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Wims v. Warden, FCI Edgefield

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

February 6, 2017

TIMOTHY WIMS, also known as Timothy Derrinado Davis, also known as John Darren Delgado, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, FCI Edgefield, Respondent.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge

         Petitioner Timothy Wims, an inmate confined at Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, and proceeding pro se, brought this habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1]. Currently pending before this Court is the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1)(B) and Local Rule 73.02 for the District Court of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the petition be dismissed without prejudice and without requiring the respondent to file a return. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">15]. Petitioner timely filed objections to the Report and Recommendation on September 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">16, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">16. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">18].

         Factual Background and Procedural History

         The procedural history and factual background were adequately set forth in the Report and Recommendation. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">15, pp. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1-2]. Briefly stated, it appears from the petition that on May 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">10, 2006, Petitioner was sentenced by the United States District Court fo the Northern District of Florida for 360 months imprisonment following a guilty plea for conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and to possess with intent to manufacture and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of cocaine base. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 3]. Petitioner states he was sentenced as a “career offender” pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guideline § 4B1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1.1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 based on two prior felony convictions including a home invasion robbery and a controlled substance offense. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 7]. Petitioner contends that his sentence was on the “low end” of the Guideline range. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 8 ]. On May 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">19, 2006, Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal, which was subsequently denied by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on February 21');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, 2007. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 4]. On April 7, 2008, Petitioner filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 4]. On October 21');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, this motion was denied. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 4]. After Petitioner filed a motion seeking a certificate of appealability, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal denied his § 2255 appeal and denied his request for a certificate of appealability. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 9]. On June 27, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">16, Petitioner filed this § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 habeas petition challenging his sentence, arguing that the “sentencing enhancement as a career offender is unconstitutional” in light of Johnson v. United States, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">135 S.Ct. 2551');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">135 S.Ct. 2551');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1(201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">15). This matter is now before the Court for review.

         Legal Standard of Review

         This court is required to liberally construe pro se petitions. Erickson v. Pardus, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 U.S. 89');">551');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 U.S. 89 (2007). The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">423 U.S. 261');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, 270-71');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 (1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the report and recommendation to which specific objection is made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1). The right to de novo review may be waived by the failure to file timely objections. Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1982). The district court is obligated to conduct a de novo review of every portion of the Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have been filed. Id. However, the Court need not conduct a de novo review when a party makes only “general and conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a specific error in the [M]agistrate's proposed findings and recommendations.” Id.

         Discussion

         A § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 petition “generally challenges the execution of a federal prisoner's sentence, including such matters as the administration of parole, computation of a prisoner's sentence by prison officials, prison disciplinary actions, prison transfers, type of detention and prison convictions.” Jiminian v. Nash, 245 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">144, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">146 (2d Cir. 2001');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1) (citing Chambers v. United States, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">106 F.3d 472');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">106 F.3d 472, 474-75 (2d Cir. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1997)). Petitioner argues that his sentence should be vacated for resentencing because his prior convictions no longer qualify as predicate offenses under the United States Sentencing Guidelines for the purposes of the career offender enhancement.

         In the Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge considered and rejected Petitioner's argument that he should be allowed to proceed under § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 because he has satisfied the savings clause of § 2255(e). Thus, the Magistrate Judge recommended finding that Petitioner failed to satisfy the savings clause of § 2255 and could not pursue relief through a § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 habeas petition in this court. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">15]. The Magistrate Judge explained that a motion filed under § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 is normally used to challenge the manner in which a sentence is executed. See In re Vial, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">15 F.3d 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">192, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1994, n. 5 (4th Cir. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1997). The savings clause in § 2255(e) states that an individual may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus under Section 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 if Section 2255 is “inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.”

         In his objections, Petitioner argues that he is entitled to file his petition because the Fourth Circuit has not addressed the circumstances under which a § 2255 is inadequate or effective to test whether his detention is illegal; thus he must resort to a § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 habeas petition. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">18, p. 3]. Petitioner further argues that the Magistrate Judge erred in concluding that the savings clause does not permit him to file his petition because he is challenging his sentence, rather than his conviction. [ECF #1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">18, p. 6].

         As the Magistrate Judge noted, Petitioner cannot challenge his federal conviction and sentence under § 2241');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 unless he can satisfy the § 2255 savings clause, which states:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this section, shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). The mere fact that relief under § 2255 is procedurally barred or barred by the gate-keeping requirements of § 2255(h) does not render the remedy of § 2255 inadequate or ineffective. In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 332 (4th Cir. 2000). The Fourth Circuit has held that a petitioner must establishing the following criteria to demonstrate that a § 2255 motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of a prisoner's detention:

(1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1) at the time of conviction, settled law of this circuit or the Supreme Court ...

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