United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
J. Conrad, Jr. United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner's
Motion to Vacate Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, (Doc. No. 1).
See also (Doc. No. 7) (Supplement to § 2255
Motion). The Government has filed a Motion to Dismiss
James's Successive Motion to Vacate, (Doc. No. 9).
case is Petitioner's third post-conviction challenge to
his life sentence. See 3:09-cv-344, 3:12-cv-735.
Petitioner argues that the three strikes law (18 U.S.C.
§ 3559(c)) and U.S. Sentencing Guidelines' career
offender enhancement run afoul of Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). He seeks full
case was held in abeyance for several years pursuant to
United States v. Ali, 15-4433, and United States
v. Simms, 15-4640. (Doc. No. 5). The stay was lifted
after the United States Supreme Court decided Sessions v.
Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018). (Doc. No. 8).
filed a Supplement to his § 2255 petition based on
Dimaya and the Government filed a Motion to Dismiss,
(Doc. No. 9), arguing that Petitioner has failed to satisfy
the requirements of § 2255(h). Petitioner conceded that
his career offender Johnson challenge does not
survive Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886
(2017), but argued that the instant § 2255 petition is
not successive and that resentencing should be granted. (Doc.
III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides
that federal Courts may adjudicate only live cases or
controversies. See Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp.,
494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990); Nakell v. Attn'y Gen. of
N.C. , 15 F.3d 319, 322 (4th Cir. 1994). This
means that the “litigant must have suffered, or be
threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the defendant
and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial
decision.” Id. In the context of a habeas
corpus proceeding, the writ “does not act upon the
prisoner who seeks relief, but upon the person who holds him
in what is alleged to be unlawful custody.” Braden
v. 30th Jud'l Cir. Court of Ky., 410 U.S. 484,
494-95 (1973). An incarcerated convict's or parolee's
challenge to the validity of his conviction always satisfies
the case or controversy requirement, but, once a
convict's sentence has expired, some collateral
consequence of the conviction must exist if the suit is to be
maintained. Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7-8
case is moot because the Court has already found that he does
not qualify for the § 3559 enhancement, vacated his
sentence, and granted him resentencing in case number
3:12-cv-735. As Petitioner has received the very relief he
has requested in the instant case - full resentencing - his
§ 2255 Motion to Vacate is moot because no live case or
controversy exists. See United States v. Surratt,
855 F.3d 218 (4th Cir. 2017) (dismissing §
2255 appeal because petitioner received a presidential
commutation of his life sentence in which he received the
relief he was seeking and more).
foregoing reasons, the instant § 2255 Motion to Vacate
is dismissed as moot and Respondent's Motion to Dismiss
is denied as moot. IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED
1. Petitioner's Motion to Vacate Under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, (Doc. No. 1), is DISMISSED as moot 2.
Respondent's Motion to Dismiss James's Successive
Motion to Vacate, (Doc. No. 9), is DENIED as
2. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to
Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 and Section
2255 Cases, this Court declines to issue a certificate of
appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2);
Miller-El v. Cockrell 537 U.S. 322, 338 (2003) (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. 473, 484
(2000) (when relief is denied on procedural grounds, a
petitioner must establish both that the dispositive
procedural ruling is debatable and that the petition states a
debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right).
 The Fourth Circuit granted Petitioner
authorization to file a second or successive motion to vacate
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2244 and ...