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United States v. Snoke

United States District Court, D. Rhode Island

December 11, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JAMES W. SNOKE

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          WILLIAM E. SMITH, Chief Judge.

         Defendant James W. Snoke has filed a motion to request correction of error (ECF No. 39) (“Motion to Request Correction”) and an amended motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 44) (“Amended Motion to Vacate”) in the above matter. The Government has filed a response (ECF No. 45) (“Gov't Resp.”). For the reasons that follow, the Motion to Request Correction is denied as moot and the Amended Motion to Vacate is denied and dismissed.

         I. Background and Travel[1]

         After having pled guilty to one count of bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), Snoke was sentenced on March 18, 2013, to 151 months' imprisonment, to run consecutive to a six-month term for a violation of supervised release in an earlier case, followed by one year of supervised release. A special assessment and restitution were also imposed. Judgment entered on March 26, 2013.

         On June 14, 2016, Snoke, proceeding pro se, filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255[2] (ECF No. 30) based on the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). That motion was followed on June 24, 2016, by a counseled supplemental motion to vacate (ECF No. 32). By Order of Court dated June 29, 2016 (ECF No. 34), the matter was held in abeyance pending clarification of the applicability of Johnson to Snoke's motion. On March 17, 2017, Snoke, through counsel, filed a motion to dismiss (ECF No. 38) the motion to vacate, which was granted by text order dated March 29, 2017.

         Snoke filed a pro se Motion to Request Correction (ECF No. 39) on June 23, 2017.[3] In an Order dated August 1, 2017 (ECF No. 41), the Court notified Snoke that it intended to treat the motion as a petition for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 unless Snoke indicated otherwise. Snoke responded by filing an amendment to his motion “construed as: petition for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.” (Am. Mot. to Vacate 1, ECF No. 44.) The Government filed its objection (ECF No. 45) to the Amended Motion to Vacate on October 27, 2017. No hearing is necessary.

         II. Discussion

         Section 2255 provides in relevant part:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon 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(a). The main thrust of Snoke's Amended Motion to Vacate is that his counsel was ineffective for failing to contest the inclusion of two Rhode Island state second degree robbery convictions for purposes of calculating his criminal history, which resulted in his designation as a career offender. (Am. Mot. to Vacate 2-38, ECF No. 44.) The Government argues that the Amended Motion to Vacate should be denied or dismissed for a number of reasons, including that it is untimely and that, in any event, it fails on the merits. (Gov't Resp. 2-6, ECF No. 45.) Because the Court finds that the Motion to Request Correction and the Amended Motion to Vacate are time-barred, it need not address the Government's other arguments. See Bucci v. United States, 809 F.3d 23, 28 (1st Cir. 2015)(noting that because petition was second or successive petition that did not meet requirements under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h), court need not reach Government's alternative arguments).

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f):

         A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under this section. The limitation period shall run from the latest of--

(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 ...

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