United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
inmate Charles Metcalf, Jr., has filed a motion to vacate,
set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. Respondent has filed a response in opposition to the
motion. Having considered the pleadings and the record, along
with the relevant law, the Court finds that it is unnecessary
to hold an evidentiary hearing, and Metcalf's § 2255
motion will be denied.
BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture and distribute at
least 50 grams of methamphetamine and at least 500 grams of a
methamphetamine mixture, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 846 and 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) [Doc. 386 in No.
4:11-CR-12]. The charge to which Metcalf pleaded guilty
carried a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10
years' imprisonment, up to the statutory maximum of life
imprisonment. See 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A). On
November 22, 2011, the Court sentenced Metcalf to 120
months' imprisonment, the lowest sentence authorized by
statute [Doc. 386 in No. 4:11-CR-12]. Metcalf did not appeal.
Nearly five years later, on or about August 4, 2016, Metcalf
filed the instant motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
[Doc. 1], seeking relief in light of (1) Amendment 794, which
clarified the circumstances under which courts may grant a
minor-role reduction under United States Sentencing Guideline
(“Guideline(s)”) § 3B1.2; and (2)
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015),
which held that “imposing an increased sentence under
the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act violates
the Constitution's guarantee of due process.”
Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2563. This Court ordered the
United States to respond to Metcalf's motion, and the
United States filed its response on October 11, 2016 [Doc.
defendant has been convicted and exhausted his appeal rights,
a court may presume that “he stands fairly and finally
convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S.
152, 164 (1982). A court may grant relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, but the statute “does not encompass all
claimed errors in conviction and sentencing.”
United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185
(1979). Rather, collateral attack limits a movant's
allegations to those of constitutional or jurisdictional
magnitude, or those containing factual or legal errors
“so fundamental as to render the entire proceeding
invalid.” Short v. United States, 471 F.3d
686, 691 (6th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
one-year statute of limitations applies to § 2255
motions and typically runs from “the date on which the
judgment of conviction becomes final.” 28 U.S.C. §
2255(f)(1). Because Metcalf did not file an appeal, his
conviction became final on December 6, 2011, the expiration
of the time to appeal (November 22, 2011 plus 14 days).
See Sanchez-Castellano v. United States, 358 F.3d
424, 428 (6th Cir. 2004) (holding where no appeal is filed, a
judgment of conviction becomes “final” when the
period for filing a direct appeal has elapsed); see
also Fed. R. App. P. 4(b) (allowing party fourteen days
to file appeal in criminal case). Metcalf, however, did not
file his § 2255 motion until on or about August 4, 2016
[Doc. 1 p. 14]. Therefore, Metcalf's motion is untimely
under § 2255(f)(1).
cites the Johnson decision to invoke the §
2255(f)(3) “running date” for the one-year
limitations period. This alternate limitation period runs
from “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.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(3). However,
Johnson was decided on June 26, 2015.
Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551. Metcalf did not file his
motion within one year of the Johnson decision.
Accordingly, even under § 2255(f)(3), Metcalf's
motion is untimely.
Court notes that the § 2255 limitations period may be
tolled under extraordinary circumstances. Dunlap v.
United States, 250 F.3d 1001, 1007 (6th Cir. 2001).
Equitable tolling typically only applies “when a
litigant's failure to meet a legally-mandated deadline
unavoidably rose from circumstances beyond that
litigant's control.” Jurado v. Burt, 337
F.3d 638, 642 (6th Cir. 2003). It is the petitioner's
burden to prove equitable tolling's application to his
case. Allen v. Yukins, 366 F.3d 396, 401 (6th Cir.
2004). To satisfy his burden, a petitioner must show
“(1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently,
and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance stood in his way
and prevented timely filing.” Holland v.
Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 649 (2010). Metcalf has not
attempted to make any such showing in this case, and he is
not entitled to equitable tolling. Accordingly, the instant
motion is untimely.
the Court finds that Metcalf's claims are without merit.
First, Metcalf contends that Johnson provides a
basis to reduce his sentence, as his sentence was
“enhanced” by an “arbitrary” drug
weight [Doc. 1 p. 5]. However, Metcalf's sentence was the
lowest possible sentence to the offense to which he pleaded
guilty. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and
841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) (establishing 10-year mandatory
minimum). Moreover, Johnson held only that the
residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act was
unconstitutionally vague. Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at
2563. Metcalf was not sentenced as an armed career criminal.
Therefore, Johnson has no application to the statute
to which Metcalf admitted violating.
Metcalf seeks a sentence reduction in light of Guideline
Amendment 794, which went into effect on November 1, 2015,
and which clarifies under what circumstances a defendant may
be eligible for a minor-role reduction under Guideline §
3B1.2. Guidelines app. C, amend. 794 (2015). It provides
that, when deciding whether to grant a reduction for a minor
role, courts should consider whether a defendant is
“substantially less culpable than the average
participant in the criminal activity.” Id.