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United States v. Washington

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

May 28, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
FRANK WASHINGTON, Defendant.

          OPINION & ORDER (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO RECONSIDER § 2255 EXTENSION (Dkt. 47); AND (2) DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO VACATE SENTENCE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Dkt. 48)

          MARK A. GOLDSMITH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On March 15, 2017, the Honorable John O'Meara sentenced Defendant Frank Washington to 120 months' imprisonment, followed by thirty-six months' supervised release. Judgment (Dkt. 38). Washington filed a motion asking the Court to extend his time to file a motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Dkt. 39), which this Court denied for lack of jurisdiction. 4/23/2018 Order (Dkt. 44). Washington then filed the two motions currently pending before this Court: one asking the Court to reconsider its decision denying his request for an extension, and one requesting relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Washington's request for an extension of time, but denies his § 2255 motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Washington pleaded guilty to four counts of Hobbs Act robbery, 18 U.S.C. § 1951; and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Rule 11 Plea Agreement (Dkt. 29). He was sentenced to 36 months on each of the Hobbs Act counts, to run concurrently, and 84 months on the § 924(c) count. Judgment at 2.

         On December 14, 2017, Washington filed a motion for an extension of time to file a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. His motion stated that he was placed in the Special Housing Unit in October 2017, where he had limited access to the law library. He therefore asked for an extension of the one-year deadline to file a § 2255 motion. The Court denied his request on April 23, 2018, as “a district court has no jurisdiction to grant an extension for a § 2255 motion that has not yet been filed.” 4/23/2018 Order at 1.

         Washington then filed his § 2555 motion, along with a request for the Court to reconsider an extension, on June 12, 2018. In his § 2255 motion, Washington argues that the Supreme Court's decision in Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018), requires this Court to set aside his § 924(c) conviction. Def. Mot. at 1.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         This motion is brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which provides in pertinent part:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the 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, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

28 U.S.C. § 2255.

         To prevail on a § 2255 motion, “a petitioner must demonstrate the existence of an error of constitutional magnitude which has a substantial and injurious effect or influence on the guilty plea or the jury's verdict.” Humphress v. United States, 398 F.3d 855, 858 (6th Cir. 2005). Non-constitutional errors are generally outside the scope of § 2255 relief. See United States v. Cofield, 233 F.3d 405, 407 (6th Cir. 2000). A movant can prevail on a § 2255 motion alleging non-constitutional error only by establishing “a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice, or an error so egregious that it amounts to a violation of due process.” Watson v. United States, 175 F.3d 486, 488 (6th Cir. 1999).

         A court should grant a hearing to determine the issues and make findings of fact and conclusions of law on a § 2255 motion “[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). No. evidentiary hearing is required if the petitioner's allegations “cannot be accepted as true because they are contradicted by the record, inherently incredible, or conclusions rather than statements of fact.” Valentine v. United States, 488 F.3d 325, 333 (6th Cir. 2007) (quoting Arredondo v. United States, 178 F.3d 778, 782 (6th Cir. 1999)). “If it plainly appears from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the moving party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion.” Rules Governing § 2255 Cases, Rule 4(b).

         III. ANALYSIS

         The Court will first address Washington's request for an extension of time to file his § 2255 motion, as this determines whether the Court is able to consider the § 2255 motion. The ...


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