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United States v. Jacobs

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

October 30, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Michael Tyron Jacobs, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         This matter is before the court on pro se Defendant Michael Tyron Jacobs' (“Defendant”) Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct a Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[1] (ECF No. 131.) The United States of America (“Government”) filed a response in opposition to Defendant's Motion, and contemporaneously moved to dismiss the Motion with prejudice. (ECF Nos. 135, 136.)

         A prisoner in federal custody under sentence of a federal court may petition the court that imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The prisoner may be entitled to relief upon a showing: (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; and (4) that the sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. Id. A petitioner collaterally attacking his sentence or conviction pursuant to § 2255 bears the burden of proving his grounds for collateral attack by a preponderance of the evidence. White v. United States, 352 F.Supp.2d 684, 686 (E.D. Va. 2004) (citing Miller v. United States, 261 F.2d 546 (4th Cir. 1958)). In ruling on a § 2255 motion, the court may dismiss the motion without a hearing where “it plainly appears from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings, that the moving party is not entitled to relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b) (noting that a hearing is not required on a § 2255 motion if the record of the case conclusively shows that petitioner is entitled to no relief).

         After reviewing the parties' respective memoranda and the record of the underlying proceedings, the court determines that an evidentiary hearing is unnecessary. For the reasons set forth herein, the court DENIES Defendant's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct a Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 131), GRANTS the Government's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 136) with prejudice, and DENIES Defendant's Motion for Hearing (ECF No. 146).

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On September 12, 2007, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment charging Defendant, along with others, with conspiracy to distribute powder and crack cocaine. (ECF No. 33.) On January 3, 2008, Defendant pled guilty to the Indictment. (ECF No. 63.) Pursuant to paragraph 582 of the Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”), Defendant received two criminal history points. (ECF No. 88 at ¶ 582.) The two state charges at issue were Z743845 and Z743846. (Id.) The former was for driving under suspension and the latter was for a failure to surrender a driver's license. (Id.) With a total offense level of 37 and a criminal history category of IV, Defendant's range was 292 to 365 months of imprisonment. (ECF No. 88 at ¶ 626.)

         On August 13, 2008, the judgment was filed against Defendant and he was sentenced to 180 months of imprisonment. (ECF No. 103.) Defendant did not file a notice of appeal. (ECF No. 135 at 2.)

         On March 21, 2016, Defendant filed a § 2255 Motion challenging the criminal history points in paragraph 582 of the PSR, and submitted two orders (both dated March 1, 2016) signed by Magistrate Judge Nancy Devine vacating his convictions in Z743845 and Z743846. (ECF No. 131-1 at 2-3.) Based on Judge Devine's orders, Defendant requested to be resentenced. (ECF No. 131.)

         On April 11, 2016, the Government filed a response in opposition to Defendant's Motion, and contemporaneously filed a Motion to Dismiss, asserting that Defendant's Motion should be dismissed as untimely because Defendant did not exercise due diligence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(4) when seeking vacatur of his state court convictions. (ECF Nos. 135, 136.)

         On May 11, 2016, through his appointed counsel, Defendant filed a response to the Government's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 141.) On August 8, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion for Hearing. (ECF No. 146.)

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. The One-Year Period of Limitation

         A one-year period of limitation applies to motions brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). This limitation period runs from the latest of:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to make a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented ...

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