United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
QUINCY A. GOINS, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Jordan United States District Judge.
Quincy A. Goins was indicted by a federal grand jury on one
count of possessing crack cocaine with the intent to
distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Petitioner's first trial ensued in a mistrial [Doc. 17,
No. 3:00-CR-123]. At Petitioner's second trial, a jury
convicted him of the controlled substance offense and the
Court sentenced him to a mandatory life term. Petitioner now
brings two motions for the Court's consideration: (i) a
motion for a refund of his appellate filing fee and (ii) a
motion to set aside judgment under Rule 60(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure [Docs. 25-26]. For the following
reasons, the Court will deny the first motion and dismiss the
second for lack of jurisdiction.
RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
direct appeal, Petitioner's conviction and sentence were
affirmed and the Supreme Court denied Petitioner's
application for certiorari review. United States v.
Goins, 53 Fed.Appx. 724 (6th Cir. 2002), cert.
denied, 538 U.S. 971 (2003). Thereafter, Petitioner,
through counsel, filed a timely motion to vacate, set aside
or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. 1]. On
July 2, 2007, the Court denied the § 2255 motion, denied
issuance of a certificate of appealability, certified that
any appeal from its decision would not be taken in good faith
and would be frivolous, and denied Petitioner leave to
proceed in forma pauperis on appeal [Doc. 18].
pro se, Petitioner filed a notice of appeal [Doc. 19]. Upon
receipt of the notice, the Sixth Circuit sent Petitioner a
letter [Doc. 20]. The letter advised Petitioner that, if he
had proceeded as a pauper while his case was in the district
court, and if the district judge revoked that status by
ruling that an appeal would not be taken in good faith, then
Petitioner had 30 days to renew his motion for pauper status
in the Sixth Circuit [Doc. 20 at 2]. Both conditions existed
in Petitioner's case. Petitioner had proceeded as a
pauper in his § 2255 motion, and this Court revoked his
pauper status by finding that an appeal would not be taken in
good faith [Doc. 8].
did not heed the Sixth Circuit's advice. Petitioner did
not apply to the Sixth Circuit for pauper status on appeal,
but instead, he moved this Court for leave to proceed on
appeal in forma pauperis [Doc. 21]. The Court denied
his application [Doc. 22]. Petitioner's mother then
submitted a $455.00 money order in satisfaction of her
son's appellate filing fee [Oct. 23, 2007, Docket Entry
and Remarks, Doc. 23 (Letter from Colleen Goins re: payment
of appellate filing fee)]. Petitioner's appeal proceeded
in due course and terminated upon the Sixth Circuit's
denial of a certificate of appealability in its September 8,
2008 order [Doc. 24].
MOTION FOR REFUND
first pending motion, Petitioner asks the Court to refund the
appellate filing fee in the § 2255 proceedings that was
submitted by his mother [Doc. 25]. Petitioner maintains that
the law is clear that the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”) does not apply to § 2255
proceedings, but that this Court nonetheless applied the PLRA
to require him to pay the appellate filing fee for his §
2255 appeal [Doc. 25 at 1]. The application of the PLRA to
Petitioner's motion to vacate was legal error, so claims
Judicial Conference has a longstanding policy prohibiting the
refund of fees, ” yet an exception exists “when
fees are collected without authority.” Rashada v.
Gonzales, No. 1:07-CV-1055, 2007 WL 1795873, at *1 (N.D.
Ohio June 20, 2007) (quoting JCUS-MAR 05, p. 11). The Court
understands that Petitioner is suggesting that this
Court's alleged misapplication of the PLRA to collect
appellate filing fees fits within that exception, i.e.,
collection of filing fees without the authority to do so.
Petitioner has stated the law correctly-the PLRA's filing
fee requirements do not apply to motions to vacate.
Kincade v. Sparkman, 117 F.3d 949, 950 (6th Cir.
1997) (finding that the filing fee provisions of the PLRA, as
set forth in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b), are
inapplicable to judgments denying § 2255 motions).
Petitioner is not so circumspect with regard to the facts he
has alleged in support of his motion for a refund.
Court has no cause to venture into the “refund”
arena because it neither mentioned nor applied the PLRA in
its disposition of Petitioner's pauper status request
[Doc. 22]. As demonstrated by the above-detailed description
of the relevant procedural history in this case, the Court
did not assess Petitioner the appellate filing fee and did
not require him to pay the appellate filing fee. Neither did
the Court apply the PLRA's filing fee requirements or
collection procedures to Petitioner. Indeed, after the Court
denied Petitioner's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis on appeal, he had another, more
appropriate judicial avenue open to him (as described in the
letter sent to him by the Sixth Circuit) through which he
could have obtained pauper status- applying for such status
in the circuit court. Petitioner chose instead to submit the
filing fee to this Court (through the auspices of his
mother), rather than to pursue pauper status in the Sixth
Circuit, as he was instructed to do by the appellate court.
because the entire premise of Petitioner's motion for a
refund of the filing fee rests on the Court's purported
error in applying the PLRA to Petitioner's request to
proceed in forma pauperis on appeal and because the
Court did not commit an error in deciding his request, his
motion for a refund [Doc. 25] is factually frivolous and will
RULE 60(B) MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT
Petitioner's second motion, filed March 18, 2013, he
seeks relief from the judgment denying his motion to vacate,
under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
[Doc. 26]. In the Rule 60(b) motion, Petitioner asserts two
claims not raised in his original § 2255 motion. First,
Petitioner maintains that the ruling in Martinez v
Ryan, 566 U.S. 1 (2012),  stands for the proposition that
he was entitled to effective assistance of counsel in his
§ 2255 motion and the fact that his counseled §
2255 motion was dismissed without a determination, in and of
itself, shows that he did not receive effective assistance in
Petitioner maintains that the decision in Lafler v.
Cooper, 566 U.S. 156 (2012), applies to his case and now
allows him to claim that, had counsel properly advised him as
to the true risks and consequences of a trial, Petitioner
would have accepted the government's plea deal of a
20-year sentence and would not have gone to trial, where he
faced (and received) a mandatory life sentence [Doc. 26 at
9]. Petitioner asks the Court to vacate its order dismissing
his § 2255 motion, restore the § 2255 motion to ...