United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Martin Arrendondo-Valenzuela is a federal prisoner currently
incarcerated at FCI Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He is
proceeding pro se with a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the
reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss the Petition for
lack of jurisdiction.
Court will construe the factual allegations in the Petition
as true for the purpose of this Opinion. In 2009, Petitioner
pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to conspiracy to
distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams
or more of methamphetamine. The United States District Court
for the District of Kansas sentenced Petitioner to 360 months
to Petitioner, his trial counsel made a number of
misrepresentations stating or implying that pleading guilty
“would lead to an expedited deportation back to
Mexico” without spending any more time in prison. (ECF
No. 1-2, at 8, 12). Petitioner, who is unable to “grasp
and comprehend the intricate details of the [English]
language, ” relied on those false representations, such
that they “induced” him into accepting the plea
agreement. (Id. at 2, 4). Petitioner also maintains
that he never received a Spanish translation of his plea
agreement and questions the integrity or ability of the
interpreter at his hearings. Ultimately, Petitioner
“submits that had he understood that he was to be
imprisoned for . . . thirty years, instead of deported, he
would not have entered into a plea.” (Id. at
appealed, and the Government moved to enforce the appeal
waiver provision in the plea agreement. The Tenth Circuit
granted the motion to enforce and dismissed the appeal.
United States v. Arrendondo-Valenzuela, 380
Fed.Appx. 755, 756 (10th Cir. 2010). Thereafter, Petitioner
filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 challenging, among
other things, the voluntariness of his plea, and the
sentencing court denied that motion. United States v.
Arrendondo-Valenzuela, No. 10-2497, 2011 WL 13619, at *1
(D. Kan. Jan. 4, 2011). Petitioner also attempted to file a
second § 2255 motion, and the sentencing court dismissed
the motion for lack of jurisdiction as second or successive.
United States v. Arrendondo-Valenzuela, 692
Fed.Appx. 504 (10th Cir. 2017). The Tenth Circuit denied a
certificate of appealability and dismissed the matter.
then filed the instant Petition, contending that he received
ineffective assistance of counsel and challenging whether he
entered into his plea agreement knowingly and voluntarily.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
district courts have a pre-service duty under Rule 4 of the
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts, which is applicable to § 2241 petitions
pursuant to Rule 1(b), to screen and summarily dismiss a
habeas petition prior to any answer or other pleading when
the petition “appears legally insufficient on its
face.” McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856
(1994); see also United States v. Thomas, 221 F.3d
430, 437 (3d Cir. 2000) (explaining that courts may dismiss
petitions where “none of the grounds alleged in the
petition would entitle [the petitioner] to relief).
challenges his conviction and sentence in this 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 federal habeas action. Generally, a person must
bring a challenge to the validity of a federal conviction or
sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Jackman v.
Shartle, 535 Fed.Appx. 87, 88-89 (3d Cir. 2013) (citing
Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir.
2002)). This is generally true because § 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:
An 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.
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). However,
§ 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.” Id. at
539. “It is the inefficacy of the remedy, not the
personal inability to use it, that is determinative.”
Id. at 538. “The provision exists to ensure
that petitioners have a fair opportunity to seek collateral
relief, not to enable them to evade procedural
requirements.” Id. at 539 (citing In re
Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 251-52 (3d Cir. 1997)).
Dorsainvil, the Third Circuit held that the remedy
under § 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 opportunity to challenge