Money v. United States of America
MEMORANDUM: Because the motion is time-barred, it will be denied. An order consistent with this Memorandum will be filed separately.. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 5/20/2014. (KMS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
RYECHINE A. MONEY,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
No. 4:14CV422 CEJ
This matter is before the Court upon review of movant=s response to the order to show
cause. Having carefully reviewed movant=s response, the Court concludes that his arguments are
without merit and that the instant action is time-barred under 28 U.S.C. ' 2255.
On March 3, 2011, movant pled guilty to interference with interstate commerce by force
and violence, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2 and 1951(a), and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of
violence, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). On May 31, 2011, the Court sentenced movant to 235 months’
Movant appealed, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its final
judgment affirming the sentence on February 22, 2012.
Movant filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. According to movant, he signed and placed the motion in the prison mail system on
November 29, 2013.1 Upon initial review of the motion, the Court determined that the statute of
limitations expired on or about May 22, 2013. Thus, if movant’s statement is accepted as true, the
motion to vacate was more than six months late. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1); Clay v. United
The motion to vacate was not actually received by this Court until March 6, 2014.
States, 537 U.S. 522, 527 (2003) (for a defendant who does not file a writ of certiorari, the
judgment of conviction becomes final when the time for filing a certiorari petition with the United
States Supreme Court expires); Supreme Court Rule 13(1) (the time to file a petition for writ of
certiorari is ninety (90) days after the date of entry of the judgment appealed from). In lieu of
dismissal, the Court ordered movant to show cause why his motion to vacate should not be
dismissed as time-barred. See Day v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 198, 210 (2006).
Movant asserts that he should be entitled to assert the defense of equitable tolling in this
action. Specifically, movant claims that he was in the Special Housing Unit with limited access to
the law library at the USP in Terre Haute, Indiana. He claims that he is in need of an extension of
time to gather records from “as far back as July 2011”2
The one-year limitations period set forth in § 2255(f) may be equitably tolled when a
movant establishes A(1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some
extraordinary circumstance stood in his way.@ Pace v. DiGugliemo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005);
Cross-Bey v. Gammon, 322 F.3d 1012, 1015 (8th Cir.2003); Kreutzer v. Bowersox, 231 F.3d 460,
463 (8th Cir.2000). This doctrine, however, gives a habeas petitioner Aan exceedingly narrow
window of relief.@ Jihad v. Hvass, 267 F.3d 803, 805 (8th Cir.2001) (holding that petitioner's
inability to obtain counsel to represent him in pursuit of state post-conviction relief and failure of
defense counsel to send petitioner his trial transcript until approximately eight months after his
conviction was affirmed on direct appeal were not extraordinary circumstances beyond petitioner's
The one-year statute of limitations in this case did not begin to run until 90 days after
February 22, 2012, the date on which the Eighth Circuit entered the final judgment affirming
control); see also Preston v. Iowa, 221 F.3d 1343 (8th Cir. 2000) (refusing to apply equitable
tolling in the case of an unrepresented prisoner alleging a lack of legal knowledge or legal
resources); Kreutzer, 231 F.3d at 463 (holding that counsel's confusion about applicable statute of
limitations does not warrant equitable tolling).
In this case, movant has not shown that any extraordinary and wholly external
circumstances prevented him from seeking relief in a timely manner.
Movant first argues that at some unidentified time period he sent “several cop-outs from
Terre Haute (USP) as a track record showing that [he] was doing everything in [his] power to
handle [his] legal affairs.”3 Movant seems to be asserting that during some of his time in “Terre
Haute” he was residing in the Special Housing Unit (“SHU”) and he had “limited” time in the law
library. He further states that pursuant to prison policy, prisoners were not provided their legal
materials unless they had “active and pending litigation.”
Movant’s request for an extension of time to “get all his facts in line” to seek equitable
tolling in this action will be denied for the following reasons. First, movant has not established
the time period during which he had limited access to the law library, as he does not state the dates
of his incarceration in Terre Haute USP or the dates on which he was held in the Special Housing
Unit in that facility. Second, movant does not allege that he was completely impeded from filing
lawsuits on his own behalf during the period of his incarceration in the Terre Haute SHU. The
affidavits attached to his motion to vacate state that the guards were understaffed in the Beaumont
Movant has appended five “Inmate Requests to Staff” to his motion to vacate. However,
they are not dated and the handwriting is virtually unreadable. Additionally, there is no indication
of the subject matter of the requests or what facility they were filed in. Moreover, movant has not
attached any responses relative to his requests. As such, the Court has been unable to ascertain
the relevance of the inmate requests to this proceeding.
SHU4, had little time to transport prisoners to the law library at that specific facility, and didn’t like
to provide prisoners with their legal materials at that facility unless they had an ongoing case.
Furthermore, movant does not allege that he was impeded in sending or receiving mail
during his incarceration in the Terre Haute SHU. Upon request, inmates may obtain from the
Court blank printed forms for use in preparing motions to vacate. Indeed, movant used such a
form in this case. If movant was required to have an active case in order to obtain law library
privileges, he could have requested the form earlier. Thus, the Court finds movant’s allegations
of limited law library access unavailing for equitable tolling purposes.
Movant’s vague assertions about counsel’s “ineffective assistance” are not sufficient to
justify equitable tolling. The Eighth Circuit has repeatedly held that faulty legal assistance alone
does not warrant equitable tolling. See Beery v. Ault, 312 F.3d 948, 951 (8th Cir.2002)
("[i]neffective assistance of counsel generally does not warrant equitable tolling"); Sellers v. Burt,
168 Fed.Appx. 132, 133 (8th Cir. 2006) (unpublished opinion) (rejecting petitioner's argument that
the statute of limitations should be tolled "because his state post-conviction attorney failed to
communicate with him and did not send his case file"); Greene v. Washington, 14 Fed.Appx. 736,
737 (8th Cir.2001) (rejecting equitable tolling argument based on alleged mistake by
post-conviction attorney) (unpublished opinion). Thus, the Court can find no proper grounds for
equitable tolling in this case.
Movant states that he placed his motion to vacate in the prison mail system on November
29, 2013 while he was incarcerated in the Beaumont SHU. This statement squarely contradicts
the statement movant makes in his affidavit that he was “consistently denied access to legal
materials” while confined in the Beaumont SHU.
Because the motion is time-barred, it will be denied. An order consistent with this
Memorandum will be filed separately.
Dated this 20th day of May, 2014.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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