United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Chisolm has filed a pro se motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct his federal prison sentence under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 (ECF No. 1276). The United States
(“Government”) has filed a motion to dismiss (ECF
No. 1291). For the reasons stated herein, the Court grants
the Government's motion.
2001, Chisolm pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute more
than fifty grams of crack cocaine. When Chisolm pled guilty,
his criminal history included prior convictions in South
Carolina state court for possession with intent to distribute
cocaine and distribution of crack. Due to those convictions,
the Court treated him as a career offender under the United
States Sentencing Guidelines, see U.S.S.G. §
4B1.1, and sentenced him to 292 months in prison. Chisolm did
filed his § 2255 motion in June 2016. The Government
responded by filing its motion to dismiss. Chisolm then filed
a response to the Government's motion. Accordingly, this
matter is now ripe for consideration.
proceeds under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which provides, in
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 . . . may move the
court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or
correct the sentence.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). On a motion to vacate, set aside,
or correct a sentence under § 2255, the petitioner bears
the burden of proving the grounds for collateral attack by a
preponderance of the evidence. Miller v. United
States, 261 F.2d 546, 547 (4th Cir. 1958). In deciding a
§ 2255 motion, the district 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).
conducting its review, this Court is mindful that pro
se filings are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by attorneys, Gordon v. Leeke, 574
F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), and that federal courts must
construe such pleadings liberally to allow the development of
potentially meritorious claims, see Hughes v. Rowe,
449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980) (per curiam). The liberal construction
requirement, however, does not mean courts can ignore a clear
failure to allege facts that set forth claims cognizable in
federal district court. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
raises three claims: (1) his career-offender designation is
unconstitutional under Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015); (2) his plea counsel provided ineffective
assistance; and (3) this Court improperly treated the
Sentencing Guidelines as mandatory. The Government argues the
first claim is without merit and the latter two claims are
untimely. For the following reasons, the Court agrees with