United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm United States District Judge.
petitioner Sookyeong Kim Sebold of Temple Hills, Maryland is
seeking vacatur of her federal convictions in this Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 2241.
Pet., ECF No. .. Sebold claims her rights to due process and
a fair trial under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the
Constitution were violated and that she is entitled to a new
was convicted by a jury in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Virginia of filing a false income
tax return and criminal tax evasion, in violation of 26
U.S.C. §§ 7201, 7206. On March 1, 2013, the
district court sentenced her to 24 months of incarceration
and three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay
restitution. United States v. Sebold, Criminal Case
No. 1:12-cr-434-LMB-1. (E.D. Va. 2012). The United States
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed her
convictions on appeal. United States v. Sebold,
2013547 F.App'x. 278 (4th Cir. 2013), and the Supreme
Court denied her Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.
Sebold v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 96 (2014). On
December 7, 2015, the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Virginia dismissed her Motion to Vacate,
Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 2255 as
time-barred. United States v. Sebold, Civil Case No.
1:15-cv-1621-LMB (E.D. Va. 2015). Sebold indicates that she
is presently under the supervision of the U.S. Probation and
Parole Office in Greenbelt, Maryland. Pet. 2, ECF No. 1. As
such, she is "in custody" for purposes of a S 2255
motion. United States v. Pregent, 190 F.3d 279, 283
(4th Cir. 1999) (citing Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S.
488, 491 (1989)).
courts may grant writs of habeas corpus "within their
respective jurisdictions." 28 U.S.C. S 2241(a).
Generally, a petitioner's custodian is the proper
respondent in a § 2241 petition. See Rums/eld v.
Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 434-35 (2004) (the writ should be
directed to the "person who has the immediate custody of
the party detained, with the power to produce the body of
such party before the court or judge." To issue the
writ, a court must have jurisdiction over the custodian, and
jurisdiction exists only where the petitioner is confined.
Id. Sebold's custodian is the Director of the
U.S. Probation and Parole Office in Maryland, and her S 2241
may be considered here.
petition attacks the manner in which a sentence is executed.
See U.S.C. s2241(a). An individual who is in federal
custody and seeks to collaterally attack the imposition or
validity of his or her federal judgment and sentence is
generally required to file a Motion to Vacate pursuant to 28
U.S.C. S 2255(a). See In re Vial, 115 F.3d 1192,
1194 (4th Cir. 1997) (en banc).
U.S.C. S 2255(e), which is commonly called the "savings
clause, " provides an exception to this general rule.
Under s2255(e) a prisoner may seek relief by way of S 2241 if
the remedy under S 2255 is determined "inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention." 28
U.S.C. 9 2255(e); In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 333
(4th Cir, 2000). A petitioner bears the burden of showing the
inadequacy or ineffectiveness of 9 2255. See McGhee v.
Hanberry, 604 F.2d 9, 10 (5th Cir. 1979). If a federal
prisoner brings a 9 2241 petition that does not fall within
the purview of the "savings clause, " then the
district court must dismiss the "unauthorized habeas
motion ... for lack of jurisdiction." Rice v.
Rivera, 617 F.3d 802, 807 (4th Cir. 2010).
"savings clause" is not triggered "merely . .
. because an individual is procedurally barred from filing a
Section 2255 motion[.]" Vial, 115 F.3d at 1194
n.5; see also In re Jones, 226 F.3d at 333. In
Jones, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit explained that 92255 is inadequate and
ineffective and 92241 is available when:
(1) at the time of conviction, settled law of this circuit or
the Supreme Court established the legality of the conviction;
(2) subsequent to the prisoner's direct appeal and first
§ 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such that the
conduct of which the prisoner was convicted is deemed not to
be criminal; and (3) the prisoner cannot satisfy the
gatekeeping provisions of § 2255 because the new rule is
not one of constitutional law.
Id. at 333-34. Under this rule, a federal petitioner
is entitled to pursue a § 2241 motion only when he or
she had no opportunity to file a § 2255 motion to take
advantage of a change in the applicable law. If the
petitioner "had an unobstructed procedural shot at
filing a § 2255 motion to take advantage of such a
change, a § 2241 motion is unavailable."
Rice, 617 F.3d at 807.
contends that she is entitled to habeas relief on the
following grounds: at trial the government presented
irrelevant evidence to demonstrate that she embezzled funds
and excluded exculpatory evidence; the government questioned
a witness about Sebold's "unpopular beliefs"
regarding the Unification Church, its activities, and its
leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon; she was interviewed by the
prosecutor before trial and he "played me at the
trial"; and the IRS investigation of her taxes remains
unresolved. Pet. 7-9; Pet'rss Mem., ECF NO. 1-1. These
grounds do not assert a change in law or otherwise satisfy
the Jones requisites to entitle Sebold to challenge
her convictions under § 2241. Accordingly, the Court
must dismiss this §2241 Petition without prejudice for
lack of jurisdiction.