United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER L. RAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Williams, currently incarcerated at Georgia State Prison in
Reidsville, Georgia, petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254
for immediate release, contending that he has fully served
his sentence. Doc. 1. This claim, challenging the calculation
rather than the validity of his sentence, actually arises
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. And Williams knows that, because
he has been here before.
(at least) Williams' fourth attempt at seeking
habeas relief under § 2241 under these exact grounds.
See, e.g., Williams v. Bryson, No. CV416-232 (S.D.
Ga. Nov. 17, 2016), doc. 6 (recommending dismissal as
unauthorized successive § 2241 motion), docs. 9 & 10
(adopting R&R and entering judgment against him);
Williams v. Toole, No. 414CV088 (S.D. Ga. July 20,
2015), doc. 16 (recommending dismissal on the merits), docs.
19 & 20 (adopting R&R and entering judgment against
him); Williams v. Byson, No. 615CV111 (S.D. Ga. Oct.
15, 2015), doc. 12 (recommending dismissal as successive),
docs. 16 & 17 (adopting R&R and entering judgment
in those prior petitions, Williams claims that he remains in
prison despite serving his entire state sentence for
burglary. He claims that his sentence had been improperly
calculated and that his continued imprisonment violates the
Fourteenth Amendment. That argument has already been rejected
on the merits. See 414CV111, doc. 16 at 7
(explaining that, even construing Williams' cited case
law most favorably to him, his sentence “should not end
until 2026” and concluding that ample evidence
supported the state habeas court's determination that
Williams' 1994 sentence was correctly calculated). When
he brought the exact same claims a second time, his petition
was dismissed as an unauthorized successive petition.
616CV111, doc. 12. Yet, he returns with identical claims and
still no authorization from the Eleventh Circuit.
a second or successive application permitted by this section
is filed in the district court, the applicant shall move in
the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the
district court to consider the application.”
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A) (before filing a
second or successive petition, the petitioner must
seek an order authorizing the district court to consider the
application from the Court of Appeals). District courts
“lack[ ] jurisdiction to decide a second or successive
petition filed without [the court of appeals']
authorization.” Insignares v. Sec'y, Fla.
Dep't of Corr., 755 F.3d 1273, 1278 (11th Cir.
2014). Consequently, “[a] district court must
dismiss a second or successive petition, without awaiting any
response from the government, unless the court of appeals has
given approval for its filing.” Smalls v. St.
Lawrence, 2012 WL 1119766 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 27,
(1) this is Williams' fourth § 2241 petition (and at
least his ninth attempt to attack his conviction in
this court alone), and (2) he never sought permission from
the court of appeals before filing, “this Court is not
at liberty to consider it.” Id. Even assuming
his petition was authorized procedurally, it is meritless
substantively. Again, Williams raises the same arguments that
were already rejected when dismissing his prior petitions.
The Court need not restate that analysis at length in
dismissing the instant petition; it need only adopt that
analysis in this case. See 615CV111, doc. 12;
414CV088, doc. 16. Williams is not entitled to relief in this
Court and his petition should be DISMISSED.
Indeed, every petition he files so challenging his
sentence - until he receives permission from the Eleventh
Circuit to bring a successive petition - will be
dismissed because this Court cannot entertain it.
the Certificate of Appealability (COA) standards set forth in
Brown v. United States, 2009 WL 307872 at * 1-2
(S.D. Ga. Feb.9, 2009), the Court discerns no COA-worthy
issues at this stage of the litigation, so no COA should
issue either. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1); Rule 11(a) of the
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases (“The district court
must issue or deny a certificate of appealability
when it enters a final order adverse to the applicant”)
(emphasis added). And, as there are no non-frivolous issues
to raise on appeal, an appeal would not be taken in good
faith. Thus, in forma pauperis status on appeal
should likewise be DENIED. 28 U.S.C. §
and despite the Court's clear warning in its prior order,
petitioner has sought to proceed in forma pauperis
rather than pay his full filing fee, yet again.
Williams, CV416-232, doc. 6 at 5-6 (recommending
imposing filing fee restriction to curb Williams'
“vexatious” filings); doc. 9 (adopting). That
motion (doc. 2), clearly, should be DENIED.
Williams was also warned that “future vexatious
filings, in addition to not being granted IFP status, could
fetch monetary sanctions.” Id. (citing
Miller v. Williams, 2011 WL 1898921 at * 2 (S.D. Ga.
May 17, 2011) (imposing $ 500 sanction against abusive habeas
filer), adopted 2011 WL 2181628 (S.D. Ga. Jun. 2,
2011)). The Court will not warn Williams again. Any future
filing challenging the duration of his confinement that is
not accompanied by authorization from the Eleventh Circuit
will be recommended both for dismissal and
for the imposition of $200 in monetary sanctions, levied
against Williams' prisoner trust fund account.
R&R is submitted to the district judge assigned to this
action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and this
Court's Local Rule 72.3. Within 14 days of service, any
party may file written objections to this R&R with the
Court and serve a copy on all parties. The document should be
captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendations.” Any request for additional time
to file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that failure to
timely file objections will result in the waiver of rights on
appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v. V.A. Leasing
Corp., 648 Fed.Appx. 787, 790 (11th Cir. 2016);
Mitchell v. U.S., 612 Fed.Appx. 542, 545 (11th Cir.
REPORTED AND RECOMMENDED.
 “Federal courts sometimes will
ignore the legal label that a pro se litigant attaches to a
motion and recharacterize the motion in order to place it
within a different legal category.” Retic v. United
States, 215 Fed. App'x 962, 964 (11th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375, 381,
124 S.Ct. 786, 791, 157 L.Ed.2d 778 (2003)). This Court may
“recharacterize a pro se litigant's motion to
create a better correspondence between the substance of the