United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER, U.S.D.J.
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 petition
will be dismissed without prejudice.
Sampson was arrested on September 20, 2012 in BWI Thurgood
Marshall Airport in Maryland by Prince George's County
police officers. There were two cases pending against Mr.
Sampson in the Prince George's County circuit court,
CR0E0049463 and 5E0049412. On February 19, 2013, Mr. Sampson
appeared before the United States District Court for the
District of Maryland on federal charges related to the
Maryland state charges. He pled guilty to the federal charges
and was sentenced to 300 months in the custody of the Bureau
of state charges, those proceeding under case CR0E0049463,
were dismissed by the state. Mr. Sampson asserts that the
other set of charges remains active and that he has not yet
been tried on those charges. He filed this § 2241
petition challenging both the 300-month federal sentence and
the untried state charges. He argues the federal judgment is
a “constitutional nullity. The federal district court
was without authority to adjudicate the matter while criminal
proceedings were underway in state court.” He invokes
his Sixth Amendment speedy trial rights and requests the
Court order the Prince George's County circuit court to
dismiss the untried state charges.
STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL
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
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).
Court lacks jurisdiction under § 2241 to adjudicate Mr.
Sampson's challenge to his federal sentence. 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 Fed.Appx. 87, 88 (3d Cir. 2013) (citing
Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir.
2002)). Section 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.”