United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ROMAN DEONN-HELLEMS,  also known as ROMAN DEONN HELLEMS TRUST, also known as ROMAN HELLEMS, Petitioner,
USA, UNITED STATES DEPT. OF JUSTICE, CITY OF GREENVILLE, IL, and JOHN DOE 1-6, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Roman Hellems, an inmate in the custody of the Federal Bureau
of Prisons (“BOP”) currently incarcerated in the
Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville, Illinois
(“FCI-Greenville”), filed a self-styled
“Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to Both 28
U.S.C. Section 2241 and the Mandamus Act 28 U.S.C. Section
1361 (1962).” (Doc. 1). The title of the Petition
suggests that Hellems is pursuing habeas relief under Section
2241 and mandamus relief under Section 1361. Hellems recently
clarified that he only seeks relief under Section
Section 2241 Petition is now before the Court for preliminary
review. Rule 4 of the Federal Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases in United States District Courts provides that upon
preliminary consideration by the district 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)
gives this Court the authority to apply the rules to other
habeas corpus cases. For the reasons set forth below, the
Section 2241 Petition shall be dismissed.
filed this Section 2241 Petition on April 22, 2019. (Doc. 1,
pp. 1-24). It is organized into twenty-four separate
“facts.” These “facts” consist of
challenges to his conviction and sentence, complaints about
the conditions of his confinement, claims of interference
with his access to the courts, requests for various
documents, and prayers for declaratory and injunctive relief.
Conspicuously absent from the Section 2241 Petition is a
request for release from confinement. (Id.).
construed, Hellems brings a challenge to his conviction and
sentence in United States v. Hellems, No.
4:15-cr-00141-JAJ (S.D. Iowa). On May 3, 2017, Hellems was
convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and
sentenced to 120 months of incarceration. See id.
His appeal was rejected on August 4, 2017. United States
v. Hellems, 866 F.3d 856 (8th Cir. 2017). His Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 also was denied on February 14, 2019. Hellems, v.
United States, No. 4:18-cv-0294-JAJ (S.D. Iowa).
instead of setting forth the reasons he may be entitled to
habeas relief, Hellems complains about various conditions of
his confinement. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-24). He describes a
humiliating strip search, confiscation of his personal
property, loss of commissary privileges, interference with
his legal mail, and denial of his access to the courts, among
other things. (See Facts ##1-19). He requests relief
related to these conditions, including declaratory and
injunctive relief, targeting the interference with his mail,
his ongoing requests for access to documents, and his attempt
to settle various disputes with prison officials.
(See Facts ##20-25).
Section 2241 Petition
Section 2241 Petition does not survive preliminary review for
numerous reasons, the most significant of which are discussed
filed this habeas action on behalf of himself and several
co-petitioners. But he cannot bring a petition for habeas
relief on behalf of other petitioners. This includes Sacorey
Lennel Clark, who is listed among the petitioners involved in
this matter. Clark did not sign the Section 2241 Petition and
has not participated in this action; this individual filed a
separate action in this District on the same date as Hellems.
See Clark v. United States, et al., No.
19-cv-00440-NJR (S.D. Ill. Apr. 22, 2019). Hellems cannot
sign or file unsigned papers on behalf of another litigant.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11; Lewis v. Lenc-Smith Mfg.
Co., 784 F.2d 829, 831 (7th Cir. 1986) (non-attorney
cannot file or sign papers for another litigant). Hellems
also named one or more trusts as co-petitioners.
(See Doc. 1, p. 1; Doc. 5, p. 2) (clarifying that
trusts were intended to be co-petitioners). But the writ of
habeas corpus extends to a “prisoner” and only
under limited circumstances. See 28 U.S.C. §
2241 (describing those few circumstances when the writ of
habeas corpus extends to a “prisoner”). A trust
is not a “prisoner” under Section 2241.
also did not name the proper respondent. See 28
U.S.C. §§ 2242, 2243 (“The writ, or order to
show cause shall be directed to the person having custody of
the person detained.”). This is generally the person
who has the ability to produce the petitioner to the habeas
court- typically the warden of the facility where the
petitioner is detained. Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542
U.S. 426 (2004). Hellems does not name the warden of
FCI-Greenville among the respondents. He instead lists the
United States, the United States Department of Justice, the
City of Greenville, and six unknown individuals as
Section 2241 entitles him to no relief. A federally convicted
person generally challenges his conviction and sentence by
bringing a motion pursuant to Section 2255 in the court that
sentenced him, and this is usually the “exclusive means
for a federal prisoner to attack his conviction.”
Kramer v. Olson, 347 F.3d 214, 217 (7th Cir. 2003).
Section 2255 limits a prisoner to one challenge of
his conviction and sentence. Hellems has already pursued
relief unsuccessfully under Section 2255.
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). Under limited
circumstances, a prisoner may challenge his federal
conviction or sentence pursuant to Section 2241, when his
case triggers application of the “savings clause”
in Section 2255(e). This occurs when the remedy under Section
2255 is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his
detention. In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611 (7th
Cir. 1998). Notably, however, Section 2255 is not
considered inadequate or ineffective simply because a