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.

Bates v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division

August 2, 2019

RODNEY BATES, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2255, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, CERTIFYING AN APPEAL WOULD NOT BE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH AND DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          JAMES D. TODD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On May 11, 2006, Rodney Bates entered a guilty plea to one count of possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). (No. 06-10017, Crim. ECF Nos. 17 & 19.) At his sentencing hearing on August 10, 2006, the Court determined, based on his criminal history, that Bates qualified for an enhanced sentence under the Career Offender provision of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. He was sentenced to a 188-month term of imprisonment and a four-year period of supervised release. (No. 06-10017, Crim. ECF Nos. 23 & 24.) Pursuant to a waiver in the written Plea Agreement, (id. Crim. ECF No. 19), no direct appeal was filed.

         Bates subsequently filed two motions to reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The first motion, filed in 2013, was based on the retroactive amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines after passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. (Id. Crim. ECF No. 27.) Bates's second motion for reduction of sentence was filed in 2015 after the Sentencing Commission promulgated additional retroactive amendments . (Id. Crim. ECF No. 31.) Both motions were denied. (Id. Crim. ECF Nos. 30 & 41.)

         Bates filed this § 2255 proceeding pro se on June 29, 2016, raising claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and contending that his sentence is unlawful under the decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). (ECF No. 1.) In Johnson, the Supreme Court held the residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), is unconstitutionally vague.

         This Court found Bates's Johnson claim was timely but denied relief on that issue because he was sentenced under the Career Offender guideline instead of the ACCA; thus the claim was foreclosed by the decision in Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017). (ECF No. 5 at PageID 21-22.) The Court also noted that Bates's ineffective assistance claims were facially time barred, but he asserted they were timely under § 2255(f)(4); the United States therefore was ordered to respond to those claims. (Id. at PageID 20-21.)[1]

         Twenty-eight U.S.C. § 2255(f) contains a one-year limitations period:

(f) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under this section. The limitation period shall run 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.

         Bates states in the § 2255 motion that his claims are timely under paragraphs (f)(3) and (f)(4). (ECF No. 1 at PageID 12.) Though the Johnson claim was timely under paragraph (f)(3), that provision does not apply to the ineffective assistance claims. The Court therefore presumes the reference to paragraph (f)(4) is meant to encompass the ineffective assistance claims. The United States argues in response that § 2255(f)(4) does not apply and that the doctrine of equitable tolling also should not be applied in this case.

         Bates raises three specific claims of ineffective assistance. In the first claim, he contends trial counsel was ineffective in failing to file a direct appeal even though he was requested to do so. (ECF No. 1 at PageID 4.) The second claim asserts that counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge, at sentencing, the use of two of Bates's prior convictions. (Id. at PageID 5.)[2] Under § 2255(f)(1), these claims should have been raised within one year after Bates's conviction became final. When no direct appeal is filed, a judgment of conviction becomes final when the time for filing a direct appeal expires. See United States v. Sferrazza, 645 Fed.Appx. 399, 406 (6th Cir. 2016) (citing Sanchez-Castellano v. United States, 358 F.3d 424, 426-28 (6th Cir. 2004)). Judgment in Bates's criminal case was entered on August 14, 2006, and a timely notice of appeal was due within ten days, on or before August 28, 2006. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(b) (2006); see also Fed. R. App. P. 26(a)(2) (2006).[3] Bates did not file a timely direct appeal, and his conviction became final on that date.[4] He therefore had until August 28, 2007, to file a timely § 2255 motion. The present motion was not filed until almost nine years later.

         In order for these ineffective assistance claims to come within the one-year limitations period, Bates must point to facts supporting the claims that he could not discover, even with the exercise of due diligence, until on or after June 29, 2015. He has not attempted to make such a showing. Therefore, Bates has not demonstrated that § 2255(f)(4) applies to his claims that ...


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.