United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. CASPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Barry Henderson (“Henderson”), a prisoner at
FMC-Devens, filed pro se a Writ of Habeas Corpus
(the “Petition”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C §
2241, alleging that his sentence as a career offender under
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 is no longer valid in light of
Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). D. 1
at 2, 6-9. Respondent Jeffrey Grondolosky, Warden of
FMC-Devens (“Grondolosky”), has moved to dismiss
the Petition because Henderson failed to set forth grounds
entitling him to relief under § 2241. D. 12 at 1. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court ALLOWS
Grondolosky's motion and DENIES the Petition.
Standard of Review
seeks dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). D. 12 at 1. Federal courts “must
always be vigilant about the existence of subject-matter
jurisdiction” because they are courts of limited
jurisdiction. Fafel v. Dipaola, 399 F.3d 403, 410
(1st Cir. 2005) (internal quotation marks omitted). Where the
defendant challenges subject matter jurisdiction, the
plaintiff bears the burden to prove its existence. Aversa
v. United States, 99 F.3d 1200, 1209 (1st Cir. 1996).
Furthermore, “the district court must construe the
complaint liberally, treating all well-pleaded facts as true
and indulging all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff.” Id. at 1210. In a case where the
plaintiff proceeds pro se, these complaints are held
at even “less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.” Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see United States v. Ciampi,
419 F.3d 20, 24 (1st Cir. 2005).
Court adopts the facts laid out by the court in the District
of Maryland in Henderson's prior habeas petitions in
United States v. Henderson, No. 07-cr-0497-CCB-1 (D.
Md). On February 14, 2008, Henderson pled guilty to charges
of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation
of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a). ECF 36 at 1.
acknowledged both in his plea agreement and at sentencing
that he was a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1
based on two prior felony controlled substance convictions.
ECF 36 at 2, 7. “The Government and Henderson waived
the right to appeal a sentence within the guideline range
from an adjusted offense level of 31, criminal history
category VI: 188-235 months.” Id. at 1. On May
5, 2008, Henderson was sentenced to 188 months of
imprisonment and supervised release for a term of five years.
to filing the Petition here, Henderson filed three habeas
petitions to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence under
28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF 26; ECF 43; ECF 53. On April 27,
2009, Henderson filed his first § 2255 petition claiming
ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to appeal his
conviction and failure to object to his status as a career
offender. ECF 36. On February 18, 2010, this petition was
denied. Id. Henderson appealed the denial of his
first § 2255 petition to the Fourth Circuit, ECF 39, but
was denied a certificate of appealability (“COA”)
and the appeal was dismissed. ECF 47. On August 12, 2010,
Henderson filed a second § 2255 petition claiming racial
discrimination in the grand jury selection process, ECF 43,
which was dismissed as successive pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 2244(b)(3), 2255, on September 10, 2010, ECF 44.
then filed a § 2244 petition in the Fourth Circuit for
authorization to file a successive habeas petition, but was
denied on September 18, 2013. D. 12-1. On May 27, 2014,
Henderson filed a third § 2255 petition in the District
of Maryland, ECF 53, claiming that his career offender
designation was erroneous in light of Descamps v. United
States, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013), and Whiteside v.
United States, 775 F.3d 180 (4th Cir. 2014). Because
Henderson lacked a COA, the court denied Henderson's
third habeas petition for lack of jurisdiction. ECF 64. The
court also found that Henderson would not have been entitled
to relief even if he had properly obtained a COA because the
holdings Descamps, Whiteside, or
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) did
not alter his status as a career offender under the
Sentencing Guidelines. ECF 64.
December 1, 2016, Henderson filed the Petition, a fourth
habeas petition with the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
while housed in the District of Massachusetts at FMC-Devens.
Use of ...