US v. Willie Barne
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:08-cr-00064-GMG-RWT-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. . Mailed to: Willie Barnes. [17-6459]
Pg: 1 of 3
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
WILLIE EDWARD BARNES, a/k/a Big Will,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia,
at Martinsburg. Gina M. Groh, Chief District Judge. (3:08-cr-00064-GMG-RWT-1)
Submitted: September 26, 2017
Decided: September 28, 2017
Before NIEMEYER and TRAXLER, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Willie Edward Barnes, Appellant Pro Se. Paul Thomas Camilletti, Assistant United
States Attorney, Martinsburg, West Virginia, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
Pg: 2 of 3
Willie Edward Barnes seeks to appeal from the district court’s order construing his
petition for a writ of audita querela as a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (2012) motion to vacate and
dismissing the motion as untimely. We conclude that Barnes’ motion was in substance a
successive § 2255 motion.
The district court’s order is not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a
certificate of appealability.
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(B) (2012).
A certificate of
appealability will not issue absent “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2) (2012). When the district court denies relief on the
merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would
find that the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong.
Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322,
336-38 (2003). When the district court denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner
must demonstrate both that the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable, and that the
motion states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right. Slack, 529 U.S. at
We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Barnes has not
made the requisite showing. The district court lacked jurisdiction to deny § 2255 relief
on the merits because Barnes’ motion challenged the validity of his sentence and should
have been construed as a successive § 2255 motion. See Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S.
524, 531–32 (2005); United States v. Winestock, 340 F.3d 200, 207 (4th Cir. 2003).
Pg: 3 of 3
In the absence of pre-filing authorization from this court, the district court lacked
jurisdiction to hear a successive § 2255 motion. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3) (2012).
Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability and dismiss the appeal.
We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately
presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?