United States District Court, D. New Jersey
White Fairton Federal Correctional Institution Petitioner Pro
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Robert White, a prisoner confined at the Federal Correctional
Institution (“FCI”) in Fairton, New Jersey, filed
this writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
challenging a sentencing enhancement. (ECF Nos. 1, 2.) At
this time, the Court will review the Petition pursuant to
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, (amended
Dec. 1, 2004), made applicable to § 2241 petitions
through Rule 1(b) of the Habeas Rules. See also 28 U.S.C.
§ 2243. For the reasons set forth below, the Petition
will be dismissed.
February 8, 2001, Petitioner was indicted on three counts:
distributing crack cocaine, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); using
and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, 18
U.S.C. § 924(c); and possessing a firearm after being
convicted of a felony, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). U.S.
v. White, Crim. Action No. 00-1017 (N.D. Ill. 2001).
Petitioner eventually pled guilty and the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
sentenced him to 292 months imprisonment on the drug charge
and 120 months imprisonment on the § 922(g) count, to be
served concurrently. Id. Petitioner did not file a
direct appeal. Instead, he filed a motion to vacate his
conviction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 based on
ineffective assistance of counsel, which was denied by the
district court. White v. U.S., Civil Action No.
04-7616 (N.D. Ill. 2006). The United States Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit denied his appeal. White v.
United States, 273 F.App'x 559, 560 (7th Cir. 2008).
thereafter filed a request for authorization to file a
successive petition with the Seventh Circuit in light of the
Supreme Court's holding in Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). White v. U.S.,
Civil Action No. 16-2031 (7thCir. 2016). The
Seventh Circuit denied his request. (Id.) In
November 2016, Petitioner filed a second request for
authorization to file a successive petition with the Seventh
Circuit based on Johnson, which the Court of Appeals
again denied. White v. U.S., Civil Action No.
16-3858 (7th Cir. 2016).
Petitioner filed the instant habeas petition seeking relief
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (ECF Nos. 1, 2.)
Petitioner argues that as a result of the Supreme Court's
decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016), he no longer qualifies as a career offender under the
Guidelines. Specifically, he argues that under
Mathis, his 1991 Illinois conviction for possession
with intent to deliver should not have been used as a
predicate offense to enhance him as a career offender.
States Code Title 28, Section 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
se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A pro se habeas
petition must be construed liberally. See Hunterson v.
DiSabato, 308 F.3d 236, 243 (3d Cir. 2002).
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 Denny
v. Schult, 708 F.3d 140, 148 n. 3 (3d Cir. 2013); see
also 28 U.S.C. §§ 2243, 2255.
noted by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in In
re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 249 (3d Cir. 1997), a
motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 has been the “usual avenue”
for federal prisoners seeking to challenge the legality of
their confinement. See also Okereke v. United
States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir. 2002); United
States v. McKeithan, 437 F. App'x 148, 150 (3d Cir.
2011); United States v. Walker, 980 F.Supp. 144,
145-46 (E.D. Pa. 1997) (challenges to a sentence as ...