Dudley v. USA
ORDER dismissing without prejudice as successive 1 Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence (2255). Court declines to issue a Certificate of Appealability. Signed by District Judge Richard Voorhees on 3/20/14. (Pro se litigant served by US Mail.)(smj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
SEAN LAMONT DUDLEY,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
THIS MATTER is before the Court on consideration of Petitioner’s motion to vacate,
set aside or correct sentence, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the reasons that
follow, the § 2255 motion will be dismissed as successive.
On February 23, 1998, Petitioner was sentenced to concurrent terms of 360-months’
imprisonment for conviction on two counts charged in an indictment returned by the Grand Jury
for the Western District. In Count One, Petitioner was charged with conspiracy to possess with
intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & 846, and Count Two
charged Petitioner with aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute the cocaine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) & 18 U.S.C. § 2. (5:97-CR-00001, Doc. No. 67: Judgment in a
Criminal Case; Doc. No. 109: Presentence Investigation Report (PSR at 1)).
Petitioner filed a timely notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit. On October 29, 1998, the Court filed an unpublished decision upholding
Petitioner’s conviction and sentence. United States v. Dudley, 165 F.3d 20 (4th Cir. 1998)
(unpublished table decision).
On September 27, 1999, Petitioner filed a Section 2255 motion to vacate which the Court
found lacked merit and it was therefore denied. (5:99-CV-00152-RLV, Doc. No. 24: Order filed
Mar. 27, 2002). Petitioner’s appeal was dismissed by the Fourth Circuit. Dudley v. United States,
46 F. App’x 188 (4th Cir.) (unpublished), cert. denied, 548 U.S. 1047 (2003).
On August 7, 2006, the Court denied Petitioner’s Rule 60(b) motion to reconsider the
Order denying relief under § 2255, and dismissed the motion as an unauthorized, successive §
2255 motion. (Id., Doc. No. 35). On February 23, 2007, the Fourth Circuit dismissed
Petitioner’s appeal from the order of denial. United States v. Dudley, 218 F. App’x 280 (4th Cir.
On January 30, 2012, Petitioner filed motions for reconsideration of the trial court’s
decision denying and dismissing his Section 2255 motion. (5:99-CV-00152, Doc. Nos. 58-60).
Through these motions, Petitioner argued that a recent case from the Fourth Circuit—United
States v. Simmons, 649 F.3d 237 (4th Cir. 2011) (en banc) — entitled him to relief from his
sentence which was entered some (14) years earlier. The Court denied relief and dismissed the
motions. The Fourth Circuit dismissed his appeal in a per curiam decision after noting that
Petitioner’s motion for relief in the district court, while styled as a Rule 60(b) motion, was in
actuality an unauthorized, successive motion under § 2255(h). United States v. Dudley, 512 F.
App’x 378 (4th Cir. 2013) (unpublished), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 359 (2013).
On September 18, 2013, Petitioner filed another motion for relief from his judgment. The
Court found that the motion was an unauthorized § 2255 and it was dismissed without prejudice
and the Court denied Petitioner’s motion to reconsider that conclusion. (5:13-CV-00132, Doc.
Nos. 3 and 8). Petitioner filed an appeal to the Fourth Circuit from this Court’s denial of his
motion to reconsider and that appeal is pending as of March 13, 2014. United States v. Dudley,
No. 13-7906 (4th Cir. filed Nov. 27, 2013).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pursuant to Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings, sentencing
courts are directed to promptly examine motions to vacate, along with “any attached exhibits and
the record of prior proceedings” in order to determine whether a petitioner is entitled to any
relief. After having considered the record in this matter, the Court finds that no response is
necessary from the United States. Further, the Court finds that this matter can be resolved
without an evidentiary hearing. See Raines v. United States, 423 F.2d 526, 529 (4th Cir. 1970).
On March 12, 2014, the Clerk docketed the present § 2255 motion. As this Court has
explained on many occasions, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA)
provides, in relevant part, that “[a] second or successive motion [under Section 2255] must be
certified as provided in Section 2244 by a panel of the appropriate court of appeals to contain—
(1) newly discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence
as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence
that no reasonable factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the
(2) a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral
review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).
There is again no evidence that Petitioner has obtained the necessary authorization from
the Fourth Circuit to file the instant petition. The Court is therefore without jurisdiction to
consider the merits, if any, of the present action. See, e.g, In re Vial, 115 F.3d 1192, 1194 (4th
Cir. 1997); United States v.Winestock, 340 F.3d 200, 205 (4th Cir. 2003). For the foregoing
reasons, Petitioner’s Section 2255 motion will be dismissed without prejudice.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that Petitioner’s Section 2255 Motion be
DISMISSED without prejudice as successive. (Doc. No. 1).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing
Section 2255 Cases, this Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability as Petitioner has not
made a substantial showing of a denial of a constitutional right. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); MillerEl v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003) (stating that in order to satisfy § 2253(c), a
petitioner must demonstrate that reasonable jurists would find the district court’s assessment of
the constitutional claims debatable or wrong); Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 474, 484 (2000)
(holding that when relief is denied on procedural grounds, a petitioner must establish both that
the correctness of the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable and that the petition states a
debatably valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right).
The Clerk is respectfully directed to close this civil case.
Signed: March 20, 2014
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