United States District Court, District of Columbia
S. CHUTKAN, United States District Judge
Petitioner, appearing pro se, seeks a writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In August 1991, a jury in
the Superior Court of the District of Columbia convicted
Petitioner of “first-degree felony murder and related
offenses stemming from an attack on an elderly woman in her
home on the morning of May 18, 1989.” Hood v.
United States, 28 A.3d 553, 555 (D.C. 2011); (Pet. at 2,
ECF No. 1). The petition is difficult to follow, but it is
grounded on a claim of innocence. Petitioner asserts that his
“conviction was based entirely on DNA evidence, ”
and he seems to suggest that further testing of the evidence
and “an Evidentiary Hearing” on his “case
in chief” would prove that he is “actually &
(factually) innocent.” (Pet. at 5, 11). For the reasons
explained below, the Court finds that it lacks jurisdiction
over the petition. Consequently, this case will be dismissed.
a prisoner convicted in a state court or in a United States
district court, “a District of Columbia prisoner has no
recourse to a federal judicial forum unless [he shows that]
the local remedy is inadequate or ineffective to test the
legality of his detention.” Garris v. Lindsay,
794 F.2d 722, 726 (D.C. Cir. 1986) (per curiam) (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, “[i]n
order to collaterally attack his sentence [or conviction] in
an Article III court[, ] a District of Columbia prisoner
faces a hurdle that a federal prisoner does not.”
Byrd v. Henderson, 119 F.3d 34, 37 (D.C. Cir. 1997).
of Columbia prisoners may challenge their convictions
collaterally by filing a motion in Superior Court pursuant to
D.C. Code § 23-110, which has been described as “a
remedy analogous to 28 U.S.C. § 2255” for
attacking a federal conviction. Blair-Bey v. Quick,
151 F.3d 1036, 1042 (D.C. Cir. 1998). See Byrd, 119
F.3d at 36-37 (explaining that “[s]ince passage of the
Court Reform Act [in 1970], . . . a District of Columbia
prisoner seeking to collaterally attack his sentence must do
so by motion in the sentencing court- the Superior
Court-pursuant to D.C. Code § 23 110”). Section
23-110 of the D.C. Code states:
[an] application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a
prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion
pursuant to this section shall not be entertained by . . .
any Federal . . . court if it appears . . . that the Superior
Court has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the
remedy by motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the
legality of his detention.
D.C. Code § 23-110(g). The Court of Appeals has
interpreted that language as “divest[ing] federal
courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas petitions by prisoners
who could have raised viable claims pursuant to §
23-110(a).” Williams v. Martinez, 586 F.3d
995, 998 (D.C. Cir. 2009); see Ibrahim v. United
States, 661 F.3d 1141, 1142 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (stating
that “the availability of relief by motion under §
23-110 typically precludes the challenger from seeking habeas
relief in federal court”).
23-110(a)(1) authorizes “[a] prisoner in custody under
sentence of the Superior Court claiming the right to be
released upon the ground that . . . the sentence was imposed
in violation of the Constitution of the United States or the
laws of the District of Columbia” to “move the
court to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence.”
The Court of Appeals has concluded “that the §
23-110 remedy is neither inadequate nor ineffective to test
the legality” of a D.C. prisoner's conviction where
he has raised a claim of actual innocence. Ibrahim,
661 F.3d at 1146; see Earle v. United States, 987
F.Supp.2d 7, 11 (D.D.C. 2013) (district court “lacks
jurisdiction to consider [the petitioner's] actual
innocence claim-whether asserted as a ‘gateway'
claim to federal court review or as a ‘stand-alone'
claim-because ‘either claim' is available under
D.C. Code § 23-110 . . . and, therefore, is foreclosed
by Section 23-110(g)”) (quoting Ibrahim, 661
F.3d at 1143).
has pursued collateral relief in the local courts. See
Hood, 28 A.3d at 555 (concluding that Petitioner
“has not demonstrated his entitlement [under the
District's Innocence Protection Act (IPA) of 2001] to the
additional DNA testing he seeks”). His lack of success
does not render the local remedy inadequate or ineffective to
test the legality of his detention; therefore, this court
cannot exercise jurisdiction over the instant petition.
Garris, 794 F.2d at 727; accord Richardson v.
Stephens, 730 F.Supp.2d 70, 73 (D.D.C. 2010) (citing
cases); see Ibrahim, 661 F.3d at 1143-44 (rejecting
argument that a claim cognizable under the IPA is outside of
the scope of the jurisdictional bar because it cannot be
brought under § 23-110(a)). A separate order of
dismissal accompanies this memorandum opinion.
 As a prisoner incarcerated at the
Federal Correctional Institution in White Deer, Pennsylvania,
petitioner filed his petition in the U.S. District Court for
the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Because the petition
challenges a District of Columbia conviction, that court