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Flores v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

April 28, 2017

SATORNINO FLORES, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Cortez White's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, [Doc. No. 1]. The United States of America has responded to the motion, pursuant to the Court's Show Cause Order. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Vacate is denied.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On September 28, 2012, Movant entered a plea of guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to a lesser included charge of conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of cocaine. On January 7, 2013, Movant was sentenced to 100 months imprisonment, the lowest possible sentence under the parties' plea agreement. The court ran the sentence concurrent with defendant's illegal re-entry sentence. An amended judgment was entered on January 14, 2013 to include a recommendation by the Court for placement in a facility near Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

         Movant did not file a timely appeal. He did, however, file an appeal on March 21, 2013, in spite of his agreement in the plea agreement not to file an appeal. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Movant's appeal as untimely on April 5, 2013. Another notice of appeal was filed by Movant on November 12, 2013. This appeal was again dismissed by the Eighth Circuit as untimely on December 16, 2013.

         Movant filed this Motion for Post-Conviction Relief pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 on September 14, 2014.

         STANDARD FOR RELIEF UNDER 28 U.S.C. §2255

         A federal prisoner seeking relief from a sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on the ground “that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In order to obtain relief under § 2255, the movant must allege a violation constituting “‘a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice.'” United States v. Gomez, 326 F.3d 971, 974 (8th Cir. 2003) (quoting United States v. Boone, 869 F.2d 1089, 1091 n.4 (8th Cir. 1989)).

         Claims brought under § 2255 may also be limited by procedural default. A movant “cannot raise a nonconstitutional or nonjurisdictional issue in a § 2255 motion if the issue could have been raised on direct appeal but was not.” Anderson v. United States, 25 F.3d 704, 706 (8th Cir. 1994) (citing Belford v. United States, 975 F.2d 310, 313 (7th Cir. 1992)). Furthermore, even constitutional or jurisdictional claims not raised on direct appeal cannot be raised collaterally in a § 2255 motion “unless a petitioner can demonstrate (1) cause for the default and actual prejudice or (2) actual innocence.” United States v. Moss, 252 F.3d 993, 1001 (8th Cir. 2001) (citing Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 622 (1998)).

         DISCUSSION

         Right to Evidentiary Hearing

         The Court must hold an evidentiary hearing to consider claims in a § 2255 motion “‘[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.'” Shaw v. United States, 24 F.3d 1040, 1043 (8th Cir. 1994) (alteration in original) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255). Thus, a movant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing “‘when the facts alleged, if true, would entitle [the movant] to relief.'” Payne v. United States, 78 F.3d 343, 347 (8th Cir. 1996) (quoting Wade v. Armontrout, 798 F.2d 304, 306 (8th Cir. 1986)). The Court may dismiss a claim “without an evidentiary hearing if the claim is inadequate on its face or if the record affirmatively refutes the factual assertions upon which it is based.” Shaw, 24 F.3d at 1043 (citing Larson v. United States, 905 F.2d 218, 220-21 (8th Cir. 1990)). Since the Court finds that Movant's claims can be conclusively determined based upon the parties' filings and the records of the case, no evidentiary hearing will be necessary.

         Limitation ...


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