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Anthony Singleton, No. 94408-024 v. Walton

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 17, 2014

ANTHONY SINGLETON, No. 94408-024, Petitioner,
v.
JEFFREY S. WALTON, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DAVID R. HERNDON, District Judge.

Petitioner, currently incarcerated in the United States Penitentiary at Marion, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge the constitutionality of his confinement. He is serving a three-year sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release.

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in United States District Courts. Rule 4 provides that upon preliminary consideration by the district court judge, "[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner." Rule 1(b) of those Rules gives this Court the authority to apply the rules to other habeas corpus cases, such as this action under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. After carefully reviewing the petition, the Court concludes that this action is subject to dismissal.

Background

On May 4, 2004, petitioner was convicted by a jury in the Northern District of Illinois of theft of mail and possession of a mail access device. United States v. Singleton, Case No. 03-cr-175 (N.D. Ill.). He was sentenced to 115 months, plus three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay substantial restitution (Doc. 99 in criminal case). He never appealed his conviction or sentence.[1]

Petitioner was released from prison on September 2, 2011, and initially reported to the probation office. However, in short order the government moved to revoke his supervised release, because he refused to meet with the probation officer. While the revocation proceeding was pending, petitioner was arrested in New York, and ultimately convicted there on charges of grand larceny and possession of a forged instrument. He remained in the custody of New York authorities until March 26, 2013, when he was sentenced to time served (approximately 15 months). He then was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal, and was returned to the Northern District of Illinois.

On July 18, 2013, the trial court found petitioner in violation of the terms of his supervised release. The court revoked his supervised release and sentenced him to 36 months in prison (Doc. 172 in criminal case). Petitioner never appealed that sentence or the revocation.

On February 27, 2014, petitioner filed a § 2241 petition seeking credit against his 36-month federal sentence for the 15 months he served on the New York state forgery conviction. Singleton v. Walton, Case No. 14-cv-288-DRH-CJP (S.D. Ill.). On June 17, 2014, this Court denied relief. The undersigned Judge concluded that the Bureau of Prisons correctly determined that petitioner was not entitled to the sentence credit he sought, because a prisoner cannot get credit against both a federal and state sentence for the same time spent in custody (Doc. 22 in Case No. 14-cv-288).

Soon after filing the above matter in this Court, petitioner filed a motion on March 7, 2014, in the trial court seeking to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Singleton v. United States, Case No. 14-cv-1653 (N.D. Ill.). In that matter, he raised four issues. He claimed the court violated his right to counsel by forcing him to proceed without an attorney in his revocation hearing;[2] he was never given a written statement or otherwise advised of the conditions of his supervised release; the court improperly calculated the advisory sentencing guideline range; and the court erred in relying on a certification of disposition from the New York court clerk as to the disposition of the criminal matter in that state (Doc. 12 in Case No. 14-cv-1653). He also raised the same sentence credit issue that he brought in the first § 2241 case.

The trial court found that petitioner was not entitled to relief under § 2255 on any of these claims, because his failure to file an appeal at the conclusion of the revocation proceeding meant that he had procedurally defaulted all his claims. Further, he failed to demonstrate good cause for or prejudice from the failure to appeal. Although the court was not required to address the merits of petitioner's claims due to the procedural default, it did discuss his contention of error in calculating the sentencing guidelines for the violation of his supervised release conditions (Doc. 12, p. 6, Case No. 14-cv-1653). Although there had indeed been an error in the calculation, no miscarriage of justice resulted:

The sentence imposed fell well below the statutory maximum of seventy-two months imprisonment and the Court was aware that the Guidelines were advisory... the Court would have arrived at the same decision regardless of the advisory range. In imposing sentence, the Court noted that Singleton's sentence of imprisonment should be equivalent to the thirty-six month term of supervised release that Singleton refused to serve as a result of his obstructive conduct in refusing to cooperate with his probation officer.

(Doc. 12, p. 6, n.2, Case No. 14-cv-1653).

The court declined to issue a certificate of appealability pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). The order disposing of the § 2255 ...


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