Mathuren v. United States of America
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION 5 DENYING re 1 Motion to Vacate/Set Aside/Correct Sentence (2255) filed by Christopher Mathuren by Senior District Judge James A. Parker. (bap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
CV 16-1081 JAP/GBW
CR 14-3420 JAP
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S PROPOSED FINDINGS AND
This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner’s Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody. Doc. 1. 1
Petitioner argues that (1) he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel due to a
conflict of interest; (2) he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel prior to the
entry of his guilty plea; and (3) he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel during
the sentencing phase of his case. Petitioner further argues that the trial court erred in
denying his counsel’s motion to withdraw. See generally doc. 1. The United States
argues that all of Petitioner’s claims are barred by his waiver of the right to collaterally
attack his sentence included in his plea agreement. See doc. 4 at 8-12.
Citations to “Doc.” refer to docket numbers filed in Case No. 16-CV-1081-JAP/GBW. Citations to “Cr.
Doc.” refer to the attendant criminal docket, Case No. 14-CR-3420-JAP. For filings made on both dockets,
only the civil docket number is given.
The Magistrate Judge filed his Proposed Findings and Recommended
Disposition (PFRD) on March 31, 2017. Doc. 5. He recommended rejecting the United
States’ request to enforce the waiver as to Petitioner’s claims based on ineffective
assistance of counsel, because attacks based “on the issue of defense counsel’s
ineffective assistance” do not fall within the scope of the waiver. Id. at 5; see also cr. doc.
47 at 7. However, the Magistrate Judge nevertheless recommended that the Court reject
Petitioner’s ineffective assistance of counsel claims, because (1) Petitioner failed to
allege any circumstances that would amount to a “conflict of interest” under the
applicable standard; (2) Petitioner failed to establish that the alleged ineffective
assistance of counsel prior to the entry of his guilty plea resulted in prejudice, as
necessary to succeed on that claim; and (3) Petitioner failed to demonstrate either
Strickland prong of error or prejudice, as necessary to succeed on his claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel at the sentencing phase. See doc. 5 at 6-11.
Moreover, the Magistrate Judge recommended the Court reject Petitioner’s claim
regarding the denial of his counsel’s motion to withdraw based on the relevant Tenth
Circuit and Supreme Court jurisprudence. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge
recommended the Court find that by entering a voluntary and knowing guilty plea,
Petitioner waived the right to assert any independent claims relating to the deprivation
of constitutional rights that occurred prior to the entry of the guilty plea. Doc. 5 at 6
(citing United States v. Salazar, 323 F.3d 852, 856 (10th Cir. 2003) and Tollett v. Henderson,
411 U.S. 258, 267 (1973)).
Petitioner’s objections to the PFRD were initially due April 14, 2017, and the
deadline was then extended upon Petitioner’s motion to May 18, 2017. See docs. 5, 6, 7.
He has filed none. Furthermore, upon review of the record, I concur with the
Magistrate Judge’s findings and recommendations.
Wherefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Magistrate Judge’s Proposed
Findings and Recommended Disposition (doc. 5) is ADOPTED, and Petitioner’s Motion
to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence (doc. 1) is DENIED.
JAMES A. PARKER
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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