 2255
motion that lacked the requisite authorization from the Third
Circuit to be filed.
filed this habeas petition in this Court in June, 2017.
Citing to Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016), and United States v. Hinkle, 832 F.3d 569
(5th Cir. 2016), petitioner argues that he was improperly
given a career offender enhancement under the Sentencing
Guidelines as his prior convictions do not support a career
offender qualification that enhanced his sentence.
STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE SCREENING OF HABEAS PETITION
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
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).
seeks to have this Court review the criminal judgment and
sentence entered by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania 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. SeeJackman
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 § ...