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Ernesto Ramos v. Richard Ives

April 1, 2011

ERNESTO RAMOS, PETITIONER,
v.
RICHARD IVES, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

I. Introduction

Petitioner, a federal prisoner proceeding without counsel, has filed a habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner also claims to have brought this petition under 28 U.S.C. § 1651 (All Writs Act) as a petition for writ of error coram nobis. Both parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned. Petitioner is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Herlong, California.

Pending before the court is respondent's motion to dismiss filed February 4, 2011. After carefully reviewing the record, the undersigned orders that respondent's motion is granted.

II. Discussion

A. Background

This action is proceeding on the original petition filed April 12, 2010. Petitioner alleges that in 2006 he was found guilty of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846 for distributing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. (Dkt. No. 1, at 8.) Judge Haddon sentenced petitioner to 260 months in prison. (Id.)

Although somewhat difficult to understand, petitioner appears to argue that his sentence violates due process and the Sixth and Eighth Amendments because recent Supreme Court cases have given judges improper discretion when imposing sentences under the Sentencing Reform Act ("SRA"). (Id., at 5.) Petitioner argues that he was "sentenced at a time when the court's discretion was limited and uncertain." (Id., at 7.) He states that courts have been instructed that they can "literally disregard the guidelines range and fashion sentences under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)." (Id., at 8.) Petitioner frames the claim raised in this action as follows: The SRA was enacted to install uniformity and predictability through a lock-step procedure. The landmark ruling in Booker*fn1 uninstalled the lock-step predictable nature of the Federal Regime and left the System with indeterminate sentencing discretion. The Supreme Court continues to hand down rulings enlarging the net of discretion rendering constitutional challenges a mere technicality... (Id., at 10-11.)

Petitioner appears to argue that the sentencing judge abused his discretion in sentencing him to 260 months as a result of discretion afforded him by recent Supreme Court cases. While the grounds of petitioner's claims are not entirely clear, it is clear that he is challenging the legality of his sentence.*fn2

B. Analysis

Respondent argues that this action should be dismissed because it is not properly brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

A federal prisoner who wishes to challenge the validity or constitutionality of his conviction or sentence must do so by way of a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Tripati v. Henman, 843 F.2d 1160, 1162 (9th Cir. 1988). In such cases, only the sentencing court has jurisdiction. Tripati, 843 F.2d at 1163. A prisoner may not collaterally attack a federal conviction or sentence by way of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Grady v. United States, 929 F.2d 468, 470 (9th Cir. 1991); Tripati, 843 F.2d at 1162.

In contrast, a federal prisoner challenging the manner, location, or conditions of that sentence's execution must bring a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Capaldi v. Pontesso, 135 F.3d 1122, 1123 (6th Cir. 1998); United States v. Tubwell, 37 F.3d 175, 177 (5th Cir.1994); Brown v. United States, 610 F.2d 672, 677 (9th Cir. 1990).

Because petitioner challenges the validity of his sentence, his claims must be raised in the court where he was sentenced, i.e. the United States District Court for the ...


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