Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CALDER v. UNITED STATES

March 8, 1996

MICHAEL GARTH CALDER, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUNSON

 Presently before the court is petitioner's motion to correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Specifically, petitioner seeks a downward departure from the imprisonment range prescribed by the sentencing guidelines and an order amending his sentence to run concurrently with a sentence that he is serving in an unrelated case. For the reasons set forth in this Memorandum- Decision and Order, petitioner's motion is denied.

 BACKGROUND

 In a one-count indictment, petitioner was charged with Illegal Reentry by a Previously Deported Alien, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326. July 11, 1993 Indictment, Document ("Doc.") 5 in Case Number ("No.") 93-CR-254. Prior to sentencing on the Illegal Reentry charge, petitioner was arrested on a federal charge for using false identification to reenter the United States from Canada. Petitioner pled guilty to the latter charge in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York and was sentenced to 7 months in prison. Petitioner's Sentencing Memorandum ("Mem.") of Law, Doc. 21 in Case No. 93-CR-254, at 2. Subsequently, petitioner was sentenced by this court on the illegal reentry charge to 42 months imprisonment, to run consecutively to the sentence imposed in the Western District of New York. November ("Nov.") Minute Entry, Doc. 29 in Case No. 93-CR-254.

 DISCUSSION

 Petitioner brought the instant motion as one for "modification" of his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), "in conjunction" with 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Petitioner's Motion for Modification of Sentence ("Petitioner's Motion"), Doc. 1 in Case No. 95-CV-1311. Because petitioner is proceeding pro se, the court must give him "every reasonable opportunity to demonstrate a valid complaint," Gould v. Russi, 830 F. Supp. 139, 142, (N.D.N.Y. 1993) (McCurn, S.J.) (citing LaBounty v. Adler, 933 F.2d 121, 122 (2d Cir. 1991); Branum v. Clark, 927 F.2d 698, 705 (2d Cir. 1991)), and "must hold pro se complaints to a less rigorous standard than it would hold formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Gould, 830 F. Supp. at 142 (citations omitted).

 A. Procedural Bar

 The court must first determine whether petitioner is procedurally barred from bringing the instant motion. "It is well-settled that where a petitioner does not bring a claim on direct appeal, he is barred from raising the claim in a subsequent § 2255 proceeding unless he can establish both cause for the procedural default and actual prejudice resulting therefrom." Billy-Eko v. United States, 8 F.3d 111, 113-14 (2d Cir. 1993) (citing United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 167-68, 102 S. Ct. 1584, 1594, 71 L. Ed. 2d 816 (1982)). See also Douglas v. United States, 13 F.3d 43, 46 (2d Cir. 1993); Campino v. United States, 968 F.2d 187, 190 (2d Cir. 1992). In the case at bar, the issue is whether petitioner is precluded from seeking relief under section 2255 because there was no direct appeal taken from the judgment. In a recent decision, United States v. Pipitone, 67 F.3d 34 (2d Cir. 1995), the Second Circuit answered that question when the Court held that a petitioner must show "cause and prejudice" if there is a "complete failure to take a direct appeal." Id. at 38 (citing Scott v. United States, 997 F.2d 340, 342 (7th Cir. 1993)).

 Petitioner did not file a direct appeal in the criminal action underlying the instant section 2255 motion and has not stated any reason for the failure to file an appeal. Absent the requisite showing of cause and prejudice, petitioner's collateral attack on the sentence is procedurally barred. Pipitone, 67 F.3d at 38. Therefore, the court denies petitioner's motion to correct the sentence. Assuming, arguendo, that petitioner's motion is not procedurally barred, the court will address the substance of the motion.

 B. Substantive Arguments

 Petitioner bears the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that he is entitled to relief in a collateral attack on his conviction under section 2255. United States v. DiCarlo, 575 F.2d 952, 955 (1st Cir. 1978). Petitioner carries the same burden in showing that he is entitled to an evidentiary hearing. Id. The court may summarily dismiss the motion based upon a review of the record, moving papers and any attached exhibits and affidavits "if it plainly appears . . . that the movant is not entitled to relief." Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Proceedings in the United States District Courts Under Section 2255 of Title 28, United States Code ("Rules Governing § 2255 Proceedings").

 In making a determination whether to hold a hearing or summarily dismiss a section 2255 motion, the court may rely on its own recollections and observations. United States v. Polizzi, 926 F.2d 1311 (2d Cir. 1991). Indeed, "one of the purposes for which Congress passed Section 2255 was to make use of the personal observations of the trial judge of trial occurrences in ruling upon attacks on convictions because of such occurrences." Panico v. United States, 412 F.2d 1151, 1155-56 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 397 U.S. 921, 90 S. Ct. 901, 25 L. Ed. 2d 102 (1969) (citations omitted). Because the record conclusively shows that petitioner is not entitled to relief, the court's decision is made without the benefit of a hearing. 28 U.S.C. § 2255; Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing § 2255 Proceedings.


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.