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Duffield v. Bear

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

June 27, 2018

WESLEY DUFFIELD, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN BEAR, et al., Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SHON T. ERWIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         State prisoner Wesley Duffield seeks a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (ECF No. 1). United States District Judge Scott L. Palk has referred this matter to the undersigned magistrate judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)-(C). The Court should summarily DISMISS the petition without prejudice.

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The Court is required to review habeas petitions promptly and to "summarily dismiss [a] petition without ordering a responsive pleading," Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 656 (2005), "[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court." See R. 4, R. Governing § 2254 Cases in U.S. Dist. Ct.[1]

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PETITIONER'S CLAIMS

         The Cherokee County District Court convicted Mr. Duffield for first-degree murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment, which he is currently serving at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center. (ECF No. 1:1; 1-1). In the Petition, Mr. Duffield raises three grounds for relief, all of which attack the legality of his underlying criminal conviction and current confinement.[2]

         In Ground One, Petitioner alleges that "state courts lack jurisdiction," rendering his current detention illegal, and requiring his release. (ECF No. 1:7). An attachment to the Petition suggests that Ground One is based on Petitioner's belief that the State of Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction over his criminal conviction, because his crime was committed inside an Indian reservation. See ECF Nos. 1:7 & 1-1; Murphy v. Royal, 875 F.3d 896 (10th Cir. 2017), cert granted, ___ S.Ct.____, 2018 WL 747674 (May 21, 2018).

         In Ground Two, Petitioner claims that his current detention is in violation of "clearly established federal law, constitution and treaty and laws of 1977" and he has suffered "a denial of due process and equal protection constitutional rights." (ECF No. 1:7). In support of this claim, he states that Okla[homa] state Courts lacked jurisdiction in 1977, and lost it since." (ECF No. 1:7).

         In Ground Three, Petitioner alleges his current detention is in violation of "the United Nations Resolutions, and International Law, Requiring Release." (ECF No. 1:7). In support, Mr. Duffield alleges that his sentence has been voided by "ex-post-facto changes in policy, and law[.]" (ECF No. 1:7).

         III. DISMISSAL

         Petitions under § 2241 are used to attack the execution of a sentence, in contrast to § 2254 habeas . . . proceedings, which are used to collaterally attack the validity of a conviction and sentence." Mclntosh v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 115 F.3d 809, 811 (10th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted)). See Prost v. Anderson, 636 F.3d 578, 581 (10th Cir. 2011) (noting that it is "the nature of a prisoner's confinement, not the fact of his confinement" that is the gravamen of a Section 2241 petition or challenge), (emphasis in original).

         Here, Mr. Duffield alleges no facts to show that he is challenging the execution of his sentence or the nature of his confinement. He does not, for instance, seek to challenge "certain matters that occur at prison, such as deprivation of good-time credits and other prison disciplinary matters . . . affecting the fact or duration" of his custody. Hale v. Fox, 829 F.3d 1162, 1165 n.2 (10th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation omitted).

         Instead, all of Petitioner's Grounds for relief "attempt[] a frontal assault on his conviction." Prost, 636 F.3d at 581. Petitioner apparently believes ...


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