United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Donte Harris, an inmate who is incarcerated in the United
States Penitentiary located in Marion, Illinois
(“USP-Marion”), brings this habeas corpus action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). Harris
challenges the 600-month sentence he received in United
States v. Harris, No. 1-02-cr-0381 (D. Md. 2002).
Relying on the United States Supreme Court's decision in
Mathis v. United States, -- U.S. --, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016), Harris claims that his sentence as a career offender
is improper. (Doc. 1). Harris seeks resentencing.
(Id. at p. 8).
matter is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Section 2241 Petition. 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.
was indicted in the District of Maryland and pleaded guilty
to eleven counts of aiding and abetting bank robbery in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), (d), and (f) and
two counts of using, carrying, brandishing and possessing a
firearm in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c). United States v. Harris, No.
1-02-cr-0381 (D. Md. 2002) (“criminal case”)
(Docs. 33 and 122). He originally entered a guilty plea with
respect to Counts 1, 2, and 3 of the Second Superseding
Indictment pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
11(c)(1)(C), and a presentence investigation report was
prepared. But before sentencing, Harris withdrew the guilty
plea. (Doc. 112, criminal case). After four days of a jury
trial, Harris changed his mind once again, was re-arraigned,
and entered guilty pleas to several counts of bank robbery
and use and possession of a firearm in a crime of violence in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113 & 924(c). He was
sentenced to a 600-month term of incarceration pursuant to a
plea agreement on January 13, 2004. (Doc. 122, criminal
filed three motions to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255, and the District of Maryland denied all
three motions. Harris unsuccessfully appealed these
decisions.The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals also
denied his requests to file second or successive Section 2255
motions. He then filed numerous Section 2241
petitions in Maryland, California, and Indiana.
instant Section 2241 Petition, Harris claims that his
sentence as a career offender is improper in light of the
Supreme Court's decision in Mathis v. United
States, -- U.S. --, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). (Doc. 1).
Harris asserts that his three Maryland burglary convictions
no longer qualify as crimes of violence, and he is actually
innocent of a fourth conviction for burglary with intent to
steal at night (Id. at pp. 2, 6-8). Harris seeks
resentencing. (Id. at p. 8).
Section 2241 Petition before this Court is duplicative of a
Section 2241 Petition that Harris filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. See
Harris v. Krueger, No. 17-cv-00338-JRS-MJD (S.D. Ind.)
(“duplicative case”). The Southern District of
Indiana dismissed the duplicative case with
prejudice on February 21, 2019. (Doc. 41). The district
court found that Harris failed to demonstrate a miscarriage
of justice in his case because he specifically agreed to the
sentence in his negotiated plea agreement. (Doc. 42). Harris
filed several post-judgment motions that remain pending in
the duplicative case (Docs. 43-50), including three motions
that Harris filed after commencing this action (Docs. 48-50).
instant Section 2241 Petition, Harris raises the same
arguments that the Southern District of Indiana already
considered and dismissed in the duplicative case. Harris
makes no claim that the law has changed or that new facts
have come to light since his duplicative case was dismissed
with prejudice. He instead seeks a second opinion. The
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is the proper place to
turn-not the Southern District of Illinois-if Harris wishes
to appeal the decision of the Southern District of Indiana.
The instant Section 2241 Petition shall be dismissed.
addition, Harris is WARNED that he may be
subject to sanctions for further frivolous or duplicative
filings in this District, consistent with Alexander v.
United States, 121 F.3d 312, 315 (7th Cir. 1997). In
Alexander, the Seventh Circuit imposed a monetary
sanction as well as an order that future filings by the
petitioner would be deemed denied on the thirtieth day unless
the Court entered an order to the contrary.
Alexander, 121 F.3d at 315-16. In imposing these
sanctions, the Seventh Circuit relied on the principle that
courts have “inherent powers to protect themselves from
vexatious litigation.” Id. at 316 (citing
Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32 (1991)). Harris
should refrain from future vexatious, frivolous, or
duplicative filings, if he wishes to avoid these sanctions.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1) is
DISMISSED with prejudice because it is
duplicative of Harris v. Krueger, No.
17-cv-00338-JRS-MJD (S.D. Ind.). Further, Harris is hereby
WARNED that his continued filing of
petitions, papers, or claims that are clearly foreclosed or
frivolous in future habeas actions ...