United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER DISCUSSING MOTION FOR RELIEF PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. § 2241
William T. Lawrence, Senior Judge.
Travis Nicodemus Grady seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 arguing that his counsel was
ineffective in advising him regarding his plea agreement,
that his plea agreement is not a valid contract, and that he
is actually innocent. For the following reasons, his petition
January 21, 2010, Grady was indicted in the Western District
of Virginia with distributing heroin resulting in serious
bodily injury, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). United States v. Grady,
5:10-cr-00002-GEC-1 (Crim. Dkt.), Dkt. 1. Because the
distribution offense had resulted in serious bodily injury,
Grady's sentence was subject to the enhancement under
§ 841(b)(1)(C), which requires a mandatory minimum term
of 20 years' imprisonment and a maximum penalty of life.
PSR ¶ 64.
March 25, 2010, the United States and Grady entered into a
plea agreement pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of
Criminal Procedure. Grady agreed to plead guilty to count
one. Crim. Dkt. 43, 49. On October 6, 2010, Grady was
sentenced to 262 months' imprisonment. Crim. Dkt. 52, 53.
On November 5, 2014, Grady filed a motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. Crim. Dkt. 60.
raised several claims in his § 2255 petition. First, he
argued that his sentence should not have been enhanced under
§ 841(b)(1)(C) because the government failed to prove
the heroin he distributed met the standard for causation of
the victim's injury announced by United States v.
Burrage, 571 U.S. 204 (2014). Crim. Dkt. 60. Next, Grady
argued that his trial counsel was ineffective in two ways:
(a) in advising him to plead guilty to the enhancement for
serious bodily injury resulting from the distribution of
heroin, and (b) in failing to keep his best interest at heart
because trial counsel was distracted by personal matters.
Id. The district court addressed the merits of
Grady's claims, dismissed Grady's petition as
untimely, and denied a certificate of appealability because
Grady failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c).
United States v. Grady, 2015 WL 4773236 (W.D. Va.
August 12, 2015). Grady appealed the district court's
decision, but the Fourth Circuit denied a certificate of
appealability and dismissed Grady's appeal. United
States v. Grady, 627 Fed.Appx. 193 (4th Cir. 2015).
Grady filed a motion for reconsideration, but the district
court denied Grady's motion to reopen his prior §
2255 motion. Crim. Dkt. 91, 92.
the court's denial to reconsider his § 2255 motion,
Grady filed a second § 2255 motion. In his second §
2255, Grady again asserted his Burrage and
ineffective assistance of counsel claims and argued that his
original § 2255 motion was not untimely. Crim. Dkt. 94.
The district court found Grady's § 2255 motion to be
successive under § 2255(h), denied a certificate of
appealability because Grady failed to make a substantial
showing of the denial of a constitutional right, and
dismissed Grady's motion without prejudice. Crim. Dkt.
then filed the present petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
The United States has responded, and Grady has not replied.
The petition is now ripe for ruling.
Standard under § 2241
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the presumptive
means by which a federal prisoner can challenge his
conviction or sentence. See Shepherd v. Krueger, 911
F.3d 861, 862 (7th Cir. 2018); Webster v. Daniels,
784 F.3d 1123, 1124 (7th Cir. 2015). Under very limited
circumstances, however, a prisoner may employ Section 2241 to
challenge his federal conviction or sentence.
Webster, 784 F.3d at 1124. This is because
“[§] 2241 authorizes federal courts to issue writs
of habeas corpus, but § 2255(e) makes § 2241
unavailable to a federal prisoner unless it ‘appears
that the remedy by motion [under § 2255] is inadequate
or ineffective to test the legality of [the]
detention.'” Roundtree v. Krueger, 910
F.3d 312, 313 (7th Cir. 2018). Section 2255(e) is known as
the “savings clause.” The Seventh Circuit has
held that § 2255 is “'inadequate or
ineffective' when it cannot be used to address novel
developments in either statutory or constitutional law,
whether those developments concern the conviction or the
sentence.” Roundtree, 910 F.3d at 313
(citing e.g., In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605 (7th
Cir. 1998); Brown v. Caraway, 719 F.3d 583 (7th Cir.
2013); Webster, 784 F.3d at 1124.
Seventh Circuit construed the savings clause in In re
A procedure for postconviction relief can be fairly termed
inadequate when it is so configured as to deny a convicted
defendant any opportunity for judicial rectification of so
fundamental a defect in his conviction as having been
imprisoned for a nonexistent offense.
In re Davenport, 147 F.3d at 611.
Seventh Circuit has explained that, to fit within the savings
clause following Davenport, a petitioner must meet
three conditions: “(1) the petitioner must rely on a
case of statutory interpretation (because invoking such a
case cannot secure authorization for a second § 2255
motion); (2) the new rule must be previously unavailable and
apply retroactively; and (3) the error asserted must be grave
enough to be deemed a miscarriage of justice, such as ...