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Carpenter v. Ortiz

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

September 13, 2017

STEPHEN CARPENTER, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID ORTIZ, Respondent.

          Stephen Carpenter, Petitioner pro se

          HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE U.S. District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Stephen Carpenter's petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petition, Docket Entry 1. For the reasons set forth below, the petition is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner pled guilty to possession of child pornography, 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on August 20, 2013. Petition ¶ 6; Brief in Support at 1. He was sentenced on December 20, 2013 to 120-months imprisonment with a 10-year period of supervised release. See United States v. Carpenter, No. 5:13-cr-00059 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 20, 2013);[1] Brief in Support at 1.

         In December 2014, Petitioner filed a motion to correct, vacate, or set aside his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 raising claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Petition ¶ 10(a). The district court denied the motion, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied a certificate of appealability. Id. In November 2016, he requested permission from the Fifth Circuit to file a second § 2255 motion, but the Fifth Circuit denied that request in January 2017. Id. ¶ 10(b). This § 2241 petition followed on May 8, 2017.

         Petitioner argues the United States lacked jurisdiction to prosecute him for possession of child pornography. He asks the Court to release him from custody and to seal all court records related to the criminal proceedings.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Petitioner brings this petition as a pro se litigant. The Court has an obligation to liberally construe pro se pleadings and to hold them to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Higgs v. Attorney Gen. of the U.S., 655 F.3d 333, 339(3d Cir. 2011), as amended (Sept. 19, 2011) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         Nevertheless, a federal district court must dismiss a habeas corpus petition if it appears from the face of the petition that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4 (made applicable through Rule 1(b)); see also McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1025 (1989).

         IV. ANALYSIS

         Section 2241 “confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the validity but the execution of his sentence.” Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001). Petitioner candidly states he is ...


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