United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
OPINION DENYING MOTION TO VACATE
J. QUIST UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 17, 2014, a jury returned a guilty verdict for unlawful
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon against Jason
Arnold; Judge Robert Holmes Bell sentenced Arnold to 60
months imprisonment, with a three year term of supervised
release. (No. 2:13-CR-6, ECF No. 68 & 110.) On July 10,
2017, Arnold filed a motion to vacate, set aside, and/or
correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No.
1.) On December 1, 2017, the government responded to
Arnold's motion. (ECF No. 10.)
government accurately summarized (ECF No. 10 at PageID.43)
Arnold's claims as follows:
Ground 1) All three of Arnold's
attorneys provided ineffective assistance of counsel, and
Attorney Zambon had a conflict of interest due to Arnold
naming him as a defendant in a civil pleading.
Ground 2) Arnold's speedy trial rights
Ground 3) The Court denied his request to
call witnesses during trial.
Ground 4) The Court denied his right to
present evidence on his purported defenses of justification
Ground 5) The recording of his interview was
Ground 6) Attorney Belli failed to raise
valid arguments on appeal.
Ground 7) The Court changed some of
Arnold's pleadings, e.g., from a writ of habeas
corpus to a motion for reconsideration.
Grounds 8 & 9) Attorney Belli provided
ineffective assistance during Arnold's second appeal.
must show that his “sentence was imposed in violation
of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the
court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or
that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by
law or is otherwise subject to collateral attack.” 28
U.S.C. § 2255. The statute favors granting a hearing,
but a hearing is not required if Arnold's allegations
“‘cannot be accepted as true because they are
contradicted by the record, inherently incredible, or
conclusions rather than statements of
fact.'” Arredondo v. United States, 178
F.3d 778, 782 (6th Cir. 1999) (quoting Engelen v. United
States, 68 F.3d 238, 240 (8th Cir. 1995)). Arnold's
claims fit these exceptions, and a hearing is unnecessary.
are procedurally defaulted if they were not raised on direct
appeal; Arnold may raise such procedurally-defaulted claims
on collateral review only if he can show cause and prejudice.
See Massaro v. United States, 538 U.S. 500, 504, 123
S.Ct. 1690, 1693 (2003).
order to establish an ineffective assistance of counsel
claim, a movant must show a “reasonable probability
that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result
of the proceeding would have been different.”
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 694, 104
S.Ct. 2052, 2068 (1984). The standard for analyzing
ineffective assistance claims is “simply reasonableness
under prevailing professional norms.” Wiggins v.
Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 521, 123 S.Ct. 2527, 2535 (2003)
(quoting Strickland, 466 U.S. at 688, 104 S.Ct. at
2065). The Court must presume that the lawyer is