Hunt v. USA
ORDER denying 1 Pro Se Motion to Vacate/Set Aside/Correct Sentence (2255) (Criminal Action 14-CR-3006-LRR); denying as moot 2 Pro Se Motion to Appoint Counsel; granting 3 Motion to Amend 1 Pro Se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence; denying as moot 4 Pro Se Motion to Hold 2255 Motion in Abeyance filed by Joshua Lee Hunt. A certificate of appealability will not issue. Signed by Judge Linda R Reade on 8/18/2017 (copy w/NEF mailed to Plt). (skm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA
JOSHUA LEE HUNT,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
This matter appears before the court on the movant’s motion to vacate, set aside or
correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (civil docket no. 1), filed on February 11,
2016, motion to appoint counsel (civil docket no. 2), filed on February 11, 2016, motion
to amend (civil docket no. 3), filed on July 1, 2016, and motion to hold motion to vacate,
set aside or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in abeyance (civil docket no.
4), filed on July 14, 2016.
In the interest of judicial efficiency, the court deems it appropriate to consider all
of the movant’s claims and his legal authority. Accordingly, the motion to amend (civil
docket no. 3) is granted. Concerning the motion to hold motion to vacate, set aside or
correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in abeyance (civil docket no. 4), the
Supreme Court decided the cases that the movant referenced. Accordingly, the motion to
hold motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in
abeyance (civil docket no. 4) is denied as moot.
The movant’s Sentencing Guidelines claim is procedurally defaulted. See United
States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 165 (1982) (“a collateral challenge may not do service for
an appeal”). In addition, the movant’s Sentencing Guidelines claim is without merit
because relief under § 2255 is severely limited. See Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424,
430 (1962) (explaining that a sentence is not illegal if the “punishment meted out was not
in excess of that prescribed by the relevant statutes, multiple terms were not imposed for
the same offense, [or] the terms of the sentence itself [are not] legally or constitutionally
invalid in any other respect”); Sun Bear v. United States, 644 F.3d 700, 706 (8th Cir.
2011) (emphasizing that a sentence is not illegal unless it exceeds the statutory maximum
for the offense of conviction). The movant merely asserts that the court miscalculated the
Sentencing Guidelines, but such assertion is not a proper basis for relief under § 2255. See
Sun Bear, 644 F.3d at 704-05 (concluding that sentencing errors are generally not
cognizable in § 2255 proceedings). Additionally, the movant is currently serving a
sentence of 240 months imprisonment, which is the statutory mandatory minimum
sentence. Accordingly, the movant’s motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is denied.1 As for a certificate of appealability, the movant
has not made the requisite showing. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). In light of the
foregoing, a certificate of appealability under 28 U.S.C. § 2253 will not issue. Lastly, the
The court notes that the movant’s reliance on Mathis v. United States, ___ U.S.
___, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), which reiterated the methodology for determining whether
a prior conviction qualifies as a violent felony for purposes of the ACCA, is unavailing
because the Supreme Court did not recognize a new right that is retroactively applicable
on collateral review. Cf. Headbird v. United States, 813 F.3d 1092, 1097 (8th Cir. 2016)
(upholding dismissal under § 2255(f) because Descamps v. United States, ___ U.S. ___,
133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), did not involve “newly recognized” right). The court also notes
that the United States Sentencing Guidelines are not subject to a void for vagueness
challenge under the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause). See Beckles v. United
States, ___ U.S. ___, ___, ___ S. Ct. ___, ___, 2017 WL 855781, at *6 (Mar. 6, 2017).
movant’s motion to appoint counsel (civil docket no. 2) is denied as moot.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 18th day of August, 2017.
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?