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Shah v. Johnson

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

February 26, 2018

SYED SAADET ALI FARA SHAH REG. # 90280-022
v.
CALVIN JOHNSON ET AL.

         SECTION P

          DRELL JUDGE.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by pro se petitioner Syed Saadet Ali Fara Shah. Shah is an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Oakdale, Louisiana (“FCIO”).

         I.

         Background

         Shah pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and hashish, a violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a) and 846, and one count of providing material support to terrorists, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. United States v. Shah, No. 3:02-cr-2912, doc. 110 (S.D. Cal. Sep. 25, 2006). On September 25, 2006, he was sentenced to concurrent terms of imprisonment of 225 months and 180 months, respectively. Id. at doc. 153. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed Shah's conviction and sentence. Id. at doc. 180. On January 4, 2010, Shah filed a pro se motion to vacate in the district court under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Id. at doc. 184. That motion was dismissed by the district court as untimely, but the Ninth Circuit remanded the case with instructions that Shah be given an opportunity to demonstrate that his motion was timely filed. Id. at docs. 185, 195. The district court received briefing on the timeliness of the § 2255 motion and ultimately ordered a response from the government. See Id. at doc. 210. Shah also filed a motion to dismiss the indictment and a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. See Id. at docs. 212, 214. The district court then denied all of Shah's post-conviction motions, finding no merit to his ineffective assistance claims or any of his other claims for relief. Id. at doc. 237. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. Id. at doc. 247.

         Shah now seeks relief in this court through a habeas petition filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Doc. 1. He maintains that he is entitled to relief because 1) he was not afforded any representation in his § 2255 proceedings, 2) his current place of confinement, FCIO, lacks an Institution Hearing Program, [1] and 3) FCIO contains “[d]eplorable living conditions” and inmates are denied forms for administrative remedies. Doc. 1. In relief, he asks that the court reopen his § 2255 proceeding and appoint counsel for him, and instruct the appropriate immigration authorities to make a determination as to his immigration status so that he does not “languish in immigration detention” after completing his sentence. Id. at 8.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Screening of Habeas Corpus Petitions

         A district court may apply any or all of the rules governing habeas petitions filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to those filed under § 2241. See Rule 1(b), Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts. Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases authorizes preliminary review of such petitions, and states that they must be summarily dismissed “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Id. at Rule 4. To avoid summary dismissal under Rule 4, the petition must contain factual allegations pointing to a “real possibility of constitutional error.” Id. at Rule 4, advisory committee note (quoting Aubut v. Maine, 431 F.2d 688, 689 (1st Cir. 1970)). Accordingly, we review the pleadings and exhibits before us to determine whether any right to relief is indicated, or whether the petition must be dismissed.

         B. Application

         1. Section ...


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