United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
OPINION AND ORDER TRANSFERRING SUCCESSIVE PETITION
FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS TO UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
L. LUDINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Charles Wilbur Meadows, presently confined at the Lakeland
Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan, has filed an
application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241, through his attorney Craig A. Daly. Because the
present petition constitutes a “second or successive
petition” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3), the Court will transfer the matter to the Court
of Appeals so that the petitioner may seek permission to
was convicted by a jury in the Oakland County Circuit Court
of first-degree murder and sentenced to a mandatory
nonparolable life sentence. The Michigan Court of Appeals
ruled on the petitioner's appeal of right that the state
had failed to introduce sufficient evidence of premeditation
and deliberation to support a first-degree murder conviction
and remanded the matter to the Oakland County Circuit Court
for entry of a judgment to the lesser offense of
second-degree murder. On February 17, 1978, Petitioner was
re-sentenced to a parolable life sentence consistent with the
has filed habeas petitions on at least three occasions.
Although the first two petitions were dismissed because
Petitioner failed to exhaust his state court remedies,
see Meadows v. Redman, No. 83-cv-72664-DT (E.D.
Mich. 1985), Meadows v. Jones, No. 87-cv-74386 (E.D.
Mich. 1988), the final petition was denied on the merits.
Meadows v. Pitcher, No. 90-cv-72103-DT (E.D. Mich.
1991); aff'd 959 F.2d 235 (6th Cir. 1992)
(table); cert den. 506 U.S. 1004
(1992). Petitioner has since been denied
permission twice by the Sixth Circuit to file a successive
habeas petition. In Re Meadows, No. 00-1005 (6th
Cir. May 11, 2000); In Re Meadows, No. 00-1563 (6th
Cir. Nov. 2, 2000).
has now filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner claims that his rights
were violated because the trial judge at the time of his
resentencing on the second-degree murder charge failed to
advise Petitioner that he could file an appeal of right from
his re-sentencing and that appellate counsel was ineffective
for failing to advise Petitioner that he could seek appellate
relief from his re-sentencing. Petitioner seeks to have his
appeal of right reinstated.
already has filed three prior petitions for a writ of habeas
corpus challenging his convictions and sentence. An
individual seeking to file a second or successive habeas
petition must first ask the appropriate court of appeals for
an order authorizing the district court to consider the
petition. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A);
Stewart v. Martinez-Villareal, 523 U.S. 637, 641
(1998). Congress has vested in the court of appeals a
screening function that the district court would have
performed otherwise. Felker v. Turpin, 518 U.S. 651,
664 (1996). When a habeas petitioner files a second or
successive petition for habeas corpus relief in the
--- district court without preauthorization
from the court of appeals, the district court must transfer
the document to the court of appeals. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1631 (directing that “[w]henever a civil action
is filed in a court ... and that court finds that there is a
want of jurisdiction, the court shall, if it is in the
interest of justice, transfer such action ... to any other
such court in which the action ... could have been brought at
the time it was filed”); In re Sims, 111 F.3d
45, 47 (6th Cir. 1997) (holding that “when a prisoner
has sought § 2244(b)(3) permission from the district
court, or when a second or successive petition for habeas
corpus relief or § 2255 motion is filed in the district
court without § 2244(b)(3) authorization from this
court, the district court shall transfer the document to this
court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631.”).
fact that Petitioner filed his habeas petition under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 and not under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 does
not permit Petitioner to circumvent the limitations on the
filing of successive habeas petitions found in 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244 (b)(3)(A). Section 2241 authorizes federal
district courts to issue a writ of habeas corpus to a state
or federal prisoner who is in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. 28
U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). 28 U.S.C.§ 2254 is more
specific and confers jurisdiction on district courts to
“entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus
in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of
a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).
It is a
well-established rule of statutory construction that when two
statutes cover the same situation, the more specific statute
takes precedence over the more general one. See Edmond v.
United States, 520 U.S. 651, 657 (1997). The Sixth
Circuit has noted that “numerous federal decisions
...support the view that all petitions filed on
behalf of persons in custody pursuant to State court
judgments are filed under section 2254” and are subject
to the various restrictions imposed by the AEDPA for
obtaining habeas relief from a state conviction. See
Rittenberry v. Morgan, 468 F.3d 331, 337 (6th Cir. 2006)
(emphasis original). The provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b) which govern the filing of successive petitions by
state prisoners under § 2254 thus apply equally to
habeas petitions filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by a
person who is in custody pursuant to a state court judgment.
Id., at 336-37; See also Long v. Commonwealth of
Kentucky, 80 F. App'x. 410, 414 (6th Cir. 2003);
Byrd v. Bagley, 37 F. App'x. 94, 95 (6th Cir.
argument that § 2241 is the appropriate remedy because
he only challenges the execution of his sentence and not his
conviction is not well taken. Petitioner is seeking to
reinstate his appeal of right in the state courts. As such,
the only appropriate statute for him to bring his habeas
petition under would be § 2254 and not § 2241.
See e.g. Washington v. Sobina, 509 F.3d 613, 618, n.
5 (3rd Cir. 2007) (state prison inmate seeking federal habeas
relief on ground that his due process speedy-appeal rights
had been infringed by state courts was required to bring his
habeas challenge under § 2254 and not § 2241);
Gorbey v. Warden of the Federal Transfer Center, 588
F. App'x. 805, 811 (10th Cir. 2014) (“Since
[petitioner's] claim of ineffective assistance of
appellate counsel is clearly an attack on his convictions and
sentence entered by the D.C. trial court, it must be brought
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, not under 28 U.S.C. §
2241.”). Petitioner must therefore seek authorization
from the Sixth Circuit under § 2244 (b) before filing
this petition, even though he facially filed it pursuant to
28 U.S.C.§ 2241. Rittenberry, 468 F.3d at 338.
cannot proceed with the issues raised in the present petition
without first obtaining permission to file a second or
successive habeas petition from the court of appeals.
Accordingly, the Clerk of Court will be ordered to transfer
the habeas petition to the United States Court of Appeals for
the Sixth Circuit pursuant to Sims and 28 U.S.C.
§ 1631. See Galka v. Caruso, 599 F.Supp.2d 854,
857 (E.D. Mich. 2009).
it is ORDERED that the petition for writ of
habeas corpus, ECF No. 1, and the related motion for bond,
ECF No. 2, are DENIED ...