United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
J. CONRAD, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on a Motion to
Reconsider [Doc. 42] the Court's prior Order granting the
Government's motion for summary judgment on
Petitioner's Motion to Vacate pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, and on Petitioner's Motion to Amend Motion
to Vacate under Section 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. 51].
Petitioner is represented by the Federal Defenders of Western
August 10, 2009, Petitioner filed a Section 2255 Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence challenging his
conviction and sentence in Criminal No.
3:05-cr-227-RJC-DCK-1. [Doc. 1]. On June 17, 2011, Petitioner
filed an Amended Motion to Vacate. [Doc. 23]. On December 19,
2011, the Government filed a motion for summary judgment
“as to all issue alleged in Petitioner's
Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to
Title 28, United State Code, Section 2255, filed August 10,
2009, and amended June 17, 2011.” [Doc. 33 at 1
(emphasis added)]. The Government further requested
“this this Court dispense with an evidentiary hearing
and summarily dismiss this action in its entirety.”
11, 2012, this Court granted the Government's motion for
summary judgment without reservation on any issues and
ordered that “Petitioner's Motion to Vacate, (Doc.
Nos. 1, 23), is DENIED and
DISMISSED.” [Doc. 39 at 11]. Judgment
was entered in accordance with the Court's Order the same
day. [Doc. 40]. Petitioner did not appeal.
October 1, 2013, Petitioner filed a motion to reconsider the
Court's grant of summary judgment for the Government
under Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
[Doc. 42]. After various extensions, the Government responded
[Doc. 47] and the Petitioner, in turn, replied [Doc. 50] to
this motion. On April 7, 2016, Petitioner filed another
Section 2255 Motion to Vacate, Civil No. 3:16-cv-222-RJC,
challenging the same criminal sentence in light of the United
States Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). The
Fourth Circuit authorized Petitioner to file a second or
successive § 2255 motion because he “made a prima
facie showing that a new rule of constitutional law announced
in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015)” and held to apply retroactively on collateral
review by Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257
(2018), may apply to his case. [Civil No. 3:16-cv-222, Doc.
2]. Also on April 7, 2016, in the instant case, Petitioner
filed a motion to amend the Section 2255 Motion that the
Court dismissed at summary judgment, seeking to add a claim
for relief under Johnson. [Doc. 51]. Petitioner
argues, under Johnson, that his 30-year
career-offender sentence and his consecutive life sentence
are illegal sentences that violate due process of law. [Doc.
51; Civil No. 3:16-cv-222, Doc. 1 at 1].
also has a pending 28 U.S.C. § 2241 habeas petition that
is related to the same conviction and sentence, which was
recently unstayed after the United States Supreme Court
denied the Government's petition for certiorari in
United States v. Wheeler, 886 F.3d 415, 428 (4th
Cir. 2018), on March 18, 2019.
Court now addresses Petitioner's motion to reconsider the
Court's order granting summary judgment for the
Government and judgment thereon. Petitioner argues that the
Court did not rule on his claim of ineffective assistance of
counsel due to his attorney's failure “to object to
the use of non-qualifying prior convictions to impose a
consecutive life sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3559(c) and
to impose a Guideline career-offender
enhancement.” [Doc. 42 at 5]. Petitioner argues that,
because the Court did not expressly address this argument in
its summary judgment order, the order is necessarily not a
“final judgment” and, therefore, subject to
revision by the Court. [Doc. 42 at 6]. Petitioner argues Rule
54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows for this
conclusion. [Id.]. It does not.
Rule 54(b) provides:
When an action presents more than one claim for
relief-whether as a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or
third-party claim-or when multiple parties are involved, the
court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more,
but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court
expressly determines there is no just reason for delay.
Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated,
that adjudicates fewer than all claims or the rights or
liabilities of fewer than all parties does not end the action
as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised at any
time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims
and all the parties' rights and liabilities.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).
the Court granted the Government's motion to
“summarily dismiss this action in its entirety”
“as to all issue alleged in Petitioner's Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to Title 28,
United State Code, Section 2255, filed August 10, 2009, and
amended June 17, 2011.” [Doc. 33 at 1]. The Court
intended to and did fully and finally adjudicate all of
Petitioner's claims when it granted summary judgment for
the Government, even if it did not fully address each of
Petitioner's many arguments on why his counsel was
ineffective. See Krankel v. United States, No.
99-CV-4299-MJR, 2005 WL 1704786, at *2 (S.D. Ill. July 20,
2005) (holding a final habeas judgment was entered when a
petitioner's amended § 2255 motion was denied in its
entirety, despite petitioner's assertion that the Court
failed to determine the merits of the actual claims in
petitioner's amended motion). If the Petitioner wanted
the Court's final Order and Judgment to be reviewed, he
should have appealed, not file a motion to reconsider nearly
sixteen (16) months after entry of judgment.
the Court fully and finally adjudicated Petitioner's
original and amended § 2255 motions to vacate when it
granted the Government's motion for summary judgment and
judgment was entered in accordance therewith. As such,
Petitioner's motion to reconsider will be denied.
Further, because Petitioner's motion to reconsider will
be denied, Petitioner's motion to amend his § 2255
petition will also be denied.