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Bey v. Ortiz

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 8, 2018

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

          Deangelo Beasley Bey, 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, Pet. at 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 expressed below, the 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 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 with his sentencing court or otherwise.

         Petitioner previously filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2241 to challenge the validity of his imprisonment in which he appeared to argue that he has not been convicted of a crime. See No. 18-cv-3796, ECF No. 1 at 4 ("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.") That § 2241 petition was dismissed for want of jurisdiction. See No. 18-cv-3796, ECF Nos. 2 (opinion), 3 (order).

         In the instant Petition, Petitioner again seeks to challenge the validity of his confinement. Petitioner argues that his "liberty is being unlawfully restrained under Color of New Jersey State law, " ECF No. 1 at 1, and also that his "freedom is being restrained without the documented knowledge of the Nature and cause of this kidnapping, " id. at 4. Petitioner requests that Respondent articulate the authority under which Petitioner is being held. Id. Petitioner believes that there is no authority to hold him in a prison in New Jersey because he has never been convicted of a crime in New Jersey: "Petitioner is not, within the State of New Jersey today nor any day in receipt of a service of process showing that;DeAngelo-Beasley;Bey [sic] is or has been duly convicted of a crime within the State of New Jersey, nor has he ever been served disclosures by any State, showing he is or was charged with a crime under the laws or customs or statutes of the State of New Jersey, then how does Chief Executive Officer David Ortiz [warden of FCI Ft. Dix] have the authority and State police power to restrain the body of a private American Citizen?" Id. Petitioner seeks his immediate release from prison unless Respondent can establish the reason for Petitioner's imprisonment. See id. at 5.

         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 Fed.Appx. 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 ...


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