Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Driggans v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

August 3, 2017

RHYAN C. DRIGGANS, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          Magistrate Judge Christopher H. Steger

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          TRAVIS R. MCDONOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are the following motions: (1) a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255; and (2) a supplemental § 2255 motion filed by petitioner Rhyan C. Driggans. Petitioner's motions challenge his enhanced sentence as an armed career criminal under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), pursuant to Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).[1] In light of both Johnson and the recent en banc decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Stitt, 860 F.3d 854 (6thCir. 2017), it now is undisputed that petitioner no longer qualifies as an armed career criminal under the ACCA. Accordingly, petitioner's § 2255 motion [Doc. 19] and supplemental § 2255 motion [Doc. 28] will be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On December 15, 2004, a grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Tennessee returned a two-count indictment charging petitioner with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), and possession of a stolen firearm in violation of § 922(j) [Doc. 1]. On August 1, 2005, petitioner entered a plea of guilty as to count one [Doc. 14].

         The presentence investigation report (“PSIR”) identified three previous convictions for a violent felony, which qualified petitioner as an armed career criminal under the ACCA: (1) a 1997 conviction for burglary in the Catoosa County, Georgia, Superior Court [PSIR ¶ 24]; (2) a 1999 conviction for aggravated burglary in the Hamilton County, Tennessee, Criminal Court [PSIR ¶ 26]; and, (3) a 1999 conviction for burglary in the Catoosa County, Georgia, Superior Court [PSIR ¶ 28]. As an armed career criminal, petitioner was subject to a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, and his advisory guideline sentence was 180 months [PSIR ¶¶ 50, 51].[2] On November 14, 2005, petitioner was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 180 months and a term of supervised release of four years [Doc. 16].[3] Petitioner did not file a direct appeal.

         On June 20, 2014, petitioner, through court-appointed counsel, filed a § 2255 motion challenging his armed career criminal status based on the Supreme Court's decision in Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013) [Doc. 19]. On June 1, 2016, petitioner, again through court-appointed counsel, filed a supplemental § 2255 motion raising an additional challenge to his armed career criminal status based on the Supreme Court's invalidation of the ACCA residual clause in Johnson [Doc. 28].

         The government's motion to defer ruling on petitioner's motion pending an en banc decision from the Sixth Circuit in United States v. Stitt, 646 Fed. App'x 454 (6th Cir. 2016), was granted by the Court on October 20, 2016 [Doc. 38]. On June 27, 2017, the Sixth Circuit held that a conviction of aggravated burglary under Tennessee law does not qualify as a violent felony predicate offense under the ACCA. United States v. Stitt, 860 F.3d at 856.

         On July 26, 2017, the parties filed a joint status report, in which they agreed that petitioner no longer qualifies as an armed career criminal in light of Johnson and Stitt [Doc. 39].

         II. ANALYSIS

         1. TIMELINESS

         Section 2255(f) places a one-year period of limitation on all petitions for collateral relief under § 2255 which runs from the latest of: (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 applicable to cases on collateral review; or (4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f).

         Claims based on the Supreme Court's opinion in Johnson satisfy the third sub-category- the assertion of a newly recognized right made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review. Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. at 1268 (Johnson constitutes a new substantive rule of constitutional law made retroactively applicable on collateral review); In Re Watkins, 810 F.3d at 381-85. The one-year limitation period for filing a motion to vacate based on a right newly recognized by the Supreme Court runs from the date on which the Supreme Court initially recognized the right asserted, not from the date on which the right asserted was made retroactively applicable. Dodd v. United States, 545 U.S. 353, 357 (2005). Accordingly, Johnson triggered a renewed one-year period of limitation beginning on the date of that decision, June 26, 2015, and running until June 26, 2016.

         In this case, petitioner filed his supplemental § 2255 motion on June 1, 2016, which falls safely within the one-year window ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.