United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ANTHONY D. WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
S. SPAULDING, WARDEN, Respondent.
KATHERINE A. ROBERTSON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Anthony D. Williams (“Williams” or
“Petitioner”) filed this action challenging the
sentence imposed in connection with his 1999 conviction for
possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Dkt. No. 1
at 2-3). He claims that the sentence of 324 months
followed by a 60-month term of supervised release imposed on
him violated the principle announced in Alleyne v. United
States, 570 U.S. 99 (2013), and that he is entitled to
relief in this court under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 pursuant to
the so-called savings clause in 28 U.S.C. §
2255(e). Before this court is the government's
Motion to Dismiss Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Dkt.
No. 11), which asserts that this court lacks jurisdiction
over Petitioner's § 2241 petition. Williams objects
and has filed a written opposition to the government's
motion (Dkt. No. 20). The parties have consented to this
court's jurisdiction (Dkt. Nos. 8, 12). See 28
U.S.C. § 636(c); Fed.R.Civ.P. 73. For the reasons set
forth below, the government's motion to dismiss for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction is GRANTED.
United States v. Williams, No. 4:98-cr-01095-RCC-1
(D. Ariz. filed Sept. 9, 1998), the jury, on July 22, 1999,
convicted Williams of conspiracy to possess with intent to
distribute cocaine base (Count 1) and possession with intent
to distribute cocaine base (Count 2) (Dkt. No. 11-1 at
10-11). The indictment did not charge possession of a certain
weight of cocaine base, and the jury did not make a finding
about the weight of the cocaine base Williams had possessed.
He was sentenced to serve 324 months with 60 months of
supervised release to follow on each count, with the
sentences to run concurrently (Dkt. No. 11-1 at 15). In 2002,
on direct appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed Williams's
conviction on Count 1 (conspiracy). The sentence remained
unchanged (Dkt. No. 11-1 at 17). See United States v.
Williams, 45 Fed.Appx. 775, 779-780 (9th Cir. 2002)
October 21, 2003, Williams filed a motion pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate or set aside his sentence,
raising more than twenty-five issues and claiming actual
innocence (Dkt. No. 11-1 at 18; Dkt. No. 11-4). The
sentencing judge denied the petition on or around September
9, 2004 (Dkt. No. 11-4 at 28). The district court denied a
certificate of appealability and the Ninth Circuit followed
suit on April 17, 2007 (Dkt. No. 11-1 at 22-23). On March 10,
2008, Williams filed a motion for retroactive application of
the change to the sentencing guidelines for offenses
involving cocaine base. Following the appointment of counsel
to represent Williams, this motion also was denied by the
district court and the denial was affirmed by the Ninth
Circuit (Dkt. No. 11-1 at 23-26). In 2012, representing
himself, Williams filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2241 before the United States District Court for the District
of Oregon, invoking the savings clause in 28 U.S.C. §
2255(e) and challenging his sentence on actual innocence
grounds. The court held that Williams's petition did not
allege actual innocence and, on June 3, 2013, dismissed the
petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Dkt. No.
11-5 at 4-5). After the district court denied a certificate
of appealability, the Ninth Circuit affirmed this ruling
(Dkt. No. 11-6).
court, Williams has filed a second petition under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241, again invoking the savings clause in 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(e). He asserts that his sentence was imposed in
violation of the principles announced in Alleyne,
570 U.S. at 99, and that he is entitled to petition for
relief from this fundamental sentencing error by invoking the
savings clause in § 2255(e) (Dkt. No. 1-1 at 6-22).
Standard of Review
respondent's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction
is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1).
See generally Rules 1(b) and 12 of the Rules
Governing § 2254 Cases. “When a [respondent] moves
to dismiss for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction,
‘”the party invoking the jurisdiction of a
federal court carries the burden of proving its
existence.”'” Johansen v. United
States, 506 F.3d 65, 68 (1st Cir. 2007) (quoting
Murphy v. United States, 45 F.3d 520, 522 (1st Cir.
1995), (quoting Taber Partners, I. v. Merit Builders,
Inc., 987 F.2d 57, 60 (1st Cir. 1993))). Williams
therefore bears the burden of demonstrating that the
respondent's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction should be denied.
Jurisdiction Under the Savings Clause
petitioner such as Williams, who has already filed several
petitions for habeas relief,
may file a second or successive § 2255 petition only if
the court of appeals first certifies that the petition is
based on either:
(1) newly discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in
light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to
establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable
factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense;
(2) a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to
cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was