United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Clifton Savage Federal Correctional Institution Petitioner
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Clifton Savage, 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 No.
1.) 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.
April 26, 2010, after a jury trial before the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,
Petitioner was convicted of one count of possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C. §§
922(g) and 924(e). U.S. v. Savage, Criminal Action
No. 09-600 (E.D. Pa. 2010.) On January 3, 2011, the court
sentenced him to 180 months' incarceration. Id.
Petitioner filed a direct appeal challenging the
constitutionality of § 922(g). U.S. v. Savage,
Criminal Action No. 11-1014 (3d Cir. 2011). On September 9,
2011, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit summarily
affirmed his conviction. Id. The United States
Supreme Court denied his petition for certiorari on January
9, 2012. Savage v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 1057
October 29, 2015, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 with
the district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Savage v. U.S., Civil Action No. 15-5903 (E.D. Pa.
2015). He argued that the Supreme Court's decision in
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015),
rendered 18 U.S.C. §924(e)(2)(B) unconstitutional and
invalidated his sentence. Id. The sentencing court
denied relief and it does not appear that he filed an appeal
with the Third Circuit. Id.
March 20, 2017, Petitioner filed an application with the
Third Circuit for permission to file a second or successive
§ 2255 petition in light of Johnson and
Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016).
In Re: Clifton Savage, Civil Action No. 17-1667 (3d
Cir. 2017). The Third Circuit denied permission. Id.
appears to have filed the instant habeas petition at the same
time as his application for permission to file a second or
successive § 2255 petition with the Third Circuit. (ECF
No. 1.) The brief filed in support of the instant § 2241
Petition is nearly identical to the brief filed with the
Third Circuit. In both, Petitioner argues that his sentence
enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act was rendered
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court's holdings in
Johnson and Mathis. (Id.)
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. Schultz, 708 F.3d 140, 148 n. 3 (3d Cir. 2013);
see also 28 U.S.C. §§ 2243, 2255.