US v. Lionel Cox
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Motion disposition in opinion--denying Motion to expedite decision [1000208407-2] Originating case number: 5:12-cr-00288-FL-1,5:15-cv-00571-FL. Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. . Mailed to: Lionel Cox, Augustus Willis. [17-7519]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
LIONEL LAMONT COX,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at
Raleigh. Louise W. Flanagan, District Judge. (5:12-cr-00288-FL-1; 5:15-cv-00571-FL)
Submitted: March 30, 2018
Decided: April 11, 2018
Before WILKINSON, DUNCAN, and KEENAN, Circuit Judges.
Dismissed and remanded by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Lionel Lamont Cox, Appellant Pro Se.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Lionel Lamont Cox seeks to appeal the district court’s order granting the
Government’s motion to dismiss and denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (2012) motion.
Before addressing the merits of Cox’s appeal, we must first be assured that we have
jurisdiction. Porter v. Zook, 803 F.3d 694, 696 (4th Cir. 2015). We may exercise
jurisdiction only over final orders, 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (2012), and certain interlocutory and
collateral orders, 28 U.S.C. § 1292 (2012); Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b); Cohen v. Beneficial Indus.
Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, 545-47 (1949). “Ordinarily, a district court order is not final
until it has resolved all claims as to all parties.” Porter, 803 F.3d at 696 (internal quotation
marks omitted); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b). “Regardless of the label given a district court
decision, if it appears from the record that the district court has not adjudicated all of the
issues in a case, then there is no final order.” Porter, 803 F.3d at 696.
In his initial 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion, as well as his “Supplemental/Amended”
28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion, Cox claimed that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to move
for a judgment of acquittal on the aiding and abetting charges on the ground that (a) the
Government had the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Cox knew his
codefendant, Neville Ward, was a convicted felon, and (b) that no reasonable juror could
find that the Government had met its burden as to that element. The district court
individually addressed each of Cox’s other ineffective assistance of counsel claims, but did
not discuss or rule on this claim. The district court, therefore, “never issued a final
decision.” Id. at 699.
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Accordingly, we deny as moot Cox’s motion to expedite, dismiss the appeal as
interlocutory, and remand to the district court for consideration of Cox’s unresolved
ineffective assistance of counsel claim. We express no opinion regarding the merits of
Cox’s claims. 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
DISMISSED AND REMANDED
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