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Clark v. United States

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 16, 2017

Timothy Bernard Clark, Petitioner,
v.
United States of America, Respondent.

          Timothy Bernard Clark, Pro Se Petitioner.

          Ana H. Voss and Ann M. Bildtsen, United States Attorney’s Office, for Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Petitioner’s Objection [Doc. No. 6] to Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz’s July 25, 2017 Report and Recommendation [Doc. No. 5] (“R&R”). The Magistrate Judge recommended that: (1) Petitioner’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [Doc. No. 1] (“Petition”) be dismissed with prejudice; (2) Petitioner’s Motion Pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence [Doc. No. 4] (“Motion Pursuant to § 2241”) be denied; (3) Petitioner’s application to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. No. 2] be denied; and (4) Petitioner’s Motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. No. 3] be denied. For the reasons set forth below, the Court overrules Petitioner’s Objection and adopts the R&R in its entirety.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The R&R documents the relevant factual and procedural background of this case, and the Court incorporates it by reference. Briefly stated, Petitioner Timothy Clark (“Petitioner”) is currently imprisoned at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota. (Petition, at 2.) In 2007, he was convicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin of one count of possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute and one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine base with intent to distribute. (Id.) At sentencing, the trial court determined that Petitioner was a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. (Id. at 3.) Petitioner was sentenced to a 360-month term of imprisonment. (Id. at 2.)

         On June 14, 2017, Petitioner filed the instant Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Motion Pursuant to § 2241 in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, seeking to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal sentence based, in part, on Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). (See Petition, at 3; see also Motion Pursuant to § 2241.) Petitioner also requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis and moved for appointment of counsel.

         On July 25, 2017, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Petitioner’s Motions be denied and that his Petition be dismissed with prejudice. (R&R, at 5.) On August 9, 2017, Petitioner filed his Objection to the Magistrate Judge’s R&R. (Objection under LR 72.2(b)(1) [Doc. No. 6] (“Objection”).)

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A party “may file and serve specific written objections to a magistrate judge’s proposed findings and recommendations.” D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). The district court will review de novo those portions of the R&R to which an objection is made, and it “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3).

         B. Applicable Law

         A federal prisoner generally must challenge his sentence through a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and he may not employ the habeas remedy of 28 U.S.C. § 2241 unless he demonstrates that the § 2255 remedy is “inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e); see Abdullah v. Hedrick, 392 F.3d 957, 959 (8th Cir. 2004). This § 2255(e) savings clause enabling § 2241 relief is “narrowly[ ]circumscribed.” U.S. ex rel. Perez v. Warden, FMC Rochester, 286 F.3d 1059, 1061 (8th Cir. 2002). To establish that a remedy is inadequate or ineffective, “there must be more than a procedural barrier to bringing a § 2255 petition.” Abdullah, 392 F.3d at 959. This means that a federal prisoner cannot raise an issue in a § 2241 motion that could have been addressed in the § 2255 motion filed in the sentencing ...


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