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Jesus Guadalupe Sanchez v. Warden

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 4, 2018

Jesus Guadalupe Sanchez
v.
Warden

          Present: The Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order to Show Cause Why this Action Should Not Be Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 22, 2013, following a jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, Petitioner Jesus Guadalupe Sanchez (“Petitioner”) was convicted of: (1) conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and (2) possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. See USA v. Sanchez, 1:12-CR-00155-001-BLW (D. Idaho), ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 459.[1] On April 9, 2013, Petitioner was sentenced to 400 months in prison and five years of supervised release.[2] Id. at Dkt. 583.

         On March 10, 2016, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate his conviction and sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (“Section 2255”) in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. USA v. Sanchez, 1:12-CR-00155-001-BLW, Dkt. 676. The motion was denied. Id. at Dkt. 702.

         On March 29, 2018, Petitioner, an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institute in Victorville, California (“FCI Victorville”), filed[3] the instant pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (“Petition”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (“Section 2241”) in this Court, challenging his conviction and sentence. Dkt. 1, Pet. at 2. Petitioner asserts he is “serving a sentence in violation of the Sixth Amendment” because the sentencing judge made erroneous findings in violation of Petitioner's Sixth Amendment right and the “sentence should therefore be vacated.” See id. at 3.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. APPLICABLE LAW

         A petitioner challenging “the manner, location, or conditions of a sentence's execution” must file a petition for writ of habeas corpus under Section 2241 in the custodial court. Harrison v. Ollison, 519 F.3d 952, 956 (9th Cir. 2008). On the other hand, Section 2255 “provides the exclusive procedural mechanism by which a federal prisoner may test the legality of detention.” Lorentsen v. Hood, 223 F.3d 950, 953 (9th Cir. 2000). A petitioner challenging “the legality of his sentence” must file a motion to vacate his sentence under Section 2255 and “[Section] 2255 motions must be heard in the sentencing court.” Hernandez v. Campbell, 204 F.3d 861, 864-65 (9th Cir. 2000).

         There is, however, an exception to this general rule that a Section 2255 challenge to the legality of detention must be filed in the sentencing court. Under the “escape hatch” of Section 2255, a federal prisoner may challenge the legality of detention in the custodial court if, and only if, the remedy under Section 2255 in the sentencing court is “inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e); Stephens v. Herrera, 464 F.3d 895, 897 (9th Cir. 2006). A prisoner may file under Section 2255's escape hatch in the custodial court “when the prisoner ‘(1) makes a claim of actual innocence, and (2) has not had an unobstructed procedural shot at presenting that claim.'” Marrero v. Ives, 682 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Stephens, 464 F.3d at 898).

         With respect to the first prong of Section 2255's escape hatch, an actual innocence claim requires a petitioner to “demonstrate that, in light of all the evidence, it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have convicted him.” Stephens, 464 F.3d at 898 (citing Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 118 S.Ct. 1604, 140 L.Ed.2d 828 (1998)). With respect to the second prong of Section 2255's escape hatch, whether the petitioner has not had an “unobstructed procedural shot” at presenting his actual innocence claim, the Court must consider: “(1) whether the legal basis for petitioner's claim did not arise until after he had exhausted his direct appeal and first [Section] 2255 motion; and (2) whether the law changed in any way relevant to petitioner's claim after that first [Section] 2255 motion.” Alaimalo v. United States, 645 F.3d 1042, 1047 (9th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         B. ANALYSIS

         Here, Petitioner does not challenge “the manner, location, or conditions of a sentence's execution.” See Harrison, 519 F.3d at 956. Rather, Petitioner challenges the legality of his conviction and sentence. See Dkt. 1, Pet. Thus, Petitioner cannot proceed in this Court, the custodial court, unless Section 2255's “escape hatch” provision applies. Lorentsen, 223 F.3d at 953.

         Applying the two prongs of Section 2255's escape hatch, the Court finds the Petition does not qualify for the exception. Harrison, 519 F.3d at 959. First, Petitioner fails to make a claim of actual innocence. Moreover, Petitioner has not offered any evidence that would lead the Court to conclude “in light of all the evidence, it is more ...


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