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Parada v. Martinez

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 24, 2019

NORMAN PARADA, Petitioner,
FELIPE MARTINEZ, JR., Warden, Respondent.



         The Court dismisses this habeas action for lack of jurisdiction.

         1. Petitioner is an inmate at the federal prison facility at Lompoc, California. He filed a habeas petition in this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 regarding his 2006 federal drug trafficking conviction and sentence in federal court in the District of Kansas.

         2. Although not entirely clear from the petition (or the supplemental statements that Judge Wilner ordered Petitioner to provide (Docket # 1, 6, 8)), Petitioner appears to contend that: (a) he was originally sentenced based on the improper use of a juvenile conviction and (b) the Bureau of Prisons has misclassified his status within the federal prison system based on that conviction. (Docket # 9.) Petitioner purports to bring this habeas action now based on his alleged recent “discovery” of the presentence report from his 2006 case. (Docket # 1 at 4.)

         3. This is Petitioner’s fourth habeas action in this district.[1] As recounted in the Court’s previous orders, Petitioner has also challenged his conviction and sentence in post-conviction proceedings in the District of Kansas and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on numerous occasions.

         4. Of note, the Tenth Circuit has “denied three separate motions for authorization to file a second or successive § 2255 motion” after his initial motion. United States v. Parada, 2017 WL 2225228 (D. Kan. 2017) (dismissing additional habeas petition as successive).

         5. The government moved to dismiss the action on several grounds. (Docket # 10.) The government argues that Petitioner’s action is a disguised Section 2255 motion that Petitioner improperly filed in this district rather than in the District of Kansas. The government contends that the action is successive, and filed without permission from a federal appellate court. Finally, the government asserts that Petitioner’s claim regarding his prison-based classification is not cognizable in federal court.

         6. Petitioner’s opposition brief focused on the alleged errors in his prison classification score, but provided little additional insight into his claims or to refute the government’s arguments. (Docket # 12.)

         7. If it “plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief, ” the Court may summarily dismiss a habeas petition. Local Rule 72-3.2; see also Rules 1 and 4 of Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in United States District Courts (petition may be summarily dismissed if petitioner plainly not entitled to relief; rule applicable to any type of habeas action); Green v. Fox, No. CV 15-5420 DMG (GJS), 2015 WL 4932822 at *2 (C.D. Cal. 2015) (summary dismissal of improper § 2255 petition).

         8. Federal prisoners have two statutory paths by which they may seek a writ of habeas corpus. “As a general rule, ” federal inmates may collaterally attack their conviction and sentence only under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Alaimalo v. United States, 645 F.3d 1042, 1046 (9th Cir. 2011).

         9. However, a federal prisoner may also seek a writ under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. That statute permits a prisoner to pursue habeas relief where a favorable result (such as the reversal of a disciplinary action and the loss of good time credits) will shorten the prisoner’s sentence. Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 858 (9th Cir. 2003); Nettles v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 935 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc) (habeas jurisdiction exists only where success on prisoner’s claims would “lead to his immediate or earlier release from confinement”).

         10. As with his previous actions in this district, Petitioner’s habeas claims challenging his original criminal sentence may only be brought under Section 2255 in the district of conviction. Petitioner has had ample opportunity to bring those challenges. He is not entitled to further attack his Kansas conviction in this California district court.[2]

         11. Petitioner’s contention that he now has access to his presentence report for the first time since his sentencing – the stated basis for his current action – further undermines his claim in this district. Section 2255(h) limits a federal prisoner to one post-appeal proceeding. However, as Judge Wilner noted in the original screening order (Docket # 4 at 1), “newly discovered” facts or evidence may provide a basis for an appellate court to authorize a successive motion under Section 2255(h)(1).

         12. Yet, Petitioner’s submissions make clear that he neither sought nor obtained authorization from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to pursue a successive action based on this new information. As a result, this Court does not ...

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