United States District Court, D. Maryland
WILLIAM M. BAILEY, #197976 Petitioner,
JOHN WOLFE, Respondent
J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
M. Bailey is incarcerated at Jessup Correctional Institution
in Jessup Maryland. On October 19, 2017, he filed a Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus, challenging the validity of his
judgment of conviction in the Circuit Court for Prince
George's County as void for lack of jurisdiction.
Petition, ECF No. 1. Bailey asserts that he was not properly
served with a copy of the indictment and thus reasons that
the Circuit Court lacked jurisdiction to convict and sentence
him. Id. at 4. He claims his conviction was obtained
in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution and Maryland law. Petition, ECF 1
at 3-4. As relief, Bailey seeks his release from
incarceration. Id. The Petition is unaccompanied by
the $5.00 filing fee or a Motion to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis. Requiring Bailey to correct this deficiency,
however, would serve merely to delay resolution of this case.
Under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the
United States District Courts, which may be applied to §
2241 cases under Rule 1(b), “[i]f it plainly appears
from the [face of a § 2241] petition and any attached
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the
district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and
direct the clerk to notify petitioner.” (alterations
added). For reasons to follow, the Court will dismiss the
Petition without prejudice.
was convicted in the Circuit Court for Prince George's
County of first degree rape and other sexual offenses. On
April 5, 1989, the Circuit Court sentenced him to life
imprisonment. Petition, ECF 1 at 2; ECF 1-3. On December 29,
1994, Bailey filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus that
was denied by the Honorable William M. Nickerson on February
28, 1996. Bailey v. Smith, Civil Action No.
WMN-94-3620 (D. Md.). On September 10, 1996, the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the
decision. Bailey v. Corcoran, et al, 96 F.3d 1438
(4th Cir. 1996) (unpublished).
habeas challenges filed by an inmate in custody pursuant to a
state conviction are properly filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, which authorizes federal district courts to
“entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus
on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of
a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); In re
Wright, 826 F.3d 774, 778 (4th Cir. 2016) (holding that
regardless of how styled, federal habeas petitions of
prisoners who are in custody pursuant to the judgment of a
State court should be treated as applications under section
2254). Accordingly, the Court will dismiss the
Petition without prejudice on the grounds that the claims
asserted are not cognizable under 28 U.S.C. §2241.
Bailey is attacking his underlying conviction, and his claims
must be raised in a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254. When a prisoner held
“pursuant to the judgment of a State court” files
a habeas petition attacking his conviction as violation of
the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States,
§ 2254, “all associated statutory
requirements” apply, regardless of the statutory label
the prisoner chooses to give his petition. In re
Wright, 826 F.3d at 783. Consequently, if Bailey intends
to file a § 2254 Petition, the Petition is subject to
associated gatekeeping provisions. For second or successively
filed §2254 petitions, “[b]efore a second or
successive [§2254] 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.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244 (b)(3)(A) (alteration added).
is cautioned that if he intends to refile his claims in a
second or successive petition, he must first obtain
pre-filing authorization from the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The Clerk will send him a
copy of the instructions and form packet for filing a motion
under 28 U.S.C. §2244 (authorization of District Court
to consider second or successive application for relief).
This information must be filed in the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Certificate of Appealability will not issue absent “a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). When the district
court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this
standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find
that the district court's assessment of the
constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see Miller-El v.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003). When the district
court denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner must
demonstrate both that the dispositive procedural ruling is
debatable, and that the Petition states a debatable claim of
the denial of a constitutional right. Slack, 529
U.S. at 484-85. The Court finds that Bailey has not met this
standard, and declines to issue a Certificate of
these reasons, the court will dismiss the Petition without
prejudice and decline to issue a Certificate of
Appealability. A separate Order which follows this Memorandum
 In In re Wright, the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit also adopted
the majority view of its sister circuits to hold that the
federal habeas petitions of state prisoners challenging the
execution of a sentence should be reviewed under 28