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United States v. Collins

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

June 16, 2016

United States of America,
v.
James Morrow Collins, Jr., Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on Defendant’s motion for relief, filed in this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 323. For the reasons below, Defendant’s Motion to Vacate pursuant to § 2255 is dismissed.

         I. Background

         In December of 2009, Defendant was indicted on one count of conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act and to Engage in an Illegal Gambling Business, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; two counts of participating in, and/or aiding and abetting, an Unlawful Animal Fighting Venture in violation of 7 U.S.C. § 2156 and 18 U.S.C. § 2; and two counts of participating in, and/or aiding and abetting, an Illegal Gambling Business in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1955 and 18 U.S.C. § 2.

         In May of 2010, a jury trial was held and Defendant was found guilty as to all counts. ECF No. 146. Defendant was sentenced on August 3, 2010, and Judgment entered on August 4, 2010, sentencing Defendant to twenty-one (21) months incarceration, followed by three years of supervised release. ECF No. 202.

         On August 10, 2010, Defendant filed a Notice of Appeal with the Fourth Circuit. ECF No. 210. The Fourth Circuit vacated and remanded the counts alleging violations of the animal fighting 3:09-cr-01295-CMC Date Filed 06/16/16 Entry Number 337 Page 2 of 5 statute, due to juror misconduct, and subsequently the Government moved to dismiss these counts. ECF Nos. 287, 291. On June 18, 2012, this court granted the motion to dismiss counts two and three. ECF No. 292. On November 9, 2012, Defendant was re-sentenced and received twenty-one months in prison and three-years supervised release on counts one, four, and five. ECF No. 304. Defendant appealed this judgment, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. ECF No. 317. The Mandate and Judgment of the Court of Appeals was filed on January 27, 2014.

         Defendant filed his motion pursuant to § 2255 on March 23, 2016. ECF No. 323. On March 28, 2016, this court entered an Order dismissing Defendant’s § 2255 motion as untimely. ECF No. 324. However, on April 6, 2016, this court entered an Order vacating the previous Order in light of U.S. v. McRae, which held that the AEDPA statute of limitations is an affirmative defense. See ECF No. 327 (citing McRae, 793 F.3d 392 (4th Cir. 2015)). The Government filed a motion to dismiss Defendant’s § 2255 motion as untimely on May 13, 2016. ECF No. 333. A Roseboro order was entered by the court and mailed to Defendant, advising him of the importance of a dispositive motion and the need to file an adequate response. ECF No. 334. Defendant replied on June 13, 2016, arguing the merits of his motion. ECF No. 336.

         II. Timeliness

         Title 28, United States Code § 2255(f) imposes a one-year statute of limitation on motions for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Pursuant to the AEDPA, the limitation period runs 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 the exercise of due diligence.

28 U.S.C § 2255(f). Therefore, unless subject to a statutory exception, a defendant must file an application for relief under § 2255 within one year of ...


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