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Manansala v. Feather

United States District Court, D. Oregon

April 1, 2015

ARNOLD RAY MANANSALA Petitioner,
v.
MARION FEATHER, Warden, FCI Sheridan, Respondent.

HANNAH R. HORSFALL, Portland, OR, Attorney for Petitioner.

NATALIE K. WIGHT, Assistant United States Attorney District of Oregon, Portland, OR, Attorney for Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER

MALCOLM F. MARSH, District Judge.

Petitioner Arnold Ray Manansala, an inmate in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), currently housed at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon, brings this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the reasons set forth below, the court lacks jurisdiction and this proceeding is dismissed.

BACKGROUND

On March 31, 2010, petitioner was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Division). The sentencing judge adopted a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report that contained a recommended 22-point enhancement under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (Guidelines) for the total amount of loss, and a six-point enhancement based on the number of victims. On July 29, 2010, petitioner received a below-Guidelines sentence of 60 months on count 1 (fraud conspiracy) and 84 months on count 2 (money laundering conspiracy), to be served consecutively for a total of 144 months, plus three years post-prison supervision. Petitioner did not directly appeal his conviction. Second Amended Petition (#13), ¶ 4. Petitioner has not filed a prior petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Id.

On March 12, 2014, petitioner filed his current § 2241 action in the Northern District of Florida. Because petitioner is incarcerated in Sheridan, Oregon, that court concluded it lacked jurisdiction to hear petitioner's § 2241 claims, and it transferred the case to the District of Oregon.

In his current § 2241 action, petitioner contends his Sixth Amendment rights were violated when the sentencing judge enhanced or increased his sentence based on facts that were not submitted to the jury and found beyond a reasonable doubt. According to petitioner, his sentence is illegal under Southern Union Co. v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 2344 (2012) and United States v. Alleyne, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013). Petitioner maintains that application of the enhancements without the necessary fact finding by the jury violates his Sixth Amendment Due Process rights. Second Amended Petition (#13) ¶¶ 25-27.

Respondent moves to dismiss the petition because it is a disguised § 2255 action. Respondent contends that petitioner has failed to demonstrate that his action falls within the § 2241 "escape hatch" or "savings clause, a and therefore, the court lacks jurisdiction and dismissal is appropriate. Respondent is correct.

DISCUSSION

I. Petitioner's § 2241 Action is a Disguised § 2255 Action

As an initial matter, I must determine whether petitioner's action is a disguised § 2255 or whether he is entitled to bring his claims pursuant to § 2241.[1] Muth v. Fondren, 676 F.3d 815, 818 (9th Cir. 2012); Alaimalo v. United States, 645 F.3d 1042, 1046 (9th Cir. 2011). 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. Section 2255 typically provides the exclusive procedural mechanism for a federal prisoner to challenge the legality of his detention. Muth, 676 F.3d at 818; Harrison v. Ollison, 519 F.3d 952, 955 (9th Cir. 2008); Stephens v. Herrera, 464 F.3d 895, 897 (9th Cir. 2006). "Generally, motions to contest the legality of a sentence must be filed under § 2255 in the sentencing court, while petitions that challenge the manner, location, or conditions of a sentence's execution must be brought pursuant to§ 2241 in the custodial court." Hernandez v. Campbell, 204 F.3d 861, 864 (9th Cir. 2000).

However, § 2255 provides an exception: a federal prisoner may file a § 2241 petition to challenge the legality of a sentence when the prisoner's remedy under § 2255 is "inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). This exception is referred to as the "savings clause" or the "escape hatch." Muth, 676 F.3d at 818; Harrison, 519 F.3d at 956; Hernandez, 204 F.3d at 864 n. 2. A prisoner may file a § 2241 petition under the savings clause when he "(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).

Petitioner fails to meet these requirements. First, petitioner fails to set forth a cognizable claim of actual innocence under§ 2255(e). In order to utilize the savings clause, petitioner must establish that in light of all the evidence, "it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have convicted him.'" Muth, 676 F.3d at 819 (quoting Stephens, 464 F.3d at 898). Petitioner must demonstrate actual innocence, not mere ...


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