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Huneycutt v. United States

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

January 31, 2019

Bobby Dee Huneycutt, 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. 286 & 291. The Court denies the motion for the reasons herein.[1]

         Background

         On July 27, 2015, Petitioner pled guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and 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), (b)(1)(A), 846. See ECF Nos. 71, 131, 134, & 135. On January 27, 2016, the Court sentenced Petitioner to 180 months' imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release of five years. See ECF Nos. 171 & 179. Judgment was entered on January 28, 2016. See ECF No. 179. Petitioner did not file a direct appeal.

         On June 22, 2018, the Court received a handwritten document from Petitioner indicating his desire to file a § 2255 motion; the document was undated but the envelope was postmarked June 18, 2018. See ECF No. 286. Accordingly, pursuant to Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988), the Court is using June 18, 2018, as the filing date of Petitioner's § 2255 motion. Petitioner subsequently filled out the Court's standard form for a § 2255 motion. See ECF No. 291.

         Thereafter, the Government filed a motion to dismiss or, alternatively, for summary judgment. See ECF No. 301. Petitioner filed a response in opposition to the Government's motion. See ECF No. 304.

         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). “This statute was intended to alleviate the burden of habeas corpus petitions filed by federal prisoners in the district of confinement, by providing an equally broad remedy in the more convenient jurisdiction of the sentencing court.” United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185 (1979).

         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. 301-1 at pp. 2-7. 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 ...

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