United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING AND ADOPTING
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE AND DISMISSING
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pro se petitioner, a federal inmate housed at FCI
Hazelton, filed a petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. ECF No. 1. The petitioner argues that
under Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016), and United States v. Hinkle, 832 F.3d 569
(5th Cir. 2016), his two prior convictions for delivery of a
controlled substance and a prior conviction for possession of
a firearm by a felon are no longer valid predicate offenses
under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”). ECF
No. 1 at 5-6. For relief, the petitioner asks that he be
resentenced without an armed career criminal enhancement. ECF
No. 1 at 8.
respondent filed a response and motion to transfer case. ECF
No. 13. In that motion, the respondent argues that the law of
the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
precludes a criminal defendant from fundamentally challenging
his sentence under a § 2241 petition. ECF No. 13 at 2.
However, the respondent points out that the law of the United
States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit allows
challenges to a sentence under a § 2241 petition. ECF
No. 13 at 2. Because the petitioner was sentenced in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
Illinois, within the jurisdiction of the Seventh Circuit, the
respondent argues that this case should be transferred to
that court. ECF No. 13 at 4.
direction of the Court, the petitioner notified the Court
that he objected to the respondent's motion to transfer
and did not wish to have his case transferred. ECF No. 17.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule of Prisoner
Litigation 2, this case was referred to United States
Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert. The magistrate judge then
entered a report and recommendation. ECF No. 18. In that
recommendation, the magistrate judge recommended that the
petition be denied and dismissed without prejudice and that
the motion to transfer be denied. ECF No. 18 at 10. The
magistrate judge found that the petitioner's claims
relate to the validity of his sentence, and as such are
properly brought either on direct appeal or in a § 2255
motion. ECF No. 18 at 8. Further, the magistrate judge found
that Mathis did not establish a new rule of law and
that Hinkle is neither retroactive nor binding
precedent for this Court. ECF No. 18 at 9. Accordingly, the
magistrate judge found that the petitioner cannot demonstrate
that 18 U.S.C. § 2255 is an inadequate or ineffective
remedy, and therefore the § 2241 petition is improperly
filed. ECF No. 18 at 10.
magistrate judge advised the parties that, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), any party may file written
objections to his proposed findings and recommendations
within 14 days after being served a copy of the report and
recommendation. Neither party filed any objections to the
report and recommendation.
reasons that follow, this Court finds that the report and
recommendation of the magistrate judge should be adopted in
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court must conduct a
de novo review of any portion of the magistrate
judge's recommendation to which objection is timely made.
Because the petitioner did not file any objections to the
report and recommendation, the magistrate judge's
findings and recommendations will be upheld unless they are
“clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C.
reviewing the parties' filings and the record, this Court
is not “left with the definite and firm conviction that
a mistake has been committed” by the magistrate judge.
United States v. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. at 395. The
magistrate judge correctly held the pro se petition
to less stringent standards than those complaints drafted by
attorneys. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). The magistrate judge noted that in order to contest a
sentence through § 2241 petition, a petitioner must show
that a motion under § 2255 would be inadequate or
ineffective. ECF No. 18 at 7 (citing United States v.
Wheeler, 886 F.3d 415, (4th Cir. 2018)). To meet the
second prong of Wheeler, the petitioner must show
that a change in substantive law applied retroactively to
their sentence. The magistrate judge correctly noted that the
cases on which petitioner relies, Mathis and
Hinkle, do not meet this requirement because neither
are retroactive. ECF No. 18 at 9. Thus, the magistrate judge
correctly found that the petitioner's claims may not be
considered under a § 2241 petition. ECF No. 18 at 10.
this Court finds that the findings of the magistrate judge
are not clearly erroneous. Accordingly, the report and