Dudley v. USA
ORDER dismissing without prejudice 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 5/19/14. (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 an initial review of Petitioner’s motion to amend
which this Court finds is in fact a § 2255 motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence. For the
reasons that follow, the § 2255 motion will be dismissed as successive.
Petitioner was convicted in this district on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent
to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1) (Count 1); and one count of
aiding and abetting with the possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C
§ 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2. Petitioner was sentenced to concurrent terms of 360-months’
imprisonment and his judgment was affirmed on appeal.
Since his judgment became final, Petitioner has filed several § 2255 motions to vacate
that have been dismissed by this Court — either on the merits or as unauthorized, successive
motions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h) — and those dismissals have been affirmed on appeal. See,
e.g., (Case No. 5:99-CV-152-RLV (W.D.N.C. Mar. 27, 2002), appeal dismissed, 46 F. App’x
188 (4th Cir. Sept. 23, 2002); 5:13-CV-00132-RLV (W.D.N.C. Oct. 9, 2013), appeal dismissed,
No. 13-7906 (4th Cir. 2014).
In the present action, Petitioner contends that he should be allowed to amend his original
§ 2255 motion in Case No. 5:99-CV-152 under Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Petitioner cites the Fourth Circuit’s recent 2-1 opinion in Whiteside v. United States,
2014 WL 1364019 (4th Cir. Apr. 8, 2014).
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).
Petitioner’s effort to amend his initial § 2255 motion through Rule 15 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure must fail because district courts are bound to “classify pro se pleadings
from prisoners according to their contents, without regard to their captions.” United States v.
Winestock, 340 F.3d 200, 203 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing United States v. Emmanuel, 288 F.3d 644,
647 (4th Cir. 2002)). Petitioner’s attempt to seek relief based on recent Fourth Circuit law is
subject to specific limitations which will preclude such an effort unless one of the following
conditions are met.
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).
Petitioner cannot meet either of the above conditions because his motion does not rely on
newly discovered evidence and Whiteside is a Fourth Circuit case. Finally, there is no evidence
that Petitioner has obtained the necessary authorization from the Fourth Circuit to file the instant
§ 2255 motion. The Court is therefore without jurisdiction to consider the merits, if any, of his §
2255 motion for relief. See, e.g, In re Vial, 115 F.3d 1192, 1194 (4th Cir. 1997); Winestock, 340
F.3d at 205. For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner’s Section 2255 motion will be dismissed
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that Petitioner’s motion to vacate under § 2255 is
DISMISSED without prejudice. (Doc. No. 1).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner’s motion for leave to file an amendment
pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 15 is DENIED. (5:99-CV-152, Doc. No. 77).
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).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed: May 19, 2014
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?