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Nyenekor v. U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division

January 18, 2018

CARPEAH RUDOLPH NYENEKOR, SR., Petitioner,
v.
U.S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS; and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondents.

          ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          R. STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Petitioner Carpeah Rudolph Nyenekor, Sr. (“Nyenekor”), an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Jesup, Georgia (“FCI Jesup”), filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1.) I have conducted a preliminary review of Nyenekor's claims, as required by Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.[1] For the reasons which follow, the Court DENIES Nyemekor's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 2.) For these same reasons, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS Nyenekor's Petition and DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal. I also RECOMMEND the Court DENY Nyenekor in forma pauperis status on appeal.

         BACKGROUND

         In his Petition, Nyenekor states that he is currently detained at FCI Jesup as a result of his convictions obtained in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. (Doc. 1, p. 1.) He states that he was sentenced in that court in December 2015. (Id.) Nyenekor's Petition is far from clear. Though he contends that he is not challenging his conviction and sentence, (doc. 1, p. 4), he also contends that he is being “illegally held” and that he is “[i]nnocent but [f]ound [g]uilty based on [j]udicial [f]raud and [e]thnicity.” (Id. at p. 7.) He also contends that he did not commit a crime and that he was charged with possession of cocaine “which I have nothing to do with.” (Id.) Nyenekor also alleges he was “wrongly convicted after been [sic] denied the [r]ight to [e]ffective [r]epresentation, and to [p]roduce [e]vidents [sic] in my defense, and the [j]udge set up a [r]acial [p]rosecution [t]eam to convict me base on [e]thnicity[.]” (Id. at p. 8.) As relief, he requests that he be released because he is “illegally incarcerated.” (Id.)

         In other portions in his Petition, Nyenekor takes issue with certain conditions of his current confinement. He contends that he has been denied access to the courts because he has been unable to file an appeal. (Id. at p. 2.) He also alleges that he has been denied his right to legal mail, stamps, and photocopies, and that he has not been able to avail himself of the prison's grievance process. (Id. at pp. 2-3, 5, 7).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules governing petitions brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2254:

The clerk must promptly forward the petition to a judge . . ., and the judge must promptly examine [the petition]. If it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner.

         Under Rule 2(c), “[h]abeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading requirements.” McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 2(c)). While pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), complaints in a civil case must contain only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” petitions for habeas corpus must “specify all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner” and “state the facts supporting each ground.” Rule 2 of Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. In other words, habeas petitions must contain “‘fact pleading' as opposed to ‘notice pleading.'” Hittson v. GDCP Warden, 759 F.3d 1210, 1265 (11th Cir. 2014) (internal quotations and citations omitted). “To properly fact plead, ‘a petitioner must state specific, particularized facts which entitle him or her to habeas corpus relief for each ground specified. These facts must consist of sufficient detail to enable the court to determine, from the face of the petition alone, whether the petition merits further habeas corpus review.'” Arrington v. Warden, GDCP, No. CV 117-022, 2017 WL 4079405, at *2 (S.D. Ga. Sept. 14, 2017) (quoting Adams v. Armontrout, 897 F.2d 332, 334 (8th Cir. 1990)). Therefore, a habeas petitioner cannot merely levy conclusory allegations but must support his claims with specific factual detail. Id. (citing James v. Borg, 24 F.3d 20, 26 (9th Cir. 1994)).

         II. Whether it Plainly Appears that Nyenekor is not Entitled to Relief

         Though Nyenekor's Petition is not a picture of clarity, he in essence asks this Court to set aside his convictions obtained in the Southern District of New York. He is currently incarcerated as a result of that judgment, and he is asking this Court to release him from that custody. (Doc. 1, p. 9.) As an initial matter, he fails to provide “sufficient detail to enable the court to determine, from the face of the petition alone” that he is entitled to relief from these conditions. Arrington, 2017 WL 4079405, at *2. He merely offers conclusory allegations with no factual support.

         Moreover, Nyenekor cannot obtain the relief he seeks in this Court through a Section 2241 petition. Habeas corpus petitions “are generally reserved for challenges to the execution of a sentence or the nature of confinement, not the validity of the sentence itself or the fact of confinement.” Vieux v. Warden, 616 F. App'x 891, 896 (11th Cir. 2015) (internal punctuation and citation omitted). Ordinarily, an action in which an individual seeks to collaterally attack “the validity of a federal sentence must be brought under § 2255, ” in the district of conviction. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a); Turner v. Warden Coleman FCI (Medium), 709 F.3d 1328, 1333 (11th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted). To utilize Section 2241 to attack the validity of a federal sentence or conviction, a petitioner must show that the remedy afforded under Section 2255 is “inadequate or ineffective.” Taylor v. Warden, FCI Marianna, 557 F. App'x 911, 913 (11th Cir. 2014); Turner, 709 F.3d at 1333 (noting the petitioner bears the burden of establishing that the remedy under Section 2255 was inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention). A motion to vacate covers only challenges to the validity of a sentence, but the saving clause and a petition for a writ of habeas corpus cover challenges to the execution of a sentence. Cf. Antonelli v. Warden, U.S.P. Atlanta, 542 F.3d 1348, 1351 n.1 (11th Cir. 2008) (“It is well-settled that a § 2255 motion to vacate is a separate and distinct remedy from habeas corpus proper. . . . A prisoner in custody pursuant to a federal court ...


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