United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Bryan Harwell, United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Sean Francis
Schaffner's pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
See ECF No. 82. The Government has filed a motion
for summary judgment. See ECF No. 88. The Court
denies Petitioner's § 2255 motion and grants the
Government's motion for summary judgment for the reasons
2010, Petitioner was indicted in this District and in the
Southern District of Indiana for four armed bank robberies,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d), and
brandishing firearms during crimes of violence-the bank
robberies-in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii).
See ECF No. 16 (charging Petitioner with three
counts of armed bank robbery and three counts of brandishing
firearms during crimes of violence); United States v.
Schaffner, No. 4:10-cr-00007-SEB-MGN, at ECF No. 1 (S.D.
Ind.) (charging Petitioner with one count of armed bank
robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime
of violence). The Indiana case was subsequently transferred
to this District pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 20. See
United States v. Schaffner, No. 4:10-cr-00963-RBH
(D.S.C.). In September 2010, Petitioner pled guilty pursuant
to a written plea agreement to two counts of brandishing
firearms during crimes of violence-one count from the
indictment in this District and one count from the indictment
in Indiana. See ECF Nos. 48, 51, & 52. The Court
sentenced Petitioner to thirty-two years' imprisonment.
See ECF No. 63. Judgment was entered on January 26,
2011, see id., and Petitioner did not file a direct
7, 2016,  Petitioner filed the instant § 2255
motion and a supporting memorandum.See ECF No. 82. On
August 1, 2016, the Government filed a response in opposition
and a motion for summary judgment. See ECF Nos. 87
& 88. Petitioner filed several responses in opposition to
the Government's motion for summary judgment.
See ECF Nos. 91, 93, 95, & 107.
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
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
asserts he is entitled to be resentenced in light of
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015),
arguing Johnson implicitly invalidated the residual
clause in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B) and therefore armed
bank robbery is no longer a crime of violence for purposes of
§ 924(c). See ECF No. 82 at pp. 4-8. The
Government contends, inter alia, that
Johnson is inapplicable because armed bank robbery
satisfies the force clause of § 924(c)(3)(A).
See ECF No. 87 at pp. 3, 11-12.
924(c) prohibits the possession of a firearm in furtherance
of a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime.”
United States v. Hare, 820 F.3d 93, 105-06 (4th Cir.
2016) (emphasis removed).
As defined in § 924(c)(3), the phrase “crime of
violence” means a felony offense that either:
“(A) has as an element the use, attempted use, or
threatened use of physical force against the person or
property of another, or (B) . . . by its nature, involves a
substantial risk that physical force against the person or
property of another may be used in the course of committing
the offense.” We have referred to subparagraph (A) of
§ 924(c)(3) as the “force clause” and to
subparagraph (B) as the “residual clause.”
United States v. McNeal, 818 F.3d 141, 151-52 (4th
Cir. 2016). In McNeal, the Fourth Circuit held
“bank robbery under § 2113(a) constitutes a crime
of violence under the force clause of §
924(c)(3).” Id. at 153; see Id. at
157 (“Because bank robbery is a lesser-included offense
of § 2113(d) armed bank robbery, armed bank robbery is
also a crime of violence under the force clause.”). The
Fourth Circuit noted that “[b]ecause § 2113(a)
bank robbery satisfies the § 924(c)(3) force clause, we
do not consider whether Johnson renders the §
924(c)(3) residual clause unconstitutionally vague.”
Id. at 152 n.8.
on McNeal, Petitioner's § 924(c)
convictions are valid because they are predicated on §
2113(d) armed bank robberies, which are crimes of violence
under the force clause of § 924(c)(3). See Id.
at 157; see, e.g., United States v.
Stroman, No. 3:02-cr-00086-CMC, 2016 WL 5661682 (D.S.C.
Sept. 30, 2016) (applying McNeal and denying a
§ 2255 motion for similar reasons), appeal
dismissed, 673 ...