United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Gabriel Emanuel
Foxworth's pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct
his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See
ECF No. 62. The Court denies the motion for the reasons
October 26, 2015, Petitioner, represented by counsel, pleaded
guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement to the following
charges: (1) possession with intent to distribute a quantity
of marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D); and (2) possessing a firearm in
furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). See ECF Nos. 43, 45,
& 46. In the plea agreement, Petitioner and the
Government stipulated to a sentence of 156 months'
(thirteen years') imprisonment pursuant to Federal Rule
of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C). See ECF No. 43 at
February 25, 2016, the Court accepted the stipulated sentence
and sentenced Petitioner to 156 months' imprisonment,
followed by a term of supervised release of five years.
See ECF Nos. 53, 56, & 74. Judgment was entered
on February 26, 2016. See ECF No. 56. Petitioner did
not appeal the judgment.
February 26, 2017,  Petitioner filed the instant pro se motion
to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255. See ECF No. 62. On March 23,
2017, plea counsel (Henry Anderson, Jr.) filed a response
addressing his representation of Petitioner. See ECF
No. 69. On April 27, 2017, the Government filed a response in
opposition and a Motion to Dismiss/Motion for Summary
Judgment. See ECF Nos. 76 & 77. Petitioner did
not file a reply to the Government's response.
judgment is appropriate when no genuine issue of material
fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Reyazuddin v. Montgomery Cty., Md.,
789 F.3d 407, 413 (4th Cir. 2015); see Fed. R. Civ.
P. 56(a) (“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.”). “A party asserting that a fact
cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion
by: (A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record
. . .; or (B) showing that the materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or
that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). The facts and
inferences to be drawn from the evidence must be viewed in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party,
Reyazuddin, 789 F.3d at 413, but the Court
“cannot weigh the evidence or make credibility
determinations.” Jacobs v. N.C. Admin. Office of
the Courts, 780 F.3d 562, 569 (4th Cir. 2015).
“the mere existence of some alleged factual
dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise
properly supported motion for summary judgment; the
requirement is that there be no genuine issue of
material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). “A dispute of
material fact is ‘genuine' if sufficient evidence
favoring the non-moving party exists for the trier of fact to
return a verdict for that party.” Seastrunk v.
United States, 25 F.Supp.3d 812, 814 (D.S.C. 2014). A
fact is “material” if proof of its existence or
nonexistence would affect disposition of the case under the
applicable law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
summary judgment stage, “the moving party must
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Once the moving party has met his burden, the nonmoving party
must come forward with some evidence beyond the mere
allegations contained in the pleadings to show that there is
a genuine issue for trial.” Baber v. Hosp. Corp. of
Am., 977 F.2d 872, 874-75 (4th Cir. 1992) (internal
citation omitted). Summary judgment is not warranted unless,
“from the totality of the evidence, including
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
affidavits, the [C]ourt believes no genuine issue of material
fact exists for trial and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Whiteman v.
Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., 729 F.3d 381, 385 (4th
Cir. 2013); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
in federal custody may attack the validity of their sentences
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For a court to vacate, set
aside, or correct a sentence under § 2255, a petitioner
must prove one of the following occurred: (1) a sentence was
imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the
United States; (2) the court was without jurisdiction to
impose such a sentence; (3) the sentence was in excess of the
maximum authorized by law; or (4) the sentence is otherwise
subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). In
deciding a § 2255 motion, the court may summarily
dismiss the motion “[i]f it plainly appears from the
motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior
proceedings that the moving party is not entitled to
relief.” Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings 4(b);
see 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b) (a hearing is not
required on a § 2255 motion if the record of the case
conclusively shows the petitioner is not entitled to relief).
an evidentiary hearing is required under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 unless it is clear from the pleadings, files, and
records that a movant is not entitled to relief.”
United States v. Robinson, 238 F. App'x 954,
954-55 (4th Cir. 2007) (citing United States v.
Witherspoon, 231 F.3d 923, 925-26 (4th Cir. 2000)). An
evidentiary hearing “is required when a movant presents
a colorable Sixth Amendment claim showing disputed material
facts and a credibility determination is necessary to resolve
the issue.” United States v. Coon, 205 F.
App'x 972, 973 (4th Cir. 2006) (citing
Witherspoon, 231 F.3d at 925-27).
guilty plea is a solemn, judicial admission of the truth of
the charges against an individual; thus, a criminal
defendant's right to contest the validity of such a plea
is usually foreclosed. See Blackledge v. Allison,431 U.S. 63, 74 (1977). “If an appropriately conducted
Rule 11 proceeding is to serve a meaningful function, on
which the criminal justice system can rely, it must be
recognized to raise a strong presumption that the plea is
final and binding.” United States v. Lambey,
974 F.2d 1389, 1394 (4th Cir. 1992). Regarding an ineffective
assistance of counsel claim presented after entry of a guilty
plea, the defendant's statements made under oath at the
plea hearing, affirming satisfaction ...