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Humpherys v. Terris

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 24, 2018

James Humpherys, Petitioner,
v.
J.A. Terris, Respondent.

          ELIZABETH A. STAFFORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS [1]

          GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner James Humphreys has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Humphreys is currently incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Facility in Milan, Michigan. He argues that pursuant to Mathis v. United States, - U.S. -, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), his prior aggravated battery conviction no longer qualifies as a violent offense under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). The Court finds that the petition was not properly filed under § 2241. Therefore, the Court will DENY the petition.

         I. Background

         Humphreys was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm after a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. See United States v. Humphreys, 468 F.3d 1051, 1052 (7th Cir. 2007). The district court found that Humphreys had three prior felony convictions for violent crimes and sentenced him to fifteen and one-half years of imprisonment under the ACCA, and five years of supervised release. Id. Humphreys appealed his conviction and sentence, which the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. Id. The Seventh Circuit also denied rehearing and rehearing en banc on January 9, 2007. Id.

         On January 4, 2008, Petitioner filed a motion for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which the court denied. See United States v. Humphreys, No. 08-cv-88 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 6, 2008). On August 8, 2011, Humphreys filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, contending that the armed career criminal offender provision was no longer applicable to his case. The district court held that the petition should have been filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. United States v. Humphreys, No. 11-cv-5350, 2012 WL 1080526, *1-2 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 17, 2012). In dicta, the court noted that even if the petition had been filed under § 2255, the court would have denied it as untimely. Id.

         On April 9, 2012, Humphreys filed a petition for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. According to Humphreys, he was entitled to a reduction in his sentence because the ACCA no longer applied where his state convictions had expired and his civil rights were restored. The district court held that the petition was not properly filed under § 2241.

         Humphreys v. Maye, No. 12-3088 (D. Kan. June 7, 2012).

         In September 2012, Petitioner filed another motion for relief under § 2255. Again, he asserted that the ACCA no longer applied to him because his state convictions had expired and his civil rights had been restored. The district court found that the motion was not timely filed under § 2255. United States v. Humphreys, No. 12-cv-07689 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 18, 2013).

         In September 2015, Humphreys asked the Seventh Circuit to authorize the district court to consider a successive petition under § 2255. He alleged that Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), rendered his sentencing enhancement illegal. The Seventh Circuit denied the application, finding that Humphreys' aggravated battery conviction involved the use of force, and that his armed robbery conviction had as an element the use or threatened use of force. Humphreys v. United States, No. 15-2948 (7th Cir. Oct. 5, 2015).

         Presently before this Court is Humphreys' habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Dkt. No. 1. Relying on Mathis v. United States, - U.S. -, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), he argues that one of the felonies supporting his enhancement under ACCA no longer constitutes a predicate offense.

         II. Discussion

         Humphreys contends that he was improperly sentenced as a career offender under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Specifically, he argues that, based on Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), he is actually innocent of the career offender enhancement. He alleges that one of the three offenses used for his career offender designation-an Illinois state conviction for aggravated battery-no longer constitutes a predicate crime of violence after Mathis.

         A prisoner generally can challenge his federal conviction or sentence only through a § 2255 motion. See Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 2016). A writ of habeas corpus under § 2255 requires the petitioner to file his challenge in the same district that imposed the criminal sentence on him. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). A petition challenging “the manner or execution of a sentence is appropriate under ...


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