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McGlocton v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

May 3, 2017

RODRIQUEZ O. MCGLOCTON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CURTIS L. COLLIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the United States' motion to deny and dismiss Petitioner's pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. 32]. Petitioner filed the petition on June 20, 2016 [Doc. 26]. In it, he challenges his enhancement under Section 2K2.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines based on Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), which held that the residual provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), was unconstitutionally vague [Id. (suggesting that his sentence is no longer valid because the Guidelines residual provision is equally vague)].[1]

         On March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court issued Beckles v. United States, which held that the United States Sentencing Guidelines are “not amenable to vagueness challenges.” 137 S.Ct. 886, 894 (2017). Shortly thereafter-on March 30, 2017, the United States filed the instant motion to dismiss Petitioner's Johnson-based challenge in light of Beckles [Doc. 32]. Petitioner has not filed a response, and the time for doing so has now passed. E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.1, 7.2. This Court interprets the absence of a response as a waiver of opposition. See, e.g., Notredan, LLC v. Old Republic Exch. Facilitator Co., 531 F. App'x 567, 569 (6th Cir. 2013) (explaining that failure to respond or oppose a motion to dismiss operates as both a waiver of opposition to, and an independent basis for granting, the unopposed motion); see also E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.2 (“Failure to respond to a motion may be deemed a waiver of any opposition to the relief sought”).

         Because Beckles forecloses Johnson-based collateral relief from Petitioner's Guideline enhancement and because this Court interprets Petitioner's failure to respond to the United States' request for dismissal as a waiver of opposition, the motion to deny and dismiss [Doc. 32] will be GRANTED and the petition [Doc. 26] will be DENIED and DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         In addition to the motion to dismiss, this Court is in possession of a request for an extension of time filed by the United States on August 10, 2016 [Doc. 29]. Before this Court could rule on that request, however, the United States' submitted the delayed response [Doc. 31]. For good cause shown, the United States' request [Doc. 29] will be GRANTED nunc pro tunc.

         This Court will CERTIFY any appeal from this action would not be taken in good faith and would be totally frivolous. Therefore, this Court will DENY Petitioner leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 24. Petitioner having failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right, a certificate of appealability SHALL NOT ISSUE. 28 U.S.C. § 2253; Fed. R. App. P. 22(b).

         An appropriate order will enter.

---------

Notes:

[1] The ACCA mandates a fifteen-year sentence for any felon who unlawfully possesses a firearm after having sustained three prior convictions “for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both, committed on occasions different from one another.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). The statute defines “violent felony” as “any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” that (1) “has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another” (the “use-of-physical-force clause”); (2) “is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves the use of explosives” (the “enumerated-offense clause”); or (3) “otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another” (the “residual clause”). 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). It was this third clause-the residual clause-that the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in Johnson. 135 S.Ct. at 2563.

The Guidelines set a general base offense level of fourteen for violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). USSG § 2K2.1(a)(6). For offenders with one prior conviction for either a “crime of violence” or “controlled substance offense, ” the base offense level increases to twenty. USSG § 2K2.1(a)(4). Offenders with two such convictions face a base offense level of twenty-four. USSG § 2K2.1(a)(2). “Controlled substance offense” is defined as any offense “punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance . . . or the possession of controlled substance . . . with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense.” USSG § 4B1.2(b). “Crime of violence” is ...


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