Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Wall

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 18, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
FREDERICK JAMES WALL, Defendant.

         OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING THE GOVERNMENT'S AMENDED MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (DKT. 41); VACATING THIS COURT'S SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 OPINION & ORDER (DKT. 39); DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO VACATE HIS SENTENCE (DKT. 31); AND GRANTING A CERTFICATE OF APPEALABILTIY

          MARK A. GOLDSMITH United States District Judge.

         Defendant filed a motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Dkt. 31), invoking the Supreme Court's recent decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 2557 (2015). This Court granted that motion on September 14, 2016 (Dkt. 39). In the process, the Court rejected the Government's argument that the collateral attack waiver contained within Defendant's Rule 11 Plea Agreement (Dkt. 26) precluded the challenge to his sentence. See 9/14/2016 Order at 3-6.

         The Government timely filed a motion for reconsideration, continuing to argue that Defendant's collateral attack waiver should be given dispositive effect (Dkt. 41). The issues have been fully briefed, and a hearing was held on the motion on October 21, 2016. The Court agrees with the Government that, based on Sixth Circuit authority supplied during the briefing on the motion for reconsideration, the Court's initial opinion cannot be squared with that authority. Accordingly, the September 14, 2016 order is vacated, the motion for reconsideration is granted, and Defendant's § 2255 motion is denied.

         I. STANDARD OF DECISION

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for a “motion for reconsideration, ” but the local rules in the Eastern District of Michigan do. See E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(h). The local rule explains that the decision to grant the motion is within the court's discretion. To establish grounds for reconsideration, “[t]he movant must not only demonstrate a palpable defect by which the court and the parties . . . have been misled but also show that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case.” E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(h)(3).

         II. DISCUSSION

         In his Plea Agreement, Defendant acknowledged that he “knowingly and voluntarily waive[d] that right [to collaterally attack his sentence] and agree[d] not to contest his conviction or sentence in any post-conviction proceeding, including - but not limited to - any proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.” Plea Agreement at 8.

         A. This Court's Prior Basis for Rejecting the Government's Waiver Argument

         In setting aside Defendant's waiver insofar as his argument is based upon Johnson, this Court relied on United States v. McBride, 826 F.3d 293 (6th Cir. 2016), a recent case that was before the Sixth Circuit on direct appeal. In that case, the plea agreement memorialized an “understanding” that the defendant would be sentenced as a career offender because “he had at least two prior crimes of violence convictions.” Id. at 294. The court noted that this language could function as a waiver of most challenges to his sentence; nevertheless, the court held that “a defendant can abandon only ‘known rights, '” id. at 295 (quoting United States v. Olano, 507 U.S. 725, 733 (1993)) (emphasis in original), and that the defendant “could not have intentionally relinquished a claim based on Johnson, which was decided after his sentencing, ” id.

         Explaining its view that McBride applied to Defendant's case, this Court stated:

The Government argues that McBride should be distinguished from the instant case because “there is a world of difference between what was essentially an implied waiver by agreeing to guideline calculations [i.e., McBride] versus an affirmative waiver of one's statutory right to collaterally challenge a conviction.” Gov't Resp. at 7 (emphasis added). But the Government does not explain what this “world of difference” might be; nor does it offer any authorities drawing the distinction that the Government invites the Court to make. There does not appear to be anything about a broad waiver of one's statutory right to collaterally challenge a conviction that is somehow more worthy of enforcement than a defendant's waiver of the right to collaterally attack a “career offender” designation.

9/14/2016 Order at 4.

         Thanks to the briefing on the Government's motion for consideration, however, this Court is now aware of United States v. Alford, 436 F.3d 677 (6th Cir. 2006); United States v. Amiker, 414 F.3d 606 (6th Cir. 2005); and United States v. Puckett, 422 F.3d 340 (6th Cir. 2005). Those cases draw a clear distinction between the Guidelines-specific waiver seen in McBride and the broad appeal/collateral attack waiver seen here. Alford explained: “The plea agreement in [United States v. Bradley, 400 F.3d 459, 463 (6th Cir. 2005)] contained language by which the defendant agreed to be sentenced under the Guidelines and also a clause waiving the defendant's right to appeal.” Alford, 436 F.3d at 679 (emphasis added). “[T]he agreement presently before [the Alford] court . . . contains no waiver of appeal clause. The absence of such a waiver is dispositive.” Id. at 680. “The mere fact that the defendant agreed to be, and was, sentenced pursuant to the Sentencing Guidelines, does not preclude him from raising on appeal an alleged Booker error regarding his sentence.” Id. (citing Puckett, 422 at 343 (“Puckett did not expressly waive his right to appeal in the plea agreement, and thus the current situation falls outside the reach of Bradley. The mere fact that Puckett agreed to be, and was, sentenced pursuant to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.