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Arita v. United States

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

October 23, 2017

Carlos Manuel Arita, Petitioner,
v.
United States of America, Respondent.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner's pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See ECF Nos. 85 & 88. The Court denies the motion for the reasons herein.[1]

         Background

         On September 8, 2014, Petitioner pled guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement to the lesser-included charge in Count 2 of the Superseding Indictment, which charged possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B). See ECF Nos. 39, 58-60. On February 11, 2015, the Court sentenced Petitioner to ninety-six months' imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release of four years. See ECF Nos. 65 & 67. Judgment was entered on February 12, 2015. See ECF No. 67. Petitioner did not file a direct appeal.

         On June 22, 2017, [2] he filed the instant pro se § 2255 motion.[3] See ECF Nos. 85 & 88. On July 31, 2017, the Government filed a motion to dismiss. See ECF No. 93. The Court issued a Roseboro[4]order notifying Petitioner that a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment had been filed and that his failure to respond within thirty-one days could result in the dismissal of the case. See ECF No. 94. However, Petitioner did not file a response to the Government's motion.

         Legal Standard

         Prisoners 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 omitted).

         The 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).

         Discussion

         The Government argues Petitioner's § 2255 motion is untimely and must be dismissed. See ECF No. 93 at pp. 1-2. The Court agrees.

         “A motion by a federal prisoner for postconviction relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is subject to a one-year time limitation . . . .” Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 524 (2003). The one-year limitation period runs from the latest of the following four dates:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively ...

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