United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
December 24, 2015, petitioner Antonio Medina Puerta
("Mr. Medina") filed a self-prepared petition for writ
of coram nobis (the "Petition")
challenging his 1993 criminal conviction and sentence in this
Court for bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344,
and for transportation of the funds obtained by the
fraud. See United States v. Puerta, No.
1:91-10258-MLW. In the alternative, Mr. Medina seeks
habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254 or
§2241. Mr. Medina contends that the criminal judgment
should be set aside and the indictment dismissed because it
failed to state an offense, as recently established by the
Supreme Court's opinion in Loughrin v. United
States, 134 S.Ct. 2384 (2014). He further contends that
Loughrin is a rule of substantive law and is
retroactive for purposes of coram nobis or habeas
review. Next, he contends that he has been subjected to
substantial collateral consequences because of his
conviction, including false arrests and banking difficulties.
Finally, Mr. Medina contends that he first discovered the
alleged constitutional and fundamental errors in 2015 when he
first read Loughrin. He argues that he meets the
test for issuance of a writ because he presents compelling
circumstances that: (1) demonstrate a fundamental error; (2)
explain why he did not seek relief earlier; and (3) show that
he continues to suffer significant collateral consequences
from the judgment and has no other remedy. Mr. Medina also
requests appointment of counsel. With his petition, Mr.
Medina also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma
Mr. Medina has filed the instant petition as one for a writ
of coram nobis, or in the alternative as one for
habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241 or §2254,
this court will construe this action only as presenting a
petition for writ of coram nobis. Mr. Medina has
completed his criminal sentence and therefore does not meet
the "in custody" requirement of §2241(c) or
§2254(a). In light of Mr. Medina's custodial status,
a coram nobis petition is the appropriate vehicle to
challenge his conviction and/or sentence in this court.
See Trenkler v. United States, 536 F.3d 85, 98 (1st
Cir. 2008) (stating that the writ of coram nobis
"is ordinarily available only to a criminal defendant
who is no longer in custody.").
Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis is
being denied as moot. No filing fee is required for the
Petition because this court considers a coram nobis
petition to be the "functional equivalent" of a
motion filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255, as to which no
filing fee inures. See Memorandum and Order,
United States of America v. Belgrove, No.
11-11920-MLW (Oct. 27, 2011) at 5.
Medina's request for appointment of counsel is being
denied without prejudice to renewal after the respondent has
filed a response to the petition, upon a duly-filed motion.
On this record, the court cannot make a finding on whether
appointment of counsel is in the interests of justice.
ORDER In view of the foregoing, it is hereby ORDERED that:
action is construed as a petition for writ of coram
nobis and not a petition for habeas corpus;
Petitioner's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma
pauperis (Docket No. 2) is MOOT;
Petitioner's request for appointment of counsel is DENIED
without prejudice; 4. The Clerk shall serve the petition on
the respondent; and 5. The respondent shall, within 21 days
of receipt of service of the petition, file an answer or
other responsive pleading.
 In the Petition, petitioner refers to
himself as "Mr. Medina" rather than by the name
appearing in the caption to the underlying criminal case,
Puerta. For purposes of this Memorandum and Order, the Court
will refer to the ...