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Cleveland v. United States

United States District Court, District of South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division

March 9, 2015

George Cleveland, III, Petitioner,
v.
United States of America, Respondent. Cr. No. 8:99-cr-01012-GRA-1

ORDER (WRITTEN OPINION)

G. Ross Anderson, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

This matter comes before this Court on George Cleveland, III’s (“Petitioner”) motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed on December 12, 2014.[1] For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner’s § 2255 Motion is DENIED.

Standard of Review

Petitioner brings this motion pro se. This Court is required to construe pro se pleadings liberally. Such pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys. Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). This Court is charged with liberally construing a pleading filed by a pro se litigant to allow for the development of a potentially meritorious claim. Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982). However, a court may not construct the plaintiff's legal arguments for him, Small v. Endicott, 998 F.2d 411, 414 (7th Cir. 1993), nor is a district court required to recognize “obscure or extravagant claims defying the most concerted efforts to unravel them.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277 (4th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1088 (1986).

Background

On January 1, 2000, Petitioner pled guilty before this Court to Count One of the indictment. ECF No. 1. Count One charged Petitioner with “the intent to defraud, did falsely make, forge and counterfeit obligations of the United States, that is, a quantity of $20.00 (twenty dollar) and $1.00 (one dollar) Federal Reserve Notes”, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 471. ECF No. 5. On March 30, 2000, this Court sentenced Petitioner to a three year probationary sentence with conditions. ECF No. 11. The judgment was entered on April 5, 2000. Id. On September 28, 2001, an Order was entered modifying conditions of release by adding 200 hours of community service. ECF No. 12. An amended judgment to that effect was filed on October 5, 2001. ECF No. 14.

Petitioner filed the present motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on December 12, 2014. ECF No. 15. The government filed a Motion to Dismiss and Response to Cleveland’s 2255 Petition on January 13, 2015. ECF No. 23. Petitioner filed a Response in Opposition on January 23, 2015. ECF No. 25. A Roseboro Order was filed by the Court on January 27, 2015. ECF No. 26. Finally, Petitioner filed an Affidavit in Support of his § 2255 Petition on March 2, 2015. ECF No. 28. The Court is now ready to rule on Petitioner’s § 2255 Petition.

Discussion

Petitioner’s § 2255 petition is untimely. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) instituted a one-year statute of limitations for filing motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The AEDPA’s amendments to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provide, in relevant part, that:

A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under this section. The limitation period shall run from the latest of--
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through ...

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