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Buie v. United States

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

October 11, 2016

Daniel Ray Buie, Petitioner
United States of America, Respondent C/A No. 4:15-cv-04623-TLW


          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 Daniel Ray Buie. For the reasons stated below, the Court dismisses the petition.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         Petitioner pled guilty to a drug charge and a § 924(c) charge. He was sentenced as a career offender to 132 months on the drug charge and 60 months consecutive on the gun charge.[1] He filed a direct appeal, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed on April 5, 2011. United States v. Buie, 421 F. App'x 281 (4th Cir. 2011). He did not file a petition for certiorari. On July 3, 2012, [2] he filed a § 2255 petition asserting various grounds for relief. ECF No. 140. At a Rule 35(b) hearing on February 14, 2013, his counsel moved to withdraw the § 2255 petition with the consent of Petitioner, and the Court granted the motion. See Hearing Tr. 2:6-3:8 (Feb. 14, 2013); ECF No. 171.

         On September 9, 2015, [3] Petitioner filed a motion entitled “Cause Motion to Re-Instate or Other Appropriate Remedy, ” in which he again challenged his conviction and sentence on various grounds. ECF No. 210. The Court issued an order stating that if he intended to seek relief pursuant to § 2255, then, as required by Local Rule 83.VIII.03, he needed to file his petition on the appropriate forms, and he then did so. ECF Nos. 212, 214.

         In the petition, Petitioner argues that he is entitled to relief on four grounds: (1) evidence supporting his conviction was illegally seized; (2) his plea was not knowing and voluntary; (3) this Court erred in not granting his motion to suppress, or dismiss or amend Count 1 of the indictment (the drug count to which he ultimately pled guilty); and (4) his counsel was ineffective. The Government filed a motion to dismiss, ECF No. 218, asserting that the petition should be dismissed as untimely, and he filed a response in opposition, ECF No. 222.

         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).

         IV. Discussion

         A. ...

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