United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Edward Joyner, No. 18186083 Petitioner Pro se
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Wayne Edward Joyner, a prisoner presently incarcerated at the
Federal Correctional Institution (“FCI”) at Fort
Dix, in Fort Dix, New Jersey, filed this Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging a
sentencing enhancement based on what he alleges is a
nonqualifying prior conviction. ECF No. 1, at 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 expressed below, this Court will
dismiss the Petition for lack of jurisdiction.
provides the following pertinent facts related to his
Petition: “On November 8, 1972, an indictment was
handed up by the grand jurors of the State of Maryland
against Wayne Edward Joyner, which set forth crimes alleged
to have been committed by Joyner on July 5, 1972.” ECF
No. 1-4, Pet. at 2. “On November 10, 1972, the case was
nolle prosequi.” Id.
“Simultaneously[, ] Wayne Edward Joyner entered a
guilty plea to a lesser-included offense.” Id.
“Decades later, Petitioner appeared before the United
States District Court [for the] Eastern District of Virginia,
subsequent to being adjudicated guilty for the following
Federal offenses[:]” conspiracy to commit bank robbery
under 18 U.S.C. § 371; bank robbery under 18 U.S.C.
§ 2113(a); assault; use of a firearm in relation to a
crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) & (2);
and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under 18
U.S.C. §§ 922(g) & 924(a)(2). Id.
“Subsequent to perusing ‘ONLY' the one page
available from the 1972 indictment . . ., the United States
District Court deemed Joyner a career offender and on July
10, 1992 executed a term of five hundred and sixty two
months.” Id. Although Petitioner did not
directly appeal his conviction or sentence, he did file a
motion under 28 U.S.C. 2255 in the District of Virginia,
which was denied. Id. at 3-4. “Joyner is now
confined to the Federal Correctional institution at Fort Dix,
New Jersey.” Id.
Petition, Petitioner seeks to challenge not his conviction
but his sentencing enhancement that resulted from his prior
guilty plea in 1972. See ECF No. 1. Specifically,
Plaintiff argues that Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015), applies to his sentencing and that the
Johnson holding may be applied retroactively. ECF
No. 1-4, Br. at 4.
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,
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 imposed
should be brought under § 2255, while challenges to the
manner in which a sentence is executed should be brought
under § 2241).
2255, however, contains a safety valve where “it
appears that the remedy by motion is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of [Petitioner's]
detention.” See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). In
Dorsainvil, the Third Circuit held that the remedy
provided by § 2255 is “inadequate or ineffective,
” permitting resort to § 2241 (a statute without
timeliness or successive petition limitations), where a
prisoner who previously had filed a § 2255 motion on
other grounds “had no earlier ...