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Boyd v. Walton

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 14, 2014

WILLIE E. BOYD, Petitioner,
v.
J. S. WALTON Respondent.

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

CLIFFORD J. PROUD, District Judge.

Willie E. Boyd filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §2241, (Doc. 1). In 1998, he was convicted in the Eastern District of Missouri of one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C), and 851; two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e); two counts of false representation of a social security number in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7); and three counts of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements in violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 5313, 5324(a)(2), and 5324(c). He was sentenced to a total of 276 months imprisonment.

Boyd alleges prosecutorial misconduct in failing to turn over all discovery materials and suppressing evidence. Respondent argues that Boyd is precluded from bringing a §2241 petition.

Relevant Facts and Procedural History

Boyd has filed numerous collateral attacks on his conviction and sentence, both in the Eastern District of Missouri and in this District. Some of these attacks have raised the claims that are raised here.

Petitioner's many filings in the Eastern District of Missouri and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals are described by Senior District Judge E. Richard Webber in an order dated April 25, 2012. See, Doc. 11, Ex. C. The motion before Judge Webber raised the same claims that are raised in the petition before this Court. Judge Webber determined that the motion before him was an unauthorized successive §2255 motion. Because the Eighth Circuit had repeatedly denied Boyd authorization to file a successive motion, Judge Webber dismissed the motion. Because of Boyd's history of fling "a multitude of motions for reconsideration, rehearing, or the like, " Judge Webber ordered the Clerk's Office to no longer accept filings from Boyd in his closed criminal case or in his closed 28 U.S.C. §2255 case. Ex. C, p. 7.

Boyd has also filed at least six post-conviction petitions in this District, which are described in respondent's answer, Doc. 11, at p. 4. In Boyd v. Revell, Case No. 06-cv-711-WDS, Boyd filed a §2241 petition raising the same claims as he asserts in the present case. Senior District Judge William D. Stiehl noted that those same claims had, in fact, been raised in his first §2255 motion. Judge Stiehl determined that the "§ 2241 petition qualifies as an attempt to circumvent the procedural limitations governing motions under § 2255" and dismissed. Doc. 11, Ex. F. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. Doc. 11, Ex. G.

Boyd's litigation history was discussed by the Seventh Circuit in an order denying his most recent appeal. Because of his repeated raising of the same frivolous claim, the Court sanctioned Boyd as follows:

Boyd is fined $500. Until he pays that sum in full to the clerk of this court, he is barred from filing further civil suits in the courts of this circuit in accordance with Support Sys. Int'l v. Mack, 45 F.3d 185 (7th Cir. 1995), and any papers he submits will be returned unfiled. Moreover, any papers he submits attacking his current criminal conviction also will be returned unfiled. Alexander v. United States, 121 F.3d 312 (7th Cir. 1997).

Boyd v. Cross, Case No. 13-337, Doc. 21 (January 13, 2014).

Applicable Legal Standards

Generally, petitions for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §2241 may not be used to raise claims of legal error in conviction or sentencing, but are limited to challenges regarding the execution of a sentence. See, Valona v. United States, 138 F.3d 693, 694 (7th Cir.1998).

A federally convicted person may challenge his conviction and sentence by bringing a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255 in the court which sentenced him. Indeed, a §2255 motion is ordinarily the "exclusive means for a federal prisoner to attack his conviction." Kramer v. Olson, 347 F.3d 214, 217 (7th Cir. 2003). However, the statute generally limits a prisoner to one challenge of his conviction and sentence under §2255. A prisoner may not file a "second or successive" motion unless a panel of the appropriate court of appeals certifies that such motion contains either 1) newly discovered evidence "sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense, " or 2) "a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable." 28 U.S.C. §2255(h).

It is possible, under very limited circumstances, for a prisoner to challenge his federal conviction or sentence under §2241. 28 U.S.C. §2255(e) contains a "savings clause" which authorizes a federal prisoner to file a §2241 petition where the remedy under §2255 is "inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). See, United States v. Prevatte, 300 F.3d 792, 798-99 (7th Cir.2002). "A procedure for postconviction relief can be fairly termed inadequate when it is so configured as to deny a convicted defendant any opportunity for judicial rectification ...


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