United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
W. Grimm United States District Judge
Jones, presently incarcerated within the Maryland Division of
Correction and housed at Maryland Correctional Trainmg
Center, seeks a declaratory judgment that, if granted, might
invalidate his 1993 arrest and subsequent conviction in
Prince Georgess County, Maryland for a homicide that occurred
in Maryland on property allegedly owned by the District of
Columbia. Pet., ECF No. 1. Accompanying the
complaint is Jones's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, ECF No., , which shall be granted.
The petition, which Jones originally filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Columbia, was
transferred here on May 3, 2016.
stylized as a claim for declaratory relief pursuant to 28
U.S.C. ~ 2241, the petition is essentially an attempt to
attack Jones's 1994 criminal conviction. For that reason,
it is more properly construed as a petition filed pursuant to
28 U.S.C. S 2254. The only jurisdictional difference between
S 2241 and S 2254 is that S 2254 only encompasses
state-convicted persons, whereas S 2241 encompasses all
persons in custody. See 28 U.S.C. SS 2241 &
2254; see also Felker v. Turpin, 518 U.S. 651,
the petition is properly before this Court as a S 2254
petition,  it is subject to the one-year limitation
provision of 28 U.S.C. S 2244(d)J Jonesss conviction became
final in 1995, and his limitations period for seeking federal
habeas corpus relief expired on April 24, 1997. See
Jones, ECF Nos. 9 & 10. He may not circumvent the
one-year limitations period or circumvent the bar against
successive petitions absent authorization by invoking S 2241.
has no absolute entitlement to appeal a district court's
denial of his habeas corpus request. See 28 U.S.C. S
2253(c)(1). A certificate of appealability ("COA")
may issue "only if the applicant has made a substantial
showing of the denial of a constitutional right."
Id. at S 2253(c)(2.. When a district court dismisses
a habeas petition solely on procedural grounds, a certificate
of appealabllity will not issue unless the petitioner can
demonstrate both "(I) 'that jurists of reason would
find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim
of the denial of a constitutional right' and (2)
'that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether
the district court was correct in its procedural
ruling.'" Rouse v. Lee, 252 F.3d 676, 684
(4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Slack v. Daniel 529 U.S.
473, 484 (2000)). Jones has failed to demonstrate entitlement
to a COA in the instant case.
separate Order follows.
Jones was convicted by a Prince
George's County Circuit Court jury of first-degree murder
and a handgun offense in Criminal Case No. CT932138X. His
efforts to overturn his conviction have to date been
Furthermore, Jones previously sought habeas corpus
relief under ~ 2254, raising in part the claim alleged here,
that the Maryland courts lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate
the case. See Jones v. Conroy, No. BEL-01-4257 (D.
Md. Filed Dec. 31, 2001), ECF Nos. 1, 9, & 10 (habeas
petition denied and dismissed with prejudice as time-barred..
Should he seek to file a second ~ 2254 petition, he must
first obtain permission from the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ~
 Several circuit courts have concluded
that when a person in custody pursuant to a state court
judgment challenges the fact or duration of the custody in
any way, as well as the execution of the sentence, S 2254 is
the exclusive vehicle and the district court is required to
process the petition under that statute. Cook v. N.Y.
State Div. of Parole, 321 F.3d 274, 278-79 (2d Cir.
2003); Walker v. O'Brien, 216 F.3d 626, 632-33
(7th Cir.); Crouch v. Norris, 251 F.3d 720, 722-23
(8th Cir. 2001). In contrast, the Tenth Circuit permits more
latitude for state prisoners regarding the interplay between
SS 2241 and 2254. It held that challenges to the execution of
the sentence, as opposed to attacks on the validity of the
conviction, may be brought pursuant to S 2241. See
Henderson v. Scott, 260 F.3d 1213, 1214 (10th Cir.
2001); Montez v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 865 (10th
Cir. 2000); McIntosh v. United States Parole Comm
'n, 115 F.3d 809, 811-12 (10th Cir. 1997) (noting
that a S 2254 petition challenges the-validity of a
conviction or sentence while a S 2241 petition attacks the
execution of a sentence). The Fourth Circuit has not directly
addressed the issue.
 The Fourth Circuit has recognized that
a S 2241 petition, unlike a § 2254
petition, is "not subject to the one-year time
limitation period prescribed by 28 U.S.C.A.
§ 2244(d)(1)." Copson v Va
Parole Bd,230 F.3d 1352 (Table), 2000 WL 1283046, at*1
(4th Cir. Sept. 12, 2000;; *«also
McLean v. Smith,193 F.Supp.2d 867, 871-72 (M.D. N.C.
2002) (discussing the application of the Antiterrorism and