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Taylor v. United States

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

September 29, 2016

Job Taylor, PETITIONER
v.
United States of America, RESPONDENT C/A No. 4:16-cv-02278-TLW

          ORDER

          Terry L. Wooten Chief United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court for consideration of the pro se petition to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 filed by Petitioner Job Taylor. For the reasons stated below, the Court dismisses the petition.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         Petitioner pled guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was sentenced pursuant to a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement to 262 months incarceration on each count. See Plea Ag. ¶ 7, ECF No. 43 at 4; Sent. Tr. 13:21-14:12. He filed a direct appeal, but the Fourth Circuit affirmed on October 30, 2006. United States v. Taylor, 204 F.App'x 293 (4th Cir. 2006). He did not file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court.

         On June 18, 2016, [1] Petitioner filed this § 2255 petition, challenging his classification as both a career offender and an armed career criminal. ECF No. 71. The Government filed a response in opposition and a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the petition should be denied as untimely. ECF Nos. 75, 76. He then filed a reply. ECF No. 79. This matter is now ripe for decision.

         II. 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         Title 28, Section 2255 of the United States Code provides that a prisoner in custody under sentence of a federal court may file a petition in the court that imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence. A petitioner is entitled to relief under § 2255 if he proves by a preponderance of the evidence one of the following: (1) that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence; (3) that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law; or (4) that the sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a); Miller v. United States, 261 F.2d 546, 547 (4th Cir. 1958) (per curiam). “The scope of review of non-constitutional error is more limited than that of constitutional error; a non-constitutional error does not provide a basis for collateral attack unless it involves ‘a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice, ' or is ‘inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure.'” Leano v. United States, 334 F.Supp.2d 885, 890 (D.S.C. 2004) (quoting United States v. Mikalajunas, 186 F.3d 490, 495-96 (4th Cir. 1999)).

         In deciding a § 2255 petition, a court need not hold a hearing if “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). The Court has thoroughly reviewed the motions, files, and records in this case, liberally construing Petitioner's pro se filings, and finds that no hearing is necessary.

         III. Standard of Review

         Petitioner brings this petition pro se. Courts are required to construe liberally pleadings filed by pro se litigants to allow for the development of potentially meritorious claims. See Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam). These pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys. See Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). However, “[t]he ‘special judicial solicitude' with which a district court should view such pro se complaints does not transform the court into an advocate. Only those questions which are squarely presented to a court may properly be addressed.” Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).

         The Government filed a motion for summary judgment. “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). At the summary judgment stage, the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all justifiable inferences in its favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 447 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

         IV. Discussion

         A. Timeliness under AEDPA

         The Government argues that Petitioner's § 2255 petition should be ...


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