United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING PETITION AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF
E. Kobayashi United States District Judge.
the court is Petitioner Maunu Renah Williams' Petition
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. ECF
No. 1. Williams challenges the calculation of his sentence in
State v. Williams, Cr. No. 14-1-00470 (Haw. 3d
Cir.), which was imposed by the Circuit Court of the Third
Circuit (“circuit court”), State of Hawaii, on
February 3, 2015. See 3PC141000470, avail. At:
https://jimspss1.courts.state.hi.us (last visited
it is clear from the face of the Petition and records
referred to therein that Williams fails to state a colorable
claim for habeas relief, and that his claims are currently
pending before the Hawaii state courts, the Petition and this
action are DISMISSED without prejudice pursuant to Rule 4 of
the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts. Any request for a certificate of
appealability is DENIED.
January 27, 2015, Williams pled guilty to one felony charge
of Promotion of Dangerous Drug 3d (Count 2), and two felony
charges of possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Counts 7 &
8), in Cr. No.14-1-00470. See 3PC141000470. On
February 3, 2015, the circuit court sentenced Williams to a
five-year minimum term in Count 2, mitigated to time served,
and to five-year terms in Counts 7 and 8, with credit for
time served, all terms to be served concurrently. Williams
did not appeal.
claims that Department of Public Safety (“DPS”)
prison officials have recently conspired against him to
recalculate and change his maximum term of sentence to a
later date of release than the date originally set.
Specifically, Williams states that Hawaii Community
Correctional Center (“HCCC”) official Gayle K.
Tavares originally calculated his maximum date of release as
August 7, 2019. See Pet., ECF No. 1, at PageID #8.
He claims that Halawa Correctional Facility
(“HCF”) records clerk, Cely Ann Guittap,
fraudulently altered this maximum release date in the DPS
computer system, changing it to November 16 rather than
August 7, 2019, to retaliate against him, and to seek fame
and attention. Williams further alleges that DPS officials
Maria Cook, Shari Kimoto, Monica Lortz, Jodie Maesaka-Hirata,
Dovie Borges, and Warden Scott Harrington conspired with
Third Circuit Judge Glen Nakamura, who originally sentenced
Williams, to express their support for ex- Honolulu Chief of
Police Louis Kealoha and his wife, as part of a widespread
pattern of corruption that Williams intends to
expose. Williams alleges that he is being
over-detained in violation of the Eighth Amendment and DPS
rules, regulations, and procedures.
court must screen all actions brought by prisoners who seek
any form of relief from a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity, including habeas relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Rule 4 of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases (Habeas Rule 4) requires the court to
dismiss a habeas petition “[i]f it plainly appears from
the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is
not entitled to relief in the district court.”
Williams is currently in custody pursuant to the judgment of
the Hawaii circuit court in Cr. No. 14-1-00470, the Court
construes the Petition as brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, rather than § 2241, because § 2254 is
the exclusive vehicle for a habeas petition by a state
prisoner in custody pursuant to a state court judgment, even
when the petitioner is not challenging the underlying state
court conviction. See White v. Lambert, 370 F.3d
1002, 1009-10 (9th Cir. 2004).
The Petition Fails to State a Cognizable Claim
extent that Williams challenges a miscalculation in his
release date, the Petition must be dismissed for failure to
state a cognizable federal habeas claim. Habeas relief is
available only if the petitioner's conviction or sentence
is “in violation of the Constitution or laws or
treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. §
2254(a); Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 68 (1991)
(“[I]t is not the province of a federal habeas court to
reexamine state-court determinations on state-law
questions.”); Smith v. Phillips, 455 U.S. 209,
221 (1982) (“A federally issued writ of habeas corpus,
of course, reaches only convictions obtained in violation of
some provision of the United States Constitution.”).
relating to sentencing are generally governed by state law
and do not raise a federal constitutional question.
Waddington v. Sarausad, 555 U.S. 179, 192 n.5 (2009)
(“[W]e have repeatedly held that it is not the province
of a federal habeas court to reexamine state-court
determinations on state-law questions”) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). Williams does not even
claim a sentencing error. Rather, he claims an administrative
error has been made in the execution of his sentence.
Williams argues that he is being detained past his release
date in violation of due process and his right to be free
from cruel and unusual punishment.
of whether or how DPS and HCF officials erred in calculating
Williams' sentence, however, sentencing calculations are
governed by state law. See Brooks v. Poulos, 370
Fed.Appx. 826, 827 (9th Cir. 2010) (“[T]he
determination of a formula for calculating the restoration of
good time credits is an unreviewable issue of state
law.”); see also O'Neal v. Sherman, 2016
WL 1714552, at *17 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 26, 2016) (federal habeas
courts “lack the resources to engage in the minutiae of
credit calculations for state prisoners, a state law matter
properly reserved to state officials who . . . apply[ ] state
law”). Williams cannot convert his claim for a
violation of Hawaii state sentencing statutes and regulations
into claims under the United States Constitution simply by
referencing due process and the Eighth Amendment. See
Langford v. Day, 110 F.3d 1380, 1389 (9th Cir. 1997)
(stating a petitioner may not “transform a state-law
issue into a federal one merely by asserting a violation of
due process”). Thus, petitioner's claim is not
cognizable on federal habeas ...