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Souza v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 1, 2014

MARTIN SOUZA, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent

Martin Souza, Petitioner, Pro se, Adelanto, CA.

For United States of America, Respondent: Assistant U.S. Attorney LA-CV, LEAD ATTORNEY, AUSA - Office of U.S. Attorney, Civil Division, Los Angeles, CA; Diana L Pauli, LEAD ATTORNEY, AUSA - Office of U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division - U.S. Courthouse, Los Angeles, CA.

HONORABLE OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE. SHERI PYM, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

HONORABLE OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

I.

INTRODUCTION

On November 14, 2014, 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 Federal Correctional Institution 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: his life sentence is illegal because one of his prior convictions does not qualify as a drug trafficking offense under the career offender provisions of the United States Sentencing Guidelines; and his due process rights were violated by the government's failure to provide him with pretrial or presentencing notice of intent to enhance his sentence under 21 U.S.C. § 851(a)(2), and by the trial court's failure to advise him in compliance with 21 U.S.C. § 851(b). Pet. Mem. at 5-18. Petitioner also argues that he may seek this relief by way of the instant § 2241 Petition because he qualifies for the escape hatch of 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Pet. Mem. at 2-5.

The instant § 2241 Petition is petitioner's sixth attempt to challenge the criminal judgment against him in this Court by way of a § 2241 petition or other petition. In case number CV 06-4949-SGL (FFM), petitioner filed a § 2241 petition, 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.

Next, in case number CV 11-1574-ODW (SP), petitioner filed a " Petition for a Redress of Grievances Under Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States, " attempting to use that vehicle to raise multiple claims attacking his conviction and sentence. 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.

Third, in case number CV 12-4418-ODW (SP), petitioner filed another § 2241 petition attacking his conviction. The Court summarily dismissed that petition, again 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, and petitioner did not have permission to bring a second or successive § 2255 motion.

Fourth, in case number CV 12-6096-ODW (SP), petitioner filed yet another § 2241 petition, raising the same claims attacking his conviction as he raised in case number CV 12-4418, and also raising a claim attacking his sentence. The Court again summarily dismissed that petition for the same reasons it dismissed the prior petitions.

Fifth, in case number CV 13-8410-ODW (SP), petitioner Martin Souza filed still another § 2241 petition, raising two claims attacking his sentence. The Court once again summarily dismissed that petition, once again for the same reasons it dismissed the prior petitions.

Just as petitioner had no basis to seek the relief he sought in a petition for a redress of grievances or in his prior § 2241 petitions filed in this Court, he has no basis to seek the relief he seeks here in this § 2241 Petition. As petitioner well knows from the Court's orders in his other cases, 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. Although he argues otherwise, he has no legal justification for again trying to circumvent the rules by ...


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