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Clay v. United States

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

December 16, 2019

SYLVESTER H. CLAY, JR., Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          AUDREY G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of movant Sylvester H. Clay, Jr. to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Docket No. 1). The motion appears to be time-barred. Therefore, for the reasons discussed below, the Court will order movant to show cause why the motion should not be summarily denied and dismissed.

         Background

         On June 28, 2017, movant pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. United States v. Clay, No. 4:17-cr-38-AGF-1 (E.D. Mo.). He was sentenced on October 13, 2017 to 72 months' imprisonment. Movant did not file a direct appeal.

         Movant filed the instant 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion on July 5, 2019, by placing it in his institution's mail system.[1] He asserts that his 72-month sentence should be vacated and that he should be released from imprisonment based on the United States Supreme Court's decision in Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191 (2019). Specifically, he argues that the government did not show that he both possessed a firearm and knew he held the relevant status as a felon when he possessed it.

         Discussion

         Movant is a pro se litigant who is currently incarcerated at the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma. He brings this motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, alleging that his sentence should be vacated pursuant to the Supreme Court's decision in Rehaif v. United States. For the reasons discussed below, the motion appears to be untimely, and movant will be directed to show cause why this action should not be denied and dismissed.

         A. Statute of Limitations

         Motions brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 are subject to a one-year limitations period. Peden v. United States, 914 F.3d 1151, 1152 (8th Cir. 2019). The limitations period runs from the latest of four dates:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). In practice, however, the one-year statute of limitations “usually means that a prisoner must file a motion within one year of the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final.” Mora-Higuera ...


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