United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Woody Graham's
pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See ECF No. 927.
The Court denies the motion for the reasons
was indicted for conspiracy to launder money, in violation 18
U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and 1956(h).
See ECF No. 340 at p. 10. On March 10, 2015,
Petitioner proceeded to a jury trial and was found guilty.
See ECF Nos. 701, 702, & 706. On July 6, 2015,
the Court sentenced Petitioner to forty-six months'
imprisonment and three years' supervised release.
See ECF Nos. 875 & 882. Judgment was entered on
July 14, 2015. See Id. Petitioner did not file a
28, 2016,  Petitioner filed the instant pro se §
2255 motion. See ECF Nos. 927 & 933. On
September 23, 2016, the Government filed a motion for summary
judgment. See ECF No. 937. On October 12, 2016,
Petitioner filed a response to the Government's motion
for summary judgment. See ECF No. 940.
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).
“The writ of habeas corpus and its federal counterpart,
28 U.S.C. § 2255, will not be allowed to do service for
an appeal. For this reason, nonconstitutional claims that
could have been raised on appeal, but were not, may not be
asserted in collateral proceedings.” Stone v.
Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 478 n.10 (1976) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). “Even those
nonconstitutional claims that could not have been asserted on
direct appeal can be raised on collateral review only if the
alleged error constituted a fundamental defect which
inherently results in a complete miscarriage of
justice[.]” Id. (internal quotation marks
district court need not hold an evidentiary hearing on a
§ 2255 motion 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);
see United States v. Thomas, 627 F.3d 534, 538 (4th
Cir. 2010). The determination of whether to hold an
evidentiary hearing ordinarily is left to the sound
discretion of the district court. Raines v. United
States, 423 F.2d 526, 530 (4th Cir. 1970).
the district court denies § 2255 relief without an
evidentiary hearing, the nature of the court's ruling is
akin to a ruling on a motion for summary judgment.”
United States v. Poindexter, 492 F.3d 263, 267 (4th
Cir. 2007). “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); see
generally Rule 12 of the Rules Governing Section 2255
Cases (“The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure . . ., to
the extent that they are not inconsistent with any statutory
provisions or these rules, may be applied to a proceeding
under these rules.”). “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
evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, with all reasonable inferences drawn in
that party's favor. The court therefore cannot weigh the
evidence or make credibility determinations.”
Reyazuddin v. Montgomery Cty., 789 F.3d 407, 413
(4th Cir. 2015) (internal citation and quotation marks
states a single ground for relief in his § 2255 motion,
seeking a reduced sentence based on Amendment 794 to the
United States Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G”).
See ECF No. 927 at pp. 1-3; ECF No. 933 pp. 3-4, 12.
petitioner ordinarily cannot use 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to
seek a sentence reduction based on subsequent amendments to
the Sentencing Guidelines. United States v. Goines,
357 F.3d 469, 477 (4th Cir. 2004). A motion for sentence
reduction based on a Guidelines amendment should be filed
under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2),  not 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Id. at 477-81; United States v. Jones, 143
F. App'x 526, 527 (4th Cir. 2005). In other words,
Petitioner's requested relief based on Amendment 794 is
not cognizable in a § 2255 proceeding. See,
e.g., Lunn v. United States, 2017 WL 2537221
(D. Md. June 9, 2017) (finding a § 2255 petitioner was
not entitled to relief under Amendment 794); Kidwell v.
United States, 2016 WL 5957561 (E.D. N.C. Oct. 13, 2016)
(same); United States v. Perez-Carrillo, 2016 WL
4524246 (W.D. Va. Aug. 26, 2016) (same). The Court will deny
Petitioner's § 2255 motion.
district court must issue or deny a certificate of
appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the
applicant.” Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section
2255 Cases. A certificate of appealability will not issue
absent “a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
When the district court denies relief on the merits, a
petitioner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that
reasonable jurists would find that the court's assessment
of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Slack
v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see Miller-El
v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003). When the
district court denies relief on procedural grounds, the
prisoner must demonstrate both that the dispositive
procedural ruling is debatable, and that the petition states