Robinson v. USA
ORDER that, within thirty (30) days, the United States Attorney shall submit a memorandum to this Court in accordance with this Order. Petitioners counsel shall then have twenty (20) days in which to file a memorandum in response to Respondents memorandum. Signed by District Judge Martin Reidinger on 1/17/13. (nll)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
Civil Case No. 1:11-cv-00282-MR
[Criminal Case No. 1:07-cr-00011-MR-1]
MICHAEL N. ROBINSON,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, )
THIS MATTER is before the Court on consideration of Petitioner’s
Motion to Vacate his conviction under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and his alternative
claims for relief. [Docs. 1, 5]. Petitioner is represented by Assistant Federal
Defender Leah Kane.
On October 2, 2007, Petitioner was convicted of possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). [Criminal
Case No. 1:07-cr-00011, Doc. 15]. The Court sentenced Petitioner to 84
Petitioner did not file a direct appeal from this
In the present motion, Petitioner alleges that he is entitled to relief in
light of the Fourth Circuit’s en banc decision in United States v. Simmons,
649 F.3d 237 (4th Cir. 2011), because the state court felony used to obtain
the Section 922(g)(1) conviction did not carry a sentence of more than one
year. Petitioner contends that the Court should therefore vacate his
conviction and dismiss the indictment. In its Response, the Government
asserts that it agrees that Petitioner is actually innocent of the Section
922(g) conviction he now challenges, and he should be entitled to have his
conviction vacated. [Doc. 7].
The Court finds that Respondent shall submit further briefing on the
issue of actual innocence and the effect of United States v. Powell, 691
F.3d 554 (4th Cir. 2012), on Petitioner’s right to relief under Simmons. In
particular, the Government should explain how the Court is authorized to
reach the merits of Petitioner’s Section 2255 motion, in light of Powell and
subsequently filed, unpublished cases by the Fourth Circuit. See Powell,
691 F.3d at 560-61 (“Because the Supreme Court’s decision in Carachuri
at most altered the procedural requirements that must be followed in
applying recidivist enhancements and did not alter the range of conduct or
the class of persons subject to criminal punishment, we hold that Carachuri
is a procedural rule. It is, therefore, not retroactively applicable to cases on
collateral review.”) (emphasis added); see also United States v. Wheeler,
No. 11-6643, 2012 WL 5417557, at *1 (4th Cir. filed Nov. 7, 2012)
(unpublished) (“We note that Wheeler's claim for retroactive application of
the Supreme Court’s opinion in Carachuri–Rosendo v. Holder, __ U.S. __,
130 S.Ct. 2577, 177 L.Ed.2d 68 (2010), and our opinion in United States v.
Simmons, 649 F.3d 237, 241–45 (4th Cir. 2011) (en banc), fails in light of
our recent opinion in United States v. Powell, 691 F.3d 554 (4th
Cir.2012).”); United States v. Walker, 2012 WL 5359506, at *1 (4th Cir. filed
Nov. 1, 2012) (unpublished) (holding that “Carachuri claims may not be
raised retroactively in collateral proceedings.”).
Respondent shall also explain how Petitioner and other similarly
situated petitioners can now claim actual innocence, where, at the time of
their convictions, United States v. Harp, 406 F.3d 242, 246 (4th Cir. 2005),
was controlling law in the Fourth Circuit. Particularly, Respondent shall
specifically address the issue of whether Petitioner is “factually innocent”
and/or “legally innocent” and state the basis in the record for the
Respondent’s contentions, and whether such forms the basis for the relief
sought by the Petitioner. Finally, Respondent shall address how Petitioner
may be entitled to relief under the alternative claims for relief, namely,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, or pursuant to petitions for a writ of audita
querela or coram nobis.
The Petitioner will thereafter be afforded an
opportunity to respond.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that, within thirty (30) days, the
United States Attorney shall submit a memorandum to this Court in
accordance with this Order. Petitioner’s counsel shall then have twenty (20)
days in which to file a memorandum in response to Respondent’s
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed: January 17, 2013
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?