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Bey v. Ortiz

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 22, 2018

DEANGELO BEASLEY BEY, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID ORTIZ, Respondent.

          Deangelo Beasley Bey, No. 24416-076 Petitioner Pro se

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Petitioner Deangelo Beasley Bey, 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, which appears to challenge the legality of his imprisonment. 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.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner pled guilty and was convicted of violations of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on January 26, 2012. See No. 10-cr-20386, ECF No. 173 (W.D. Tenn.) (minute entry). He was also sentenced on that day to two concurrent terms of 180 months' imprisonment followed by four (4) years of supervised release. Id., ECF No. 177 (judgment). Although Petitioner initially appealed his judgment, it appears that the appeal was dismissed for want of prosecution. See id., ECF No. 184. On October 20, 2015, Petitioner filed a motion to reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and U.S. Sentencing Commission's Amendment 782. Id., ECF No. 197. The Western District of Tennessee granted that motion and reduced Petitioner's sentence to 144 months' imprisonment on November 3, 2017. Id., ECF No. 200. Petitioner has never filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence with his sentencing court or otherwise.

         In the Petition, Petitioner appears to challenge the validity of his imprisonment and seems to argue that he has not been convicted of a crime.[1] “There has been no Judicial process used in Tennessee to seize my body and it be transferred in the State of New Jersey. Chief Executive Officer David Ortiz [Warden of FCI Ft. Dix] never noticed grievant that he has been, by due process of law or executive military fiat power, convicted of a crime.” No. 18-cv-3796, ECF No. 1, Pet. at 4. Petitioner asserts that “he has been held captive for over 6 years, ” presumably because Petitioner asserts he has never been convicted of a crime under which he could be imprisoned. Id. at 5. Petitioner seeks the production of “documentary and certified proof to establish, jurisdiction and legality of grievant[‘]s [Petitioner's] restraint, ” or, in the alternative, “the immediate release and discharge of grievant from restraint.” Id. at 6.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         United States Code Title 28, Section 2243, provides in relevant part as follows:

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.

         A pro 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.

         B. Analysis

         As 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).

         Section 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 ...


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