United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
petitioner Todd Richard Chazen, a federal prisoner
incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in
Oxford, Wisconsin, seeks a writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. Chazen challenges his sentence from the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota,
arguing that the Supreme Court's decisions in United
States v. Mathis, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), and Samuel
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015),
invalidate his sentence, which was enhanced under the Armed
Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).
the court issued an order screening his petition, Chazen
filed a motion to supplement his petition to add a new habeas
claim. Dkt. 4. I will screen Chazen's original and
supplemental habeas claims together under Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases, which apply to Section 2241
petitions. For the reasons discussed below, I will allow
Chazen to proceed beyond screening and appoint counsel for
the following facts from Chazen's petition, his criminal
proceeding, and his prior habeas proceedings. Dkt. 2;
United States v. Chazen, No. 10-cr-332 (D. Minn.
filed Nov. 2010); United States v. Chazen, No.
13-cv-1850, 2013 WL 4504295 (D. Minn. Aug. 23, 2013);
Chazen v. United States, No. 16-2231, Dkt. 2 (8th
Cir. filed May 18, 2016).
March 2011, a jury found Chazen guilty of being a felon in
possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), and
he was sentenced on July 11, 2011. The sentencing court
concluded that Chazen was an armed career criminal under the
ACCA, which requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years
for a criminal defendant with three prior convictions of
“violent felonies” or “serious drug
offenses.” In Chazen's case, he had five predicate
1. a September 11, 1995 second-degree assault conviction
under Minn. Stat. § 609.222;
2. a December 3, 2002 second-degree controlled substance
conviction under Minn. Stat. § 152.022;
3. a June 3, 2003 second-degree burglary conviction under
Minn. Stat. § 609.582;
4. a June 3, 2003 second-degree burglary conviction under
Minn. Stat. § 609.582; and
5. a June 3, 2003 escape-from-custody conviction under Minn.
Stat. § 609.485.
Chazen, 2013 WL 4504295, at *1. The third and fourth
burglary convictions occurred on the same day but at
different places. “Specifically, Chazen pled guilty to
commandeering a golf cart and using it to steal items from a
golf course concession stand. Chazen and his accomplices then
abandoned the golf cart, stole a truck, and drove the truck
through the front doors of a convenience store, intending to
tow away the ATM inside.” Id. The sentencing
court concluded that Chazen was an armed career criminal and
sentenced him to 252 months of incarceration.
then filed two § 2255 motions to challenge his sentence.
He filed his first § 2255 motion in 2013, raising two
challenges. First, he argued that the sentencing court
incorrectly applied the modified categorical approach to his
escape-from-custody conviction. Second, he argued that the
sentencing court erred in counting his two burglary
convictions as predicate offenses when the government had
conceded that those convictions did not qualify. See
generally Chazen, No. 10-cr-332, Dkt. 85 (D. Minn. July
10, 2013). The sentencing court denied his motion.
Chazen, No. 10-cr-332, Dkt. 89 (D. Minn. August 23,
sought authorization from the Eighth Circuit to file a second
§ 2255 motion in May 2016. Chazen v. United
States, No. 16-2231, Dkt. 2 (8th Cir. May 18, 2016), and
before obtaining authorization, he filed a second § 2255
motion with the sentencing court, Chazen, No.
10-cr-332, Dkt. 92 (D. Minn. June 27, 2016). He argued that
he was no longer an armed career criminal under Samuel
Johnson, which held that the ACCA's residual clause
was unconstitutional. The Eighth Circuit summarily denied
authorization, and the sentencing court dismissed his second
§ 2255 motion. Chazen, No. 10-cr-332, Dkt. 93
and Dkt. 95 (D. Minn. June 27, 2016).
courts have already concluded that a petition relying on
Mathis satisfies the procedural requirements for a
savings-clause § 2241 petition. See e.g.,
Pulliam v. Krueger, No. 16-cv-1379, 2017 WL 104184,
at *2 (C.D. Ill. Jan. 10, 2017); cf. Holt v.
United States, 843 F.3d 720, 722 (7th Cir. 2016)
(“[S]ubstantive decisions such as Mathis presumptively
apply retroactively on collateral review.”). I have
done the same. See Edwards v. Williams, No.
17-cv-114, Dkt. 3 (W.D. Wis. May 11, 2017). So I will screen
the merits of Williams's petition.
contends that he is no longer an armed career criminal under
the ACCA. He has five prior convictions that could qualify
him as an armed career criminal, so he needs to eliminate at
least three of these convictions to obtain habeas relief.
are the components of Chazen's habeas claim: (1) both of
his second-degree burglary convictions no longer qualify as
predicate offenses after Mathis; (2) his
escape-from-custody conviction no longer qualifies as a
predicate offense after Samuel Johnson; (3) his
controlled substance conviction no longer qualifies as a
predicate offense after Mathis; and (4) his
second-degree assault conviction no longer qualifies as a
predicate offense after Mathis.
2003 Minnesota burglary ...