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Martin Souza v. Francisco J. Quintana

June 5, 2012

MARTIN SOUZA, PETITIONER,
v.
FRANCISCO J. QUINTANA, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Otis D. Wright, II United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

I. INTRODUCTION

On May 21, 2012, petitioner Martin Souza filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in Federal Custody under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 ("Petition"). Petitioner is a prisoner at the United States Penitentiary in Victorville, California, where he is serving a life sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. See Pet. at 2. In this Petition, petitioner raises two grounds for relief: (1) that his constitutional rights were violated when he was allowed to represent himself at trial; and (2) that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in being permitted to represent himself, and due to the shortcomings of his stand-by legal counsel. Pet. at 3.

The claims petitioner raises here were both among the claims raised in the "Petition for a Redress of Grievances Under Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States" that petitioner filed in this Court in case number CV 11-1574-ODW (SP). The Court dismissed that petition for a redress of grievances without prejudice on the grounds that the relief petitioner sought could only be obtained by way of a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 filed with the sentencing court, petitioner had previously brought such a motion before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, petitioner did not have permission to bring a second or successive § 2255 motion, and therefore there was no reason for the Court to recharacterize the petition as a § 2255 motion and transfer it to the Northern District of Ohio.

The petition for a redress of grievances was not petitioner's first attempt to improperly obtain relief from this Court. In case number CV 06-4949-SGL (FFM), petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under § 2241, attacking his conviction and sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. This Court summarily dismissed that habeas petition on the ground that petitioner's claim may only be raised to the sentencing court in a § 2255 motion.

Just as petitioner had no basis to seek the relief he sought in a petition for a redress of grievances or in his first habeas petition filed in this Court, he has no basis to seek the relief he seeks here in this § 2241 Petition. As petitioner well knows, he can only seek such relief by way of a § 2255 motion filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He has no legal justification for again trying to circumvent the rules by seeking such relief in this Court with a § 2241 petition. Accordingly, the instant Petition will be summarily dismissed without prejudice.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY*fn1

Petitioner was indicted on October 21, 1998 and found guilty by a jury on July 28, 1999 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in case number CR 98-356 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Petitioner was sentenced on December 15, 1999.

On October 29, 1999, petitioner filed a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the Northern District of Ohio, which was dismissed without prejudice as untimely. Petitioner then commenced his direct appeal process. On November 25, 2002, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed petitioner's conviction.

On June 19, 2003, petitioner filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the Northern District of Ohio, which he amended on September 11, 2006. The petition was denied December 13, 2006, and the court declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Petitioner appealed this denial of the certificate of appealability to the Sixth Circuit on January 29, 2007. The Sixth Circuit construed the appeal as an application for a certificate of appealability and denied it on September 7, 2007.

On October 25, 2004, petitioner filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was denied on December 13, 2004.

On November 2, 2005, petitioner filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was denied on January 10, 2006.

On August 9, 2006, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under

28 U.S.C. ยง 2241 in this Court in case number CV 06-4949-SGL (FFM). The petition was dismissed August 25, 2006 for lack of jurisdiction. The Court noted that petitioner's claim that his conviction was invalid must properly be directed to the ...


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