United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
JAMES O. WELLS, Petitioner,
J.A. TERRIS, Respondent.
ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING THE HABEAS
PAGE HOOD CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
James O. Wells, an inmate at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Milan, Michigan, recently filed a pro
se petition for the writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. The pleading challenges Petitioner's
sentence of 293 months for conspiracy, bank robbery, carrying
a firearm, and money laundering. Because Petitioner has not
shown that a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his
sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is an inadequate or
ineffective means for challenging his sentence, the Court
will summarily dismiss the petition.
alleges that, on August 26, 1997, he pleaded guilty to
conspiracy, 18 U.S.C. § 371, bank robbery, 18 U.S.C.
§ 2113(d), carrying a firearm, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)
and money laundering, 18 U.S.C. § 1957. On April 2,
1998, United States District Judge James T. Moody of the
Northern District of Indiana sentenced Petitioner to
concurrent terms of 60 months in prison for the conspiracy
and 233 months for the bank robbery. Petitioner received a
consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months in prison
for carrying a firearm, making the total sentence 293
months. Petitioner states that he did not appeal
his convictions and that he unsuccessfully sought
post-conviction relief on a claim of ineffective assistance
filed his habeas petition on July 6, 2017. His sole ground
for habeas relief reads:
When sentencing a defendant under 18 USC § 924(c) to
consecutive mandatory minimums[, a] court can consider
reducing [the] sentence for [the] underlying offense to as
little as one day.
Pet. at 5.
basis for Petitioner's argument is the Supreme
Court's recent decision in United States v.
Dean, 137 S.Ct. 1170, 1176-77 (2017), which held that,
“[n]othing . . . prevents a sentencing court from
considering a mandatory minimum under § 924(c) when
calculating an appropriate sentence for the predicate
offense.” Petitioner claims that, when he was
sentenced, Judge Moody could not exercise his sentencing
discretion and consider Petitioner's mandatory minimum
sentence for the § 924(c) conviction when determining
the appropriate sentence for the underlying bank robbery.
Petitioner seeks to have the Court order his release from
federal custody or to transfer his case to the Northern
District of Indiana for a hearing and a reduced sentence
pursuant to the Supreme Court's decision in
receipt of a habeas petition, a federal court must
“promptly examine [the] petition to determine ‘if
it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any
exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief.' ” Crump v. Lafler, 657 F.3d 393,
396 n.2 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts). “Federal courts are authorized to
dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally
insufficient on its face . . . .” McFarland v.
Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); see also Martin v.
Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714 (6th Cir. 2004) (stating that
Rule 4 allows the summary dismissal of a petition if it
plainly appears that the petitioner is not entitled to
issue here is whether Petitioner may bring his sentencing
claim under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. The Sixth Circuit recently
reaffirmed that “[a] challenge to the validity of a
federal conviction or sentence is generally brought as a
habeas corpus petition pursuant to § 2255, while a
petition concerning the manner or execution of a sentence is
appropriate under § 2241.” Hill v.
Masters, 836 F.3d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 2016) (citing
United States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d 458, 461 (6th
Cir. 2001)); see also Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d
753, 755-56 (6th Cir. 1999)(noting that “courts have
uniformly held that claims asserted by federal prisoners that
seek to challenge their convictions or imposition of their
sentence shall be filed in the sentencing court under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 and that claims seeking to challenge the
execution or manner in which the sentence is served shall be
filed in the court having jurisdiction over the
prisoner's custodian under 28 U.S.C. § 2241”)
(internal citations omitted).
is challenging the legality of his sentence, as opposed to,
the execution or manner in which he is serving his sentence.
As such, the proper remedy for his claim is a motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence under § 2255.
He may bring his claim under § 2241 only if his claim
falls within the “savings clause” of § 2255,
which permits a prisoner to apply for the writ of habeas
corpus when it “appears that the remedy by motion is
inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e).
The petitioner carries the burden to establish that the
savings clause applies to his petition and “[t]he
circumstances in which § 2255 is inadequate and
ineffective are narrow.” Peterman, 249 F.3d at
461. . . . [Section] 2255 is not “inadequate or
ineffective” merely because habeas relief has
previously been denied, a § 2255 motion is procedurally