Williams v. United States Of America
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS of the Magistrate Judge that the Court DISMISS Williams' 1 Motion to Vacate/Set Aside/Correct Sentence (2255), DISMISS his 6 MOTION for Relief, DENY him in forma pauperis status on appeal, and DENY him a Certific ate of Appealability. It is also RECOMMENDED that the Court DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal. Any party seeking to object to this Report and Recommendation is ordered to file specific writt en objections within fourteen (14) days of the date on which this Report and Recommendation is entered. (Objections to R&R due by 10/17/2017). ORDER directing service of the REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS of the Magistrate Judge. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker on 10/3/2017. (csr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
FRANKLIN L. WILLIAMS,
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 2:17-cv-27 1
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
(Case No. 5:06-cr-14)
ORDER and MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Movant Franklin Williams (“Williams”), who is currently incarcerated at the Federal
Satellite Low Camp in Jesup, Georgia, has filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct his
Sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, in yet another attempt to contest his conviction and
sentence obtained in this Court in Case Number 5:06-cr-14. Upon review, I RECOMMEND
that the Court DISMISS Williams’ Section 2255 Motion, (doc. 1), DISMISS his Motion for
Relief, (doc. 6), DENY him in forma pauperis status on appeal, and DENY him a Certificate of
Appealability. I also RECOMMEND the Court DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this
case and enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal. The Court GRANTS Williams’ Motions
to Supplement, (docs. 3, 5, 9, 10), but only to the extent the Court considered the allegations
contained in Williams’ Supplements in reaching the recommended disposition of this Section
This case was erroneously filed in this Court’s Brunswick Division. Because Williams is once again
seeking to attack his conviction obtained in the Waycross Division of this Court, this Motion and related
filings should have been filed in that Division. However, such an error is of no moment in this case,
given the recommended disposition of Williams’ latest Section 2255 Motion.
Whether Williams can Proceed Pursuant to Section 2255
Williams’ present Motion is yet another in a long line of Section 2255 motions Williams
has filed in this Court. The instant Motion represents no less than Williams’ twenty-sixth
Section 2255 motion filed in this Court since 2008. All twenty-five (25) of Williams’ previous
motions were denied on the merits or as being an unauthorized second or successive Section
2255 motion. See, e.g., Williams v. United States of America, 5:08-cv-34 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 10,
2009), and Williams v. United States of America, 5:14-cv-62 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 29, 2014). This
Court can minimize the waste of judicial resources expended on the review of Williams’ claims
and should dispose of his Motion as expeditiously as possible.
Through his many prior motions, Williams has asserted either the same claims as he does
in this cause of action or some variation of those claims. (Docs. 1, 3, 5, 9, 10.) As the Court
informed Williams on these many previous occasions, he is not entitled to his requested relief.
“The judge who receives the [Section 2255] motion must promptly examine it. If it plainly
appears from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the
moving party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion and direct the clerk to
notify the moving party.” Rule 4(b), Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings. Williams’
Section 2255 Motion is successive, and there is no evidence that the Eleventh Circuit Court of
Appeals has authorized Williams to file such a motion in this Court.2 Consequently, the Court
should DISMISS Williams’ Motion.
To file a second or successive Section 2255 motion, the movant is required to first file an application
with the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider the motion.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A); Farris v. United States, 333 F.3d 1211, 1216 (11th Cir. 2003). A panel of the
court of appeals must certify that the second or successive motion contains:
Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis and Certificate of Appealability
The Court should also deny Williams leave to appeal in forma pauperis, and he should be
denied a Certificate of Appealability (“COA”). Though Williams has, of course, not yet filed a
notice of appeal, it is proper to address these issues in the Court’s order of dismissal. Pursuant to
Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Cases, “the district court must issue or deny a
certificate of appealability when it issues a final order adverse to the applicant.” (Emphasis
supplied); see also Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3) (trial court may certify that appeal of party
proceeding in forma pauperis is not taken in good faith “before or after the notice of appeal is
An appeal cannot be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies that the appeal is
not taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3). Good faith in this
context must be judged by an objective standard. Busch v. Cty. of Volusia, 189 F.R.D. 687, 691
(M.D. Fla. 1999). A party does not proceed in good faith when he seeks to advance a frivolous
claim or argument. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). A claim or
argument is frivolous when it appears the factual allegations are clearly baseless or the legal
theories are indisputably meritless. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Carroll v.
Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993). Stated another way, an in forma pauperis action is
frivolous, and thus, not brought in good faith, if it is “without arguable merit either in law or
(1) newly discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a
whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no
reasonable factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense; or
(2) a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the
Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
fact.” Napier v. Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528, 531 (11th Cir. 2002); see also Brown v. United States,
Nos. 407CV085, 403CR001, 2009 WL 307872, at *1–2 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 9, 2009).
Additionally, under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1), an appeal cannot be taken from a final order
in a habeas proceeding unless a certificate of appealability is issued.
A certificate of
appealability may issue only if the applicant makes a substantial showing of a denial of a
constitutional right. The decision to issue a certificate of appealability requires “an overview of
the claims in the habeas petition and a general assessment of their merits.” Miller-El v. Cockrell,
537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003). In order to obtain a certificate of appealability, a petitioner must show
“that jurists of reason could disagree with the district court’s resolution of his constitutional
claims or that jurists could conclude the issues presented are adequate to deserve encouragement
to proceed further.” Id. “Where a plain procedural bar is present and the district court is correct
to invoke it to dispose of the case, a reasonable jurist could not conclude either that the district
court erred in dismissing the petition or that the petitioner should be allowed to proceed further.”
Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see also Franklin v. Hightower, 215 F.3d 1196,
1199 (11th Cir. 2000). “This threshold inquiry does not require full consideration of the factual
or legal bases adduced in support of the claims.” Miller-El, 537 U.S. at 336.
Based on the above analysis of Williams’ pleadings and applying the Certificate of
Appealability standards set forth above, there are no discernable issues worthy of a certificate of
appealability; therefore, the Court should DENY the issuance of a Certificate of Appealability.
If the Court adopts this recommendation and denies Williams a Certificate of Appealability,
Williams is advised that he “may not appeal the denial but may seek a certificate from the court
of appeals under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 22.” Rule 11(a), Rules Governing Section
2255 Cases in the United States District Courts. Furthermore, as there are no non-frivolous
issues to raise on appeal, an appeal would not be taken in good faith. Thus, the Court should
likewise DENY Williams in forma pauperis status on appeal.
Based on the foregoing, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS Williams’ Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct his Sentence, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, DISMISS his
Motion for Relief, and DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and enter the
appropriate judgment of dismissal. I also RECOMMEND that the Court DENY Williams a
Certificate of Appealability and DENY Williams in forma pauperis status on appeal. The Court
GRANTS Williams’ Motions to Supplement, but only to the extent the Court considered the
allegations contained in Williams’ Supplements in reaching the recommended disposition of this
Section 2255 Motion. (Docs. 3, 5, 9, 10.)
The Court ORDERS any party seeking to object to this Report and Recommendation to
file specific written objections within fourteen (14) days of the date on which this Report and
Recommendation is entered. Any objections asserting that the Magistrate Judge failed to address
any contention raised in the pleading must also be included. Failure to do so will bar any later
challenge or review of the factual findings or legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge. See
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). A copy of the objections must
be served upon all other parties to the action.
The filing of objections is not a proper vehicle through which to make new allegations or
present additional evidence. Upon receipt of objections meeting the specificity requirement set
out above, a United States District Judge will make a de novo determination of those portions of
the report, proposed findings, or recommendation to which objection is made and may accept,
reject, or modify in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate
Judge. Objections not meeting the specificity requirement set out above will not be considered
by a District Judge. A party may not appeal a Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation
directly to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Appeals may be made
only from a final judgment entered by or at the direction of a District Judge. The Court
DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to serve a copy of this Report and Recommendation upon
SO ORDERED and REPORTED and RECOMMENDED, this 3rd day of October,
R. STAN BAKER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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