United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ROBERT O. DINKINS, Movant,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHARLES A. SHAW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on movant's motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. The motion is successive and will be denied and
8, 2015, a one-count indictment charged movant with felon in
possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1). United States v.
Dinkins, No. 4:15-CR-314 CEJ (E.D. Mo.). Movant waived
his right to a jury trial and requested a bench trial. At
trial, the Court found movant guilty and subsequently
sentenced him as an Armed Career Criminal to 180 months of
imprisonment. With the assistance of counsel, movant filed a
timely appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In his
appeal, movant argued that the District Court erred in
finding him guilty of being a felon in possession of a
firearm because he was legally justified in possessing the
firearm to protect himself and the community from imminent
danger. On May 26, 2017, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
affirmed the judgment of the District Court. United
States v. Dinkins, 688 Fed.Appx. 408 (8th Cir. 2017).
filed a motion to vacate his sentence on August 22, 2017.
Dinkins v. United States, No. 4:18-CV-2296 CAS (E.D.
Mo.). The Court denied and dismissed the motion to vacate on
July 25, 2018. Id.
Eighth Circuit denied movant's application to file a
successive habeas petition on March 29, 2019. Dinkins v.
United States, No. 18-3334 (8th Cir. 2019). Movant filed
a second motion to vacate on June 11, 2019. Dinkins v.
United States, 4:19-CV-1839 CAS. In his motion to
vacate, movant alleged: (1) his counsel was ineffective for
failing to raise a claim that his sentence was
unconstitutional under Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015); (2) his predicate crimes under the Armed
Career Criminal Act did not qualify as “crimes of
violence” such that he should have received a Chapter
Four Enhancement under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §
924(e); and (3) in light of the aforementioned arguments he
was innocent of the crimes he was convicted. The Court denied
movant's motion to vacate as successive and dismissed his
action on June 27, 2019. Id.
8, 2019, movant filed a second motion to vacate. In the
instant motion, movant asserts that the recent Supreme Court
case of Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191
(2019), allows for a new challenge to his conviction and
sentence. He asserts that he is actually innocent of his
crimes under Rehaif.
Supreme Court held in Rehaif that under §
922(g)(5)(A), a person “illegally or unlawfully in the
United States, ” must know of both this status and his
or her possession of a firearm to “knowingly violate [
]” the ban in 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) on certain
categories of persons possessing firearms. Justice
Breyer's opinion for the majority of the Supreme Court
reversed the Eleventh Circuit's holding that the
“knowingly” element applied only to the
possession of the firearm. 139 S.Ct. at 2194. Thus, the
Supreme Court held, the word “knowingly” applies
to the “possession element” in the statute, as
well as the “status element.” Id.
Court has reviewed movant's Presentence Report and there
is no indication that he was “illegally or unlawfully
in the United States.” Rather, he was reportedly born
in Detroit, Michigan. Moreover, at trial, movant was already
found guilty of “knowingly” being in possession
of a firearm. Therefore, there is no indication that the
recent Supreme Court case of Rehaif applies to
this Court is bound by the jurisdictional requirements in 28
U.S.C. § 2244(a) and § 2255(h). District courts may
not entertain a second or successive motions to vacate unless
they have first been certified by the court of appeals. The
instant motion to vacate has not been certified by the Court
of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. As a result the Court may
not grant the requested relief and this action must be denied
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that movant's
motion to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED as
moot. [Doc. 2]
IS FURTHER ORDERED that movant's motion to
vacate, set aside or correct sentence is DENIED AND
DISMISSED as successive [Doc 1]
IS FURTHER ORDERED that movant's motion for
appointment of counsel ...