United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
D. BORMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prisoner Ronald Seawood (“Petitioner”) currently
confined at the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan,
Michigan, brings this action under 28 U.S.C.§ 2241.
Petitioner was convicted in 1997 in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Indiana of
conspiracy to commit carjacking, 18 U.S.C. § 371,
carjacking, 18 U.S.C. § 2119, and use of a firearm in
relation to a crime of violence. 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
Petitioner claims that his 327 month sentence was enhanced in
violation of Jones v. United States, 526 U.S. 227
(1999), after the court-rather than the jury-determined that
he caused serious bodily injury during the carjacking.
Because Petitioner fails to demonstrate that his remedy under
28 U.S.C. § 2255 is inadequate or ineffective, his
petition will be denied.
his trial and conviction, Petitioner filed a direct appeal
challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. The Seventh
Circuit affirmed. United States v. Seawood, 172 F.3d
986 (7th Cir. April 7, 1999). The case upon which
Petitioner's current claim relies, Jones, was
decided on March 24, 1999, just before the Seventh Circuit
decided his appeal.
filed a motion to vacate his sentence in the Northern
District of Indiana on April 7, 2000, and it was denied on
June 14, 2000. United States v. Seawood, N.D. Ind.
No. 2:96 CR 91, Dkts. 227 and 231.
Jones, the Supreme Court held that serious bodily
injury is an element of the federal carjacking statute
required to be proven and found by the jury beyond a
reasonable doubt, and that it was not a mere sentencing
enhancement to be determined by the court. 526 U.S. at 239,
242-44. Petitioner contends that his sentence was erroneously
enhanced because neither the indictment nor the jury
instructions charged him with causing serious bodily injury.
As stated, Jones was decided shortly before the
Seventh Circuit affirmed Petitioner's conviction on
direct appeal, and therefore Petitioner is not seeking
retroactive application of the rule announced in that case.
when a federal prisoner wishes to challenge his conviction or
the imposition of his sentence in a post-conviction review
proceeding, he ordinarily must do so by filing a motion to
vacate his sentence under § 2255 in the court of
conviction. Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753,
755-56 (6th Cir. 1999). A federal prisoner may challenge
“the legality of his detention” under § 2241
only “if he falls within the ‘savings clause'
of § 2255, ” which requires him to show that the
remedy provided by § 2255 “is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention.”
Wooten v. Cauley, 677 F.3d 303, 306-07 (6th Cir.
2012) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)). “[T]he §
2255 remedy is not considered inadequate or ineffective
simply because § 2255 relief has already been denied, or
because the petitioner is procedurally barred from pursuing
relief under § 2255, or because the petitioner has been
denied permission to file a second or successive motion to
vacate.” Charles, 180 F.3d at 756 (internal
citations omitted). That is, “[t]he remedy afforded
under § 2241 is not an additional, alternative or
supplemental remedy to that prescribed under §
2255.” Id. at 758.
as here, the target of a § 2241 petition is a sentence
enhancement, a three-part test is used to determine whether
the petition comes within the savings clause of §
[T]he petitioner must show (1) a case of statutory
interpretation, (2) that is retroactive and could not have
been invoked in the initial § 2255 motion, and (3) that
the misapplied sentence presents an error sufficiently grave
to be deemed a miscarriage of justice or a fundamental
Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591, 595 (6th Cir. 2016).
fails to demonstrate entitlement to review under the savings
clause of § 2255(e) because he could have raised his
Jones claim in his initial § 2255 motion.
Jones was decided on March 24, 1999. Petitioner
filed his § 2255 motion about a year later, on April 7,
2000. While Petitioner asserts in his reply brief that his
appellate attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel
for failing to raise his Jones claim in a
supplemental pleading in the Seventh Circuit before his
direct appeal was decided, Petitioner has not alleged any
reason why he subsequently failed to raise his claim in his
§ 2255 proceeding. Counsel's alleged ineffectiveness
during Petitioner's direct appeal simply does not speak
to Petitioner's own failure to raise his claim on
post-conviction review. Accordingly, Petitioner has not shown
that his remedy under § 2255 was inadequate or
ineffective, and he therefore may not proceed in this Court
under § 2241. The petition will therefore be denied.
Court DENIES the Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus. Finally, the Court notes that a Certificate of
Appealability is not needed to appeal the dismissal of a
habeas petition filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Witham v. United States, 355 F.3d 501, 504 (6th Cir.
2004). Petitioner need not ...