United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
RICHARDSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Michael Chad Corley, proceeding pro se, filed a
Petition (Doc. No. 1) seeking relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 from his conviction (in M.D. Tenn. No. 3:13-cr-00097-9)
under 21 U.S.C. § 846 for conspiracy to possess with
intent to distribute and to distribute Oxycodone,
Hydromorphone, and Oxymorphone, Schedule II Controlled
Substances; and Buprenorphine, a Schedule II Controlled
Substance. The Government filed a response in opposition.
(Doc. No. 6). For the reasons stated below, Petitioner's
motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence will be
indicated above, in the underlying federal criminal case
Petitioner pleaded guilty (on October 22, 2014) to conspiracy
to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute
certain Schedule II Controlled Substances. On July 16, 2015,
Petitioner was sentenced to 120 months' imprisonment.
(Doc. No. 6 at 2). On October 7, 2015, the written judgment
(Doc. No. 1169) was entered in Petitioner's criminal
case. (Id.). Petitioner did not file a direct appeal
and did not request an extension of time in which to file
such appeal. (Id.).
24, 2018, Petitioner filed the § 2255 motion now before
this Court for review. In its reply in opposition, the
Government requests that the Court dismiss, with prejudice,
Petitioner's motion, as untimely filed and lacking any
permissible basis for equitable tolling. (Doc. No. 6 at
§ 2255(f) a federal prisoner has one year in which to
file a federal habeas corpus petition. The subsection
relevant to Petitioner's present motion states that the
limitations period begins to run from “the date on
which the judgment of the conviction becomes final.”
§ 2255(f)(1). “[A]n unappealed district court
judgment of conviction becomes ‘final' ten days
after the entry of judgment, at least where the defendant has
not actually sought an extension of appeal time for good
cause or excusable neglect.” Sanchez-Castellano v.
United States, 358 F.3d 424, 426 (6th Cir. 2004).
Because Petitioner elected not to appeal and did not seek an
extension of time to appeal, the limitation period began to
run on October 17, 2015, ten days after the entry of the
judgment. Thus, the limitation period expired on October 17,
limited circumstances, the period for filing a habeas
petition under § 2255(f) may be tolled. See
Roberston v. Simpson, 624 F.3d 781, 783-84 (6th Cir.
2010). To be entitled to equitable tolling, a habeas
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) (quoting Pace v.
DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005)). “The
doctrine of equitable tolling is applied sparingly by federal
courts, ” and is typically used “only when a
litigant's failure to meet a legally-mandated deadline
unavoidably arose from circumstances beyond that
litigant's control.” Vroman v. Brigano,
346 F.3d 598, 604 (6th Cir.2003) (citations and internal
quotations marks omitted). Under the circumstances,
Petitioner fails to show he is entitled to equitable tolling.
claims that the one-year statute of limitations does not bar
his motion, for three reasons:
“ I never knew there was a time frame and I just
found this info after going through all my paperwork  also
just found out about Co-Defendant who appealed about findings
of fact regarding drug quantity and courts failed to explain
its calculations  I never got effective counsel.”
(Doc. No. 1 at 12) (alterations in original). Petitioner's
arguments as to why the statute of limitations should be
tolled are unpersuasive.
Petitioner claims that he was not aware of the statute of
limitations. It is well established, however, that
“[i]gnorance of the law, even by an incarcerated
pro se petitioner, is not grounds to toll the
statute.” Moore v. United States, 438
Fed.Appx. 445, 449 (6th Cir. 2011) (citing Johnson v.
United States, 544 U.S. 295, 311, 125 S.Ct. 1571, 161
L.Ed.2d 542 (2005)); see also Harrison v. I.M.S., 56
Fed.Appx. 682, 685 (6th Cir. 2003) (“Petitioner's
alleged ignorance of legal matters does not demonstrate a
lack of constructive knowledge of the filing
deadline.”); Bryant v. Westbrooks, No.
3:15-cv-0685, 2018 WL 4210784, at *21 (M.D. Tenn. Sept. 4,
2018) (“The Sixth Circuit has long held that
‘ignorance of the law alone is not sufficient to
warrant equitable tolling[.]'”) (quoting Cole
v. Phillips, No. 1:17-cv-01105, 2018 WL 1053546, at *4
(W.D. Tenn. Feb. 26, 2018) (citing Griffin v.
Rogers, 399 F.3d 626, 637 (6th Cir. 2005)); Miller
v. Cason, 49 Fed.Appx. 495, 497 (6th Cir. 2002)
(“Miller's lack of knowledge of the law does not
excuse his failure to timely file a habeas corpus
second reason that the limitations period should be tolled is
also unavailing. His argument that he “just found out
about Co-Defendant who Appealed About Findings of fact
Regarding Drug quantity and courts failed to explain Its
Calculations” (Doc. No. 1 at 12), appears to be a
recitation of Petitioner's third ground under which he
claims that he is being held in violation of his rights.
(See Doc. No. 1 at 7 (“It is an abuse of
discretion not to make sufficient findings of fact regarding
drug quantity and to explain its calculations
adequately…”) (alterations in original)). This
argument does not explain Petitioner's lengthy delay and
does not constitute a circumstance sufficient to warrant
there likewise is no merit to Petitioner's claim that he
received ineffective assistance of counsel such that the
one-year statute of limitations does not bar his motion.
Because movants do not possess a right to counsel in pursuing
Section 2255 motions, ineffective assistance of counsel
claims do not establish equitable tolling. Brown v.
United States, 20 Fed.Appx. 373, 375 (6th Cir. 2001)
(citing Pennsylvania v. Finely, 481 U.S. 551, 555
(1987)); Foster v. United States, 345 F.2d 675, 676
(6th Cir. 1965) (“This Court and others, however, have
recently reaffirmed the rule that the Sixth Amendment does
not apply to collateral attacks.”).
addition to lacking any extraordinary circumstance entitling
Petitioner to equitable tolling, Petitioner also cannot show
that he has been pursuing his rights diligently. To the
contrary, Petitioner admits that he did not learn about the
statute of limitations under § 2255 until he went
through his paperwork, suggesting that he waited roughly two
years to even review his papers. Thus, any delay was clearly
self-induced and the product of Petitioner's own neglect,
inattentiveness, and indifference. This Court cannot excuse
that Petitioner waited approximately two years and seven
months after judgment of the conviction became final to file
the present motion. See Jurado v. Burt, 337 F.3d
638, 643 (6th Cir. 2003) (“Absent compelling equitable
considerations, a court should not extend limitations by even