Toyer v. United States of America
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 3/16/2016. (JLC)
2016 Mar-16 AM 09:28
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MARK ANTHONY TOYER,
UNITED STATES OF
Case No.: 1:15-CV-8019-VEH
Mark Anthony Toyer (hereinafter the “Toyer” or the “defendant”) initiated
the present action on August 17, 2015, by filing a pro se motion to vacate, set aside,
or correct his conviction and sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255. (Doc.1).
Toyer’s motion was filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and was predicated upon the
new rule announced in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). Pursuant
to an order to show cause, on September 8, 2015, the United States filed a Motion
To Dismiss 2255 Petition, asserting that Johnson is inapplicable. (Doc. 3). Because
Toyer’s motion was predicated upon the new rule announced in Johnson, the motion
was referred to the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Alabama
(hereinafter the “FPD”) pursuant to a General Order of this district regarding such
motions. The FPD opposed the Government’s motion to dismiss by Response in
Opposition, filed October 26, 2015. (Doc. 14). Toyer also responded to the
Government’s motion to dismiss. (Doc. 13).
Although not raised by any party, the court takes judicial notice that the
pending petition is Toyer’s second petition brought pursuant to 28 USC § 2255. See
Motion To Vacate, Mark Anthony Toyer v. United States, 1:08-cv-08046-VEH.
That motion was denied by the undersigned on November 17, 2009. (Id., Docs. 14,
15). The court further takes judicial notice that Toyer has not demonstrated that he
has permission from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to file this successive
“[A] second or successive [§ 2255] motion must be certified as provided in
section 2244 by a panel of the appropriate court of appeals.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
See also 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). Because Toyer has previously sought collateral
relief pursuant to § 2255 which was dismissed, and he has not demonstrated that he
has obtained permission from the Eleventh Circuit to file a second or successive
motion, this Court is without jurisdiction to entertain the instant § 2255 motion.
Darby v. Hawk–Sawyer, 405 F.3d 942, 944–45 (11th Cir.2005); Farris v. U.S., 333
F.3d 1211 (2003) (same); United States v. Harris, 546 Fed. Appx. 898, 900 (11th
Cir.2013) (unpublished opinion) (“A district court lacks the jurisdiction to hear a
second or successive § 2255 motion absent authorization from a court of appeals.”)
Because this court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the instant § 2255 Petition,
the Government’s motion to dismiss will be GRANTED. This case will therefore
be dismissed without prejudice to allow Toyer the opportunity to seek authorization
from the Eleventh Circuit to file a second or successive § 2255 motion.
ACCORDINGLY, it is ORDERED that:
1. The pending motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence (Doc. 1) is
DISMISSED, without prejudice, for lack of jurisdiction.
2. The Clerk is directed to term all pending motions within this case file and
the associated criminal case, United States v. Toyer, 1:06-cr-361-VEH-JEO.
3. The Clerk is further directed to send Toyer the Eleventh Circuit's
application form for leave to file a second or successive § 2255 motion under 28
U.S.C. § 2244(b).
CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY AND LEAVE TO APPEAL
IN FORMA PAUPERIS DENIED
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Toyer is not entitled to a certificate of
appealability. A prisoner seeking a motion to vacate has no absolute entitlement to
appeal a district court's denial of his motion. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1). Rather, a
district court must first issue a certificate of appealability (“COA”). Id. “A [COA]
may issue ... only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.” Id. at § 2253(c)(2). To make such a showing, a petitioner
“must demonstrate that reasonable jurists would find the district court's assessment
of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong,” Tennard v. Dretke, 542 U.S. 274,
282 (2004) (quoting Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)), or that “the
issues presented were ‘adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.’ “
Miller–El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 335–36 (2003) (quoting Barefoot v. Estelle,
463 U.S. 880, 893 n. 4 (1983)). When a district court dismisses a federal habeas
petition on procedural grounds without reaching the underlying constitutional claim,
a COA should issue only when a petitioner shows “that jurists of reason would find
it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional
right and that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court was
correct in its procedural ruling.” Slack, 529 U.S. at 484. Because the instant motion
is clearly a successive § 2255 motion, Toyer cannot make the requisite showing in
these circumstances. Finally, because Toyer is not entitled to a COA, he is not
entitled to appeal in forma pauperis.
DONE and ORDERED this the 16th day of March, 2016.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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