Reynolds v. United States of America
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS dismissing the re 1 Motion to Vacate/Set Aside/Correct Sentence (2255) filed by Cedric Reynolds. Objections to R&R due by 10/3/2016. Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 9/19/16. (wwp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
Case No. CV416-194
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
The Eleventh Circuit granted Cedric Andre Reynolds leave to file
with this Court a successive 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion for resentencing
absent an armed career criminal enhancement.
In re Reynolds , No. 16-
13173-J (11th Cir. July 1, 2016), filed on this Court’s docket, CR412-239,
doc. 80-2. He has done so. Doc. 73. But the Government says it’s still
successive, so this Court lacks jurisdiction. Doc. 80. Reynolds, the
Government insists, fails to meet 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h)(2)’s “previously
unavailable” claim requirement because in his earlier § 2255 proceedings
he had raised a Johnson claim 1 and the Eleventh Circuit resolved it
Reynolds seeks to exploit the new rule announced in Johnson v. United States , 576
U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), made retroactive by Welch v. United States , ___ U.S.
___, 136 S. Ct. 1257 (2016), and otherwise triggering a lot of successive filings. See,
against him. Id. (citing doc. 79 at 9) (Eleventh Circuit’s prior § 2255
ruling on his sentence challenge based on his past juvenile offenses:
“Johnson concerned only the residual clause of the ACCA, and did not
affect that statute’s elements clause, which applied to Reynolds’s juvenile
In approving Reynolds’ successive § 2255 application, the Reynolds
panel applied In re Rogers , 825 F.3d 1335 (11th Cir. 2016), because it
e.g. , In re Fleur, 824 F.3d 1337 (11th Cir. 2016); In re Hines , 824 F.3d 1334 (11th Cir.
2016), and In re Ricardo Pinder, Jr., 824 F.3d 977 (11th Cir. 2016).
The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) -- the statute Johnson addressed -provides enhanced penalties for defendants who are (1) convicted of being felons in
possession of firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) and (2) have “three prior
convictions . . . for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both.” It defines
“violent felony” as, among other things, a felony that “otherwise involves conduct
that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”
§ 924(e)(2)(B). Johnson found that “residual” clause so vague that it violates due
process. See 135 S. Ct. at 2557. But crimes falling under ACCA’s other clauses,
known as the “elements and “enumerated crimes” clauses, are not affected by
Johnson’s holding. Id. at 2563.
Those other two clauses have been more thoroughly explained by the Eleventh
ACCA gives three definitions of “violent felony.” First, § 924(e)(2)(B)(i) covers
any offense that “has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use
of physical force against the person of another.” This is known as the
“elements clause.” Second, § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) covers any offense that “is
burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves
conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”
The first 9 words of that subsection are called the “enumerated crimes clause,”
and the last 13 are called the “residual clause.
In re Robinson , 822 F.3d 1196, 1197 (11th Cir. 2016).
found the sentencing record in his case unclear as to whether the
Johnson-invalidated “residual clause” was implicated. Doc. 80-2 at 6.
The Government argues, however, that Reynolds’ claim was
previously “unavailable” to him, as § 2255(h)(2) requires. He previously
presented a Johnson claim, lost it, took no further appeal, and now
simply wants to re-litigate it. Doc. 80 at 1-5. Section 2255(h)(2) blocks
jurisdiction over such re-litigation.
And the Reynolds successiveness
grant is not binding. In re Moore ,
F.3d ___, 2016 WL 4010433 at * 2
(11th Cir. July 27, 2016)). 2
The Government is correct. In fact, while it does not cite to it, the
Eleventh Circuit also has ruled that
[u]nder 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1), “[a] claim presented in a second or
successive habeas corpus application under [28 U.S.C] section 2254
that was presented in a prior application shall be dismissed.” 28
U.S.C. § 2244(b)(1). We have held that § 2244(b)(1)'s mandate
applies to applications for leave to file a second or successive § 2255
motion. In re Baptiste , No. 16–13959, manuscript op. at 3–4, ___
F.3d ___, ___, 2016 WL 3752118 (11th Cir. July 13, 2016). We also
have held that a prisoner may not file “what amounts to a motion
for reconsideration under the guise of a separate and purportedly
‘new’ application” when the new application raises the same claim
that was raised and rejected in the prior application. Id. at 5, ___
F.3d at .
The Moore court reminded that a successiveness grant is but a limited
determination, so district courts must decide anew whether a § 2255 movant has
satisfied the statutory successiveness requirements; only after the district court has
done that should it reach the § 2255 motion’s merits. Moore , 2016 WL 4010433 at *3.
In re Jones, ___ F.3d ___, 2016 WL 4011143 at * 1 (11th Cir. July 27,
2016); see also In re Parker, ___ F.3d ___, 2016 WL 4206373 at * 1 (11th
Cir. Aug. 10, 2016) (“Under In re Baptiste , a later request of a prisoner
who has previously filed a request for authorization to file a second or
successive petition based on the same claim must be dismissed. Because
Parker has already filed a request presenting a claim based on Johnson
v. United States , 576 U.S. ____, 135 S. Ct. 2551, 192 L.Ed.2d 569 (2015),
we must dismiss his current request, regardless of its merit, since it
raises the same claim as his first request.”). 3 Per Jones and Parker,
Reynolds’ § 2255 motion must be DISMISSED for want of jurisdiction.
Some Eleventh Circuit judges have dissented from this result. A recent panel
Some decisions from our Court following Baptiste as binding precedent have
also included special concurrences or dissents suggesting that Baptiste may
have been wrongly decided. The central theme of these separate opinions is
their contention that § 2244(b)(1)'s prohibition of a repeat filing based on a
claim previously rejected applies only to § 2254 petitions, not to § 2255
motions. Further, as this argument goes, even if § 2244(b)(1) does apply to
§ 2255 motions, it applies only to claims actually raised in a § 2255 motion in
the district court, not claims repeatedly raised in applications for certification
by this Court to file a successive § 2255 motion. See In re Anderson , ___ F.3d
___, ___ - ___, 2016 WL 3947746, at *4-5 (11th Cir. 2016); see also In re
Clayton , ––– F.3d ––––, ––––, 2016 WL 3878156, at *9 (11th Cir. 2016). Yet, as
cogently and persuasively explained in Baptiste , the above argument fails on
both counts. See Baptiste , 2016 WL 3752118, at *2.
In re Bradford, ___ F.3d ___, 2016 WL 4010437 at * 2 (11th Cir. July 27, 2016).
Accordingly, the Court should DISMISS Cedric Andre Reynolds’
28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion for lack of jurisdiction. Doc. 73.
SO REPORTED AND RECOMMENDED , this 19th day of
M= STATES MAGISTRATT JIJDGE
SOIJTI-IERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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