Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Schmutzler v. Grondolsky

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

December 12, 2016

JEFFREY SCHMUTZLER, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN JEFF GRONDOLSKY Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ALLISON D. BURROUGHS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Jeffrey Schmutzler's petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [ECF No. 1] and Petitioner's Motion for Release on Bail and Conditions Pending Decision on Habeas Corpus Decision [ECF No. 7]. The petition has not been served pending the Court's review of the petition. See 28 U.S.C. § 2243 (if “it appears from the application [for a writ of habeas corpus] that the applicant . . . is not entitled [to the writ], ” the district court is not required to order the respondent “to show cause why the writ [of habeas corpus] should not be granted”). For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES the petition. In light of the Court's denial of the petition, the motion for release on bail [ECF No. 7] is DENIED as moot..

         I. Background

         A. Schmutzler's Conviction for Receipt of Child Pornography in the Middle District of Pennsylvania

         On July 29, 2013, Jeffrey Schmutzler pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to one count of knowingly receiving child pornography pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 2252A(a)(2).[1] United States v. Schmutzler, 602 Fed. App'x. 871, 872 (3rd Cir. 2015); United States v. Schmutzler, No. 1:13-CR-00065, 2015 WL 1912608, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 27, 2015). Schmutzler was sentenced to 108 months. Id. He is currently serving his sentence at FMC Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts.

         B. Schmutzler's Unsuccessful Direct Appeal of his Conviction On August 14, 2014, Schmutzler filed a direct appeal of his conviction, on grounds apparently not raised here, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. United States v. Schmutzler, No. 1:13-CR-00065, 2015 WL 1912608, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 27, 2015). Schmutzler's direct appeal included a theory of selective prosecution. On February 23, 2015, Schmutzler's conviction was affirmed. United States v. Schmutzler, 602 Fed.Appx. 871 (3rd Cir. 2015).

         C. Schmutzler's 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Motion Denied by the Middle District of Pennsylvania

         On March 20, 2015, Schmutzler filed a motion in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In the § 2255 motion, he claimed that concepts of federalism were violated, precluding his conviction. See United States v. Schmutzler, 1:13-cr-00065 (M.D. Pa. March 20, 2015), ECF No. 72. The essence of the argument was that under principles of federalism, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania did not cede to the United States its enforcement of laws against wholly intra-state receipt and possession of child pornography. Id. at 13-19. The federalism issues were similar, if not identical, to those raised in the instant petition. That court denied the motion. United States v. Schmutzler, No. 1:13-CR-00065, 2015 WL 1912608, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 27, 2015), certificate of appealability denied (Dec. 21, 2015). While the district court did not provide analysis of the federalism claim, it referenced it among others, and denied the motion. Id.

         D. Schmutzler's First Petition for Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. §2241 in the District of Massachusetts Dismissed For Lack of Jurisdiction

         On January 13, 2016, Schmutzler brought a petition for habeas corpus in this district before Judge Casper, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, raising the same federalism argument posited in his § 2255 motion and in the instant petition. See e.g., Schmutzler v. Grondolsky, Civil No. 1:16-10077-DJC, Petition, ECF No. 1; Memorandum of Law in Support of his Petition for Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 USC 2241, ECF No. 4; Opposition to Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 36 and Memorandum in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 37. On September 16, 2016, Judge Casper denied the petition, properly viewing it as a § 2255 motion:

Petitioner argues that he is “not guilty of a federal crime so as to justify [his] current detention by the federal government, ” D. 1 at 2.1 (emphasis in original), and that “[t]he U.S. Attorney misinterprets, and wrongfully applies the federal law that he enforces against [Petitioner], ” D. 1 at 4.1 (emphasis in original). Petitioner admits that the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania the sentencing court previously denied his § 2255 motion and that “[he had] previously made these arguments before the sentencing court.” D. 1 at 2. As such, despite being filed as a § 2241 motion, the petition substantively falls “within the scope of § 2255” and thus “is a motion under § 2255, no matter what title the prisoner plasters on the cover.” See Trenkler v. United States, 536 F.3d 85, 97 (1st Cir. 2008) (quoting Melton v. United States, 359 F.3d 855, 857 (7th Cir. 2004)) (internal quotation marks omitted) (emphasis in original). Construing the petition as such, this Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it because, as Petitioner concedes, he was sentenced in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. See Wherry v. Grondolsky, No. 10-cv-40159-FDS, 2010 WL 4273807, at *2 (D. Mass. Oct. 28, 2010).

Schmutzler v. Grondolsky, Civil No. 1:16-cv-10067, September 16, 2016 Electronic Order, ECF No. 55.

         E. Schmutzler's Motion for Second or Successive 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Motion Denied by Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

         On October 12, 2016, Schmutzler filed a motion in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for an order authorizing the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to consider a second or successive application for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on the same grounds as he seeks in the instant petition. Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2244 for Order Authorizing District Court to Consider Second or Successive Application for Relief Under 28 U.S.C. §2254 or §2255, Schmutzler v. United States, No. 16-3817, Document No. 003112432237 (3rd Cir. October 12, 2016). In that motion, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.