United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Jacquelyn D. Austin United States Magistrate Judge.
Ellis (“Petitioner”) is a prisoner in the custody
of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and is currently
incarcerated in South Carolina at the Williamsburg Federal
Correctional Institution. Proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, Petitioner brings this habeas action under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c), D.S.C.,
the undersigned Magistrate Judge is authorized to review such
petitions for relief and submit findings and recommendations
to the District Court. For the reasons below, the Petition is
subject to summary dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.
Conviction, Sentence, and Appeal
August 26, 2013, Petitioner pled guilty in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina at
case number 5:12-cr-208-D to Count 2 of an Indictment,
charging him with possession of a stolen firearm, and to
Count 3 of an Indictment, charging him with possession of an
unregistered firearm. [Doc. 1 at 2]; United States v.
Ellis, No. 5:12-cr-00208-D (E.D. N.C. Aug. 26, 2013),
Doc. 60. On February 24, 2014, the Honorable James
C. Dever III, sentenced Petitioner to, among other things, a
term of 120 months' imprisonment as to Count 2 and a
consecutive term of 115 months' imprisonment as to Count
3, for a total term of 235 months' imprisonment. [Doc. 1
at 3]; United States v. Ellis, No. 5:12-cr-00208-D
(E.D. N.C. Feb. 24, 2014), Docs. 77, 81. Plaintiff filed a
direct appeal, and, on October 23, 2014, the Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction and
dismissed the appeal as to his sentence. [Doc. 1 at 2];
United States v. Ellis, 585 Fed.Appx. 58 (4th Cir.
2014). The United States Supreme Court denied
Petitioner's petition for writ of certiorari on March 2,
2015. Ellis v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 1510 (2015).
§ 2255 Motion
19, 2015, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the
sentencing court. [Doc. 1 at 4]; United States v.
Ellis, No. 5:12-cr-00208-D (E.D. N.C. Jun. 19, 2015),
Docs. 95, 99. However, the sentencing court denied his motion
and granted the Government's motion to dismiss on May 27,
2016. Ellis v. United States, No. 5:15-cv-00268-D,
2016 WL 3064079 (E.D. N.C. May 27, 2016). Petitioner appealed
and, on October 18, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
dismissed Petitioner's appeal. Ellis v. United
States, 669 Fed.Appx. 655, 656 (4th Cir. 2016).
now seeks habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in
this Court, claiming that his sentence is unconstitutional
because trial counsel was ineffective in failing to
adequately or meaningfully explain the United States
Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.” or
“Guidelines”) at any time during the pendency of
the criminal proceedings against him. [Doc. 1 at 8.]
Specifically, Petitioner contends that trial counsel failed
to explain Chapters 2 and 3 of the Guidelines to him, even
though Petitioner was subject to a Chapter 2 enhancement, and
that Petitioner entered a guilty plea without knowing the
consequences of that plea with regard to the applicable
sentencing enhancements under the Guidelines. [Id.]
For his relief, Petitioner seeks resentencing and an
evidentiary hearing. [Id. at 9.]
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of the pro se pleadings pursuant
to the procedural provisions of the Anti-Terrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The review has been
conducted in light of the following precedents: Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Nasim v. Warden,
Maryland House of Correction, 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir.
1995) (en banc); Todd v. Baskerville, 712
F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983); Loe v. Armistead, 582 F.2d
1291 (4th Cir. 1978); and Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d
1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). Petitioner is a pro se litigant,
and thus his pleadings are accorded liberal construction.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per
curiam); Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319 (1972).
Even under this less stringent standard, however, the
Petition is subject to summary dismissal.
this Court is charged with screening Petitioner's lawsuit
to determine if “it plainly appears from the petition
and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled
to relief in the district court.” Rule 4 of Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts; see also Rule 1(b) Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the U.S. District Courts (2012) (explaining
that a district court may apply these rules to a habeas
corpus petition not filed pursuant to § 2254).