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.

Lewis v. Sessions

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

August 15, 2017

KENNETH WAYNE LEWIS, Petitioner,
v.
JEFF SESSIONS, et al., Respondents.

          OPINION

          ROBERT B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at F.C.I. Fort Dix in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the reasons that follow, the in forma pauperis application is granted and the habeas petition will be summarily dismissed.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner went to trial on a fifteen count indictment in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. (See C.D. Ill. Crim. No. 12-10082) Counts 1-4 were for wire fraud and Counts 5-15 were for money laundering. Petitioner was found guilty by a jury on all counts. He was sentenced to 151 months on the four wire fraud convictions and 120 months on the eleven money laundering convictions to be served consecutively to each other for a total of 271 months imprisonment. On appeal, the United States Circuit Court for the Seventh Circuit vacated petitioner's convictions for money laundering and remanded the matter back to the Central District of Illinois for resentencing on the four wire fraud count convictions. On August 22, 2016, the Central District of Illinois entered an amended judgment. Petitioner was resentenced on the four wire fraud count convictions to 135 months imprisonment.

         In May 2017, this Court received petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner challenges his sentence, alleging the presentence report (PSR) was not revised after the Seventh Circuit remanded to the district court for resentencing, rendering his subsequent sentence and imprisonment illegal.

         III. STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL

         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 is seeking to have this Court review the sentence entered by the Central District of Illinois after the Seventh Circuit remanded back to that court. He argues the sentence is invalid and his confinement is illegal because the U.S. Probation Office did not revise the PSR before resentencing him. 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 remedy by the motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). A § 2255 motion is “inadequate or ineffective, ” which permits a petitioner to resort to a § 2241 petition, “only where the petitioner demonstrates that some limitation or procedure would prevent a § 2255 proceeding from affording him a full hearing and adjudication of his wrongful detention claim.” Cradle v. U.S. ex rel. Miner,290 F.3d 536, 538 (3d Cir. 2002) (citations omitted). However, “[s]ection 2255 is not inadequate or ineffective merely because the sentencing court does not grant relief, the one-year statute of limitations has expired, or the petitioner is unable to meet the stringent gatekeeping requirements of ... § 2255.” Cradle, 290 F.3d at 539 (citations omitted). “It is the inefficacy of the remedy, not the personal inability to use it, that is determinative.” Id. at 538 (citation omitted). “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.