Andrews v. United States of America
Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton: ORDER entered. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER(PSSA, 5)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
MICHAEL P. ANDREWS,
Civil Action No.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
GORTON, D. J.
For thereasons stated below, the Court will deny thepetition and dismiss the action without
Before the Court is pro se prisoner Michael P. Andrews' petition for a writ under the All
Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. §1651, specifically a writ ofaudita querela. On April 1, 2015, the Court re-
sentenced the petitioner to 108 months' custody for one count ofconspiracy to possess with intent
to distribute at least 500 grams or more ofcocaine and at least 100 grams or more ofheroin. United
States V. Andrews. 1l-cr-10062. Judgment, ECF No. 1065. Petitioner didnotappeal the sentence,
nor did he file a 28 U.S.C. §2255 motion to challenge the sentence. Twenty months later, on
December 15,2016, plaintifffiled apetition styled as amotion pursuant to "28 U.S.C. §1651, The
All Writs Act - for 'NewDefense no Available at the Time of Conviction." The 29-page petition
devotes much attention to the nature of the writ requested, but little coherent argument as to why
petitioner believes he is entitled to relief. It appears petitioner's claim is that case law has
developed since his conviction that permits him to challenge sentencing enhancements. From the
reliefsought, the plaintiff's recourse isinthe nature ofa28 U.S.C. §2255 motion to vacate, modify
or correct his sentence.
Petitioner's claim, to the extent the Court can discern it at all, appears to fall within the
statutory framework of28 U.S.C. §2255,' and therefore a writ ofaudita querela is not available.
"Failure to raise anavailable claim does not permit anend-run around the requirements of § 2255
by resort to §2241 or the All Writs Act." United States v. Barrett. 178 F.3d 34,57 (1st Cir. 1999).
"The armamentarium of common-law writs... is thus available only to fill whatever interstices
exist in the post-conviction remedial scheme made available to federal prisoners by way ofsection
^Petitioner's request for acommon law writ may be an intentional effort to avoid 28 U.S.C. §2255
because he may be time barred. Under 28 U.S.C. §2255, a plaintiff seeking to challenge his
sentence may move pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255(a) in the sentencing court for an order to vacate,
set aside or correct the sentence. A one-year period oflimitations applies to file the motion from
the latest of: (1) the date of final judgment, (2) the date an unlawful or un-Constitutional
government-imposed impediment to filing is removed if it prevented movant from filing, (3) the
date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, ifthat right has
been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on
collateral review, or (4) the date on which facts supporting the claim or claims presented could
have been discovered through the exercise ofdue diligence. S^ 28 U.S.C. §2255 (p. Here, no
§2255 motion was filed within one year ofthe conviction and therefore would be untimely under
28 U.S.C. §2255(f)(l). Even presuming the post-sentencing case law cited by petitioner was
applicable, such a motion would likely still be untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(3). First,
Johnson v. United States^ 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), was decided in June 2015. To the extent that
Plaintiffsought, under §2255, to make aJohnson claim, which recognized anew right, he had ^til
July 2016 to make such a claim but failed to do so. Second, Petitioner's reliance on Mathis v.
United States. 136 S.Ct. 2243(2016), although a more recent decision, fares no better because that
case did not create anewly recognized right by the Supreme Court, and therefore does not extend
the time to file under 28 U.S.C. §2255(f)(3). United States y, Tavlor, No. 16-6223, 2016 WL
7093905, at *4 (10th Cir. Dec. 6, 2016)(citing Dimott v. United States, No. 2:06-CR-26-GZS,
2016 WL 6068114, at *3 (D. Me. Oct. 14, 2016)("Because Mathis is an extension of Supreme
Court precedent...a Mathis claim is not based on a constitutional right that has been newly
recognized by the Supreme Court.")(quotations omitted); Adams wUnited States, No. 2:05-CR00008-GZS, 2017 WL 1040346, at *3 (D. Me. Mar. 16, 2017); Goins y. United States, No. 2:10CR-19-JRG-1,2016 WL 7131785, at *2 (E.D. Tenn. Dec. 6,2016). The other limitations periods
under 28 U.S.C. §2255(f)(2) and (4)do not appear to apply.
2255." Trenkler v. United States. 536 F.3d 85, 97 (1st Cir. 2008)(citing United States v. Avala,
894 F.2d 425, 428 (D.C.Cir. 1990). "This gap-filling approach makes it essential for courts to plot,
and then to patrol, the boundaries between section 2255 and the universe of old common-law
writs." Trenkler. 536 F.3d at 97. "Otherwise, artful pleaders will tiptoe around those boundaries
and frustrate Congress's discernible intent." Id. The Court is ultimately "guided by the precept that
substance trumps form." Id "Thus, '[a]ny motion filed in the district court that imposed the
sentence, and substantively within the scope of § 2255, is a motion under § 2255, no matter what
title the prisoner plasters on the cover.'" Id (quoting Melton v. United States. 359 F.3d 855, 857
(7th Cir.2004) (emphasis in original). The Court does not convert the petition to a §2255 motion
based upon the great lengths to which petitioner has gone to argue for a common law writ and
because the contours of the legal claims are unclear if it were to be treated as §2255. Rather, the
Court will deny the petition because the remedy sought here—a common law writ— is
inappropriate because evenif a §2255 motion would likely be procedurally barred, there is no postconviction remedy gap to fill by resort to the writ.
For the foregoing reasons,
Petitioner's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. §1651, the All Writs Act — New Defense
Not Available at the time of Conviction, is hereby DENIED.
This action is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Nathaniel M. Gorton
Dated: April //, 2016
United States District Judge
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