United States District Court, S.D. New York
August 24, 2004.
FRANKLIN GRULLON, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES. Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN KEENAN, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On August 30, 1995, Franklin Grullon ("Grullon") pleaded guilty
to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery involving an assault
with a dangerous weapon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6),
and one count of using a telephone in connection with the
distribution of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b).
Grullon, a legal resident of the United States since 1984, was
sentenced to the maximum seven years' imprisonment on December
19, 1996. Grullon has petitioned this Court to vacate his
Judgment of Conviction and dismiss the indictment against him
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), specifically
under subsections (2), (3), (4), and (6), as well as through a
writ of coram nobis.
Grullon and sixteen other defendants were initially charged in
an eighty-six count superseding indictment, S2 94 Cr. 466 (JFK)
(the "Indictment"), which was unsealed on November 16, 1994.
Grullon and the other defendants were charged in Counts One and
Two with violating the substantive and conspiracy provisions of
the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"),
18 U.S.C. §§ 1962(c)(d).
Specifically, the Indictment charged that Grullon and his
co-defendants committed and conspired to commit six armed robberies of retail businesses. The Indictment charged Grullon
with six predicate acts of racketeering, as well as non-RICO
offenses arising from those predicate acts, including robbery
(18 U.S.C. § 1951) and use of firearms during and in relation to
violent crimes (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)). If convicted of all of the
charges, Grullon faced more than 100 years' imprisonment.
Grullon faced additional federal charges in Indictment 95 Cr.
25 (RWS). That indictment related to a "dial up" cocaine delivery
service owned by Grullon. According to that indictment,
undercover agents called a telephone number and ordered $20
packets of cocaine, that was then delivered and sold to the
agents. Indictment 95 Cr. 25 charged Grullon with one count of
conspiracy to sell cocaine, in violation of
21 U.S.C. §§ 812(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(c) and 846.
Several defendants pleaded guilty before trial but Grullon and
ten other defendants proceeded to trial on August 9, 1995. During
jury selection, a majority of defendants, through their counsel,
expressed an interest in pleading guilty and actively engaged in
plea negotiations. Ten of the eleven defendants pleaded guilty
between August 9, 1995 and August 24, 1995. On August 29, 1995
Grullon went to trial alone. The following morning, on August 30,
1995, Grullon pleaded guilty before the Honorable Kevin T. Duffy.*fn1
Pursuant to a written plea agreement with the Government,
Grullon pleaded guilty to a two-count superseding information (S
14 94 Cr. 455 (JFK)). Count One of the information charged
Grullon with conspiracy to commit the robbery of Cars & Credit,
located at 1501 Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx, New York (involving
assault with a dangerous weapon, in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 19598(a)(6)). Count Two of the information charged Grullon with
using a telephone to converse with a co-conspirator about the
distribution of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 1843(b). The
plea agreement provided that Grullon's pleas of guilty to the two
charges would be in full satisfaction of the charges pending
against him before this Court and The Honorable Robert W. Sweet.
During the plea allocution, Judge Duffy established that
Grullon understood the charges against him; his right to plead
not guilty and to proceed to trial; and his right to be
represented by counsel throughout his trial. (Transcript of Plea
Allocution ("Plea Tr.") at 3, 11). Judge Duffy read the full
superseding information to Grullon and elicited from Grullon that
he understood the maximum penalties for the charges to which he
was pleading guilty. (Id. at 3-4). The Judge also reviewed with
Grullon the plea agreement that Grullon had signed earlier, and ascertained that Grullon had discussed the plea agreement with
his attorney, Ms. Bobbi Sternheim ("Sternheim"), who was present
in court with him. (Id. at 3).
Judge Duffy also elicited that no one was forcing Grullon to
plead guilty to the charges:
THE COURT: Anyone force you to accept
this arrangement, this plea
agreement or anything like
GRULLON: No, your honor.
(Id. at 17). In addition, Grullon acknowledged that he knew
that a lie during his plea was "a separate crime for which [he]
separately could be punished." (Id. at 12). As to each of the
two counts, Grullon stated, "I plead guilty." (Id. at 13).
Grullon then explained how he had committed the crimes with which
he was charged, and answered questions posed by Judge Duffy. At
the end of the plea allocution, Judge Duffy ruled that Grullon's
"plea of guilty [was] knowing and voluntarily made and has a
basis in fact," and scheduled sentencing for December 21, 1995.
On December 8, 1995, more than three months after entering his
guilty plea, Grullon filed a pro se letter motion to withdraw
his guilty plea and to have Sternheim replaced. Grullon alleged
that Sternheim utilized unethical "boiler room tactics" to push
him to plead guilty, and that she provided him with
constitutionally ineffective assistance. (Application of Franklin Grullon, pro se, dated December 8, 1995).
On January 5, 1996, the Court conferenced the case to address
the issue of Sternheim's continued representation of Grullon. At
the conference, the Court recounted the chronology of events
prior to Grullon's guilty plea. Grullon acknowledged to the Court
that the chronology was accurate, and a colloquy followed, during
which Grullon stated, "Like I told you once before, Bobbi
Sternheim is a good attorney. I can't say she is not a good
attorney." (Transcript of January 5, 1996 Conference, at 5-6)
(hereinafter, "1/5/95 Tr.").
Grullon then told the Court that he had problems with Sternheim
prior to his guilty plea: that "he was not supposed to be
indicted with the Willis Avenue Lynch Mob," that he had no
intention of pleading guilty prior to August 29, and that there
were motions he wanted Sternheim to file and witnesses he had
wanted her to subpoena for trial. (1/5/95 Tr. At 9-10). At the
end of the conference, the Court, with great reluctance
discharged Sternheim and appointed Anthony Ricco, Esq. ("Ricco")
pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act ("CJA"), Grullon's third
On April 11, 1996, over seven months after Grullon pleaded guilty, Ricco, on Grullon's behalf, filed a motion to withdraw
the guilty plea. Grullon supplemented Ricco's motion with copious
submissions of his own in support of this application, in which
he attacked both Sternheim and Ricco and asserted that his guilty
plea was the result of "extreme psychological and mental
pressure." Although Ricco wrote to the Court on two subsequent
occasions, his attorney-client relationship with Grullon
prevented him from challenging Grullon's allegations.
In a written opinion on August 5, 1996, the Court denied
Grullon's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. See United
States v. Grullon, 1996 WL 437956 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 5, 1996). In
that opinion, the Court found that Grullon's claims were belied
by the record, that Grullon's plea was entirely voluntary, and
his claims regarding his former attorneys were baseless. On
September 6, 1996, the Court granted Grullon's application to
discharge Ricco, and appointed Grullon his fourth attorney.
Grullon then filed a second motion to withdraw his guilty plea on
October 8, 1996. The Court denied Grullon's motion in a written
opinion, see United States v. Grullon, 1996 WL 721084
(S.D.N.Y. Dec. 13, 1996), and on December 19, 1996, the Court
sentenced Grullon to a term of seven years' imprisonment,
consistent with the terms of Grullon's written plea agreement.
Grullon subsequently appealed his conviction. On November 17,
1997, the Second Circuit affirmed his conviction. (United States v. Ramon Torres, et al., 129 F.2d 710 (2d Cir. 1997)).
On November 24, 1998, Grullon filed a petition pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255, seeking to vacate his conviction. Additionally,
Grullon filed a motion requesting that the Court recuse itself
from considering the petition. The Court denied Grullon's
petition and recusal motion. See Grullon v. United States,
2001 WL 43603 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 17, 2001). On April 23, 2001, the
Court denied Grullon's request for a certificate of appealability
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253. See Grullon v. United States,
2001 WL 417080 (S.D.N.Y. April 23, 2001). Grullon claims that his
petition to the Second Circuit for a certificate of appealability
was denied on April 5, 2002, and that a motion to re-consider
that decision was denied by the Second Circuit on June 11, 2002,
however, neither are reported. Grullon also claims that on
October 21, 2002, the United States Supreme Court denied his
petition for a writ of certiorari. See Grullon's Motion Under
Rule 60(b) Requesting to Vacate the Defendant's Convictions and
to Dismiss the Above Indictments With Prejudice ("Grullon
Motion") at p. 8.
Finally, in October 2003, Grullon filed the instant motion
pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
seeking to vacate his convictions and to dismiss the indictment
Jurisdiction Grullon raises the same claims in this petition that he
previously raised on appeal and in his § 2255 petition: that
there is a conspiracy involving the attorneys and government
officials in his case, and that the court wrongly convicted him.
Grullon seeks vacatur of the judgment in this criminal case
pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
("Rule 60(b)"). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern only
the procedure in the United States District Courts for suits of a
civil nature however. Fed R. Civ. P. 1. Specifically, Rule 60(b)
does not provide relief from a judgment in a criminal case. The
rule is only available with respect to a previous habeas
proceeding when the motion challenges the integrity of the habeas
proceeding. The rule cannot be used to attack the underlying
criminal conviction. See Harris v. United States,
367 F.3d 74, 77 (citing Rodriguez v. Mitchell, 252 F.3d 191 (2d Cir.
2001). Grullon's arguments attacking the judgments of conviction
and sentence are therefore inappropriately raised, and will not
be reviewed by this Court. Nevertheless, to the extent that
Grullon challenges the habeas proceeding itself, the Court will
consider the Rule 60(b) motion.
Rule 60(b) provides relief from a final judgment in suits of a
civil nature for the following reasons set forth in the rule's
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to
move for a new trial under rule 59(b); (3) fraud
(whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or
extrinsic); (4) the judgment is void; 95) the
judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged,
or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been
reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer
equitable that the judgment should have prospective
application; or (6) any other reason justifying
relief from the operation of the judgment. The motion
shall be made within a reasonable time, and for
reasons (1), (2), and (3) not more than one year
after the judgment order, or proceeding was entered
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). Grullon claims that subsections (2), (3) and
(4) apply to his situation and dictate that the judgment of
conviction be rendered void. According to Grullon, newly
discovered evidence demonstrates that his convictions were
obtained by fraud. Additionally, Grullon seeks relief pursuant to
Grullon's Rule 60(b) Motion Does Not Challenge the Integrity
of the Habeas Proceeding.
Despite Grullon's claim that his Rule 60(b) motion challenges
the integrity of the habeas proceeding, his motion actually
disputes the criminal judgments of conviction and sentence only.
Grullon does not challenge the civil habeas proceeding or offer
any evidence that the proceeding was tainted. Rather, Grullon
simply recasts the same arguments he raised in his petition
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 ("2255"). Once again, assertions of
his factual innocence and a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Grullon claims, pursuant to Rule 60(b)(2), that there was newly
discovered evidence which the District Court failed to address in
the habeas proceeding. The "new evidence" Grullon raises,
however, is the potential testimony of a robbery victim who knew
Grullon personally and who Grullon claims would offer his opinion
of Grullon's innocence. This is not "newly discovered" evidence
pursuant to Rule 60(b), as this potential witness could have been
discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b).
Moreover, the claim was offered and rejected in his various
motions and appeals. Thus, Grullon fails to offer any evidence to
satisfy the rule, and fails to establish a complete claim
pursuant to Rule 60(b)(2).
Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(3), Grullon claims that he was the
victim of fraud perpetrated by the government throughout all of
his criminal proceedings. Notwithstanding Grullon's lack of
evidence for this claim, the claim is inappropriately raised
under Rule 60(b)(3) as it pertains to the criminal proceedings.
As previously stated, Rule 60(b) does not apply to criminal
proceedings. Although the rule may serve to challenge the
integrity of the habeas proceeding, Grullon presents no evidence
of fraud in the habeas proceedings. His claim pursuant to Rule
60(b)(3) is therefore without merit.
Equally flawed is Grullon's claim pursuant to Rule 60(b)(4), asserting that the judgment is void. Again, Grullon fails to
offer any concrete evidence, instead relying on his continued
claims of innocence, that he was coerced into pleading guilty,
and his unsubstantiated claim of governmental fraud.
Grullon's persistent assertion of innocence does nothing to
challenge the civil habeas proceeding and is misplaced. His
claims of coercion and fraud were properly disposed of during
consideration of his habeas petition and not, therefore the
proper subject of a 60(b) motion. Additionally, Grullon claims
that the government breached the plea agreement by ordering him
deported. The plea agreement did not, however, address the
potential issue of deportation. The fact that Grullon is eligible
for deportation is a collateral consequence of his conviction and
not a part of his actual sentence. Because deportation was not a
part of his sentence, it was not a matter contemplated by the
terms of his plea agreement. Furthermore, Grullon's deportation
was ordered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service
("INS"). Although a government office, the INS was not a party to
the plea agreement. Thus, the United States Attorney's Office did
not breach the agreement. Therefore, this claim is likewise
Relief Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) is Inappropriate
Grullon believes he is entitled to relief pursuant to Rule
60(b)(6). He fails, however, to recognize that he is barred from Rule 60(b)(6) relief. The language of Rule 60(b)(6), specifically
the phrase "other reason," has consistently been interpreted by
the courts to mean reasons other than those specified in
subsections (1) through (5) of Rule 60(b). See e.g. Klapprott
v. United States, 335 U.S. 601, 614-15 (1949); Cirami,
563 F.2d 26, 32 (2d Cir. 1977) ("when the reason asserted for relief
comes properly within one of [the first five] clauses, clause (6)
may not be employed to avoid the one year limitation.");
Nemaizer v. Baker, 793 F.2d 58, 63 (2d Cir. 1986) ("(b)(6)
applies only when no other subsection is available"); Schwarz v.
United States, 384 F.2d 838, 835 (2d Cir. 1967). Therefore, by
its plain terms, Rule 60(b)(6) does not apply in this case
because Grullon has sought relief under subsections (2), (3), and
(4), and Grullon is barred from relief pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6).
Even if the Court were to find a legitimate claim pursuant to
Rule 60(b)(6), which it does not, Grullon fails to establish a
situation of extraordinary circumstances required by the rule.
Rodriguez v. Mitchell, 252 F.3d 191, 201 (2d Cir. 2001);
United States v. Cirami, 563 F.2d 26 (2d Cir. 1977) (citing
Ackermann v. United States, 340 U.S. 193, 199 (1950)). In his
motion, Grullon focuses primarily on a claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel to demonstrate an extraordinary
circumstance upon which to contest his pending deportation. An
ineffectiveness of counsel claim, however, is generally sought pursuant to Rule 60(b)(1).
See e.g. Nemaizer v. Baker, 793 F.2d 58, 62 (2d Cir. 1986).
Furthermore, the Second Circuit has rejected the argument that
gross negligence of an attorney provides a basis for Rule
60(b)(6) relief. Cirami, 563 F.2d at 30.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claim is Without Merit
Even if Grullon's ineffective assistance of counsel claim were
properly raised, Grullon fails to satisfy the ineffectiveness
standard established by the Supreme Court. In Strickland v.
Washington, the Supreme Court articulated a two-pronged test to
determine whether a criminal defendant received ineffective
assistance of counsel. See 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984). As
interpreted by the Second Circuit, under this test Grullon must
show: "(1) that counsel's representation fell below an objective
standard of reasonableness measured by the prevailing
professional norms; and (2) that there is a reasonable
probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional performance,
the outcome of the proceeding would have been different." United
States v. Gordon, 156 F.3d 376, 379 (2d cir. 1998) (per curiam).
Grullon's claim of ineffective counsel is predicated on his
belief that his lawyer, Ms. Sternheim, coerced him into pleading
guilty, and that she failed to inform him that deportation was a
possible consequence of his pleading guilty. In considering an ineffective counsel claim, a court need not
accept a petitioner's uncorroborated, self-serving testimony as
true. Slevin v. United States, 71 F.Supp. 2d 348, 356 n. 7
(S.D.N.Y. 1999), aff'd, 234 F.3d 1263 (2d Cir. 2000); see
also Williams v. United States, 481 F.2d 339, 346 (2d Cir.
1973); United States v. Follette, 416 F.2d 156, 163-64 (2d Cir.
1969). In the Second Circuit, it is established that the failure
of the petitioner to submit an affidavit from counsel
corroborating an ineffective assistance of counsel claim provides
sufficient justification to dismiss a petition to vacate a guilty
plea. See e.g., United States v. Santelises, 476 F.2d 787,
790 n3 (2d Cir. 1973); United States v. Welton, 493 F.2d 824,
826 (2d Cir. 1971); Slevin, 71 F.Supp. 2d at 357. Grullon did
not submit an affidavit from his counsel to corroborate his
ineffective assistance of counsel claim and has provided the
Court with only his own uncorroborated testimony.
Nor has Grullon supplied any other form of evidence, as
required by Second Circuit case law, to support his self-serving
testimony of ineffective assistance of counsel. There is no
showing that counsel's performance was ineffective or
unprofessional. In fact, as the record reflects, at the plea
allocution, Judge Duffy specifically asked Grullon if he was
being forced to accept the plea agreement. Grullon replied, "No,
your honor." Further, aside from Grullon's own statements to the Court that he believed his attorney, Sternheim, was a "good
lawyer," the plea agreement which she brokered indicates her
effectiveness. The agreement substantially decreased Grullon's
potential time in prison by up to 1,116 months. Consequently, the
Court finds that Grullon has failed to demonstrate prejudice.
Grullon also alleges that his counsel failed to inform him that
a possible consequence of pleading guilty was deportation. Such a
failure, Grullon contends, provides a basis for an
ineffectiveness of counsel claim. Grullon, however, is mistaken
in his interpretation of the case law on this matter. Deportation
is a collateral consequence of pleading guilty, not a direct one.
See United States v. Olvera, 954 F.2d 788, 793 (2d Cir.
1992). A defendant need not be informed of all of the collateral
consequences of a guilty plea. See United States v.
Santelises, 509 F.2d 703, 704 (2d Cir. 1975) (noting that an
attorney's failure to inform a defendant that a guilty plea may
result in deportation "is of no legal significance"); Russo v.
United States, 173 F.3d 846, **2 (2d Cir. 1999) ("counsel can
not be found ineffective for the mere failure to inform a
defendant of the collateral consequences of a plea, such as
deportation."); Polanco v. United States, 803 F.Supp. 928,
931-32 (S.D.N.Y. 1992); Mastrogiacomo v. United States, 2001 WL
99741 at *3 (S.D.N.Y. July 16, 2001). Grullon incorrectly relies
upon the United States v. Couto, where the Second Circuit held that
ineffective assistance of counsel rendered a guilty plea invalid
because counsel affirmatively misrepresented to the defendant
the deportation consequences of pleading guilty. United States
v. Couto, 311 F.3d 179 (2d Cir. 2002). In this case, however,
there is no evidence that Grullon's attorney affirmatively
misrepresented to him the consequences of pleading guilty. Even
if Grullon's attorney failed to inform him of the possibility of
deportation, which has not been established, that does not render
Grullon's attorney ineffective because deportation remains a
collateral consequence of the guilty plea. Santelises,
509 F.2d 703. Given that Grullon's attorney was not required to inform him
of the possible collateral consequence of deportation, her
alleged failure to do so was not unreasonable. Likewise,
Sternheim's alleged failure to inform does not indicate
prejudice. Thus, Grullon fails to satisfy both prongs of the
Strickland test. Grullon's ineffective counsel claim is denied.
Grullon's Motion is Time-Barred Under Rule 60(b).
Even if this Court were to find relief pursuant to Rule 60(b)
available to Grullon, which it does not, Grullon's motion is not
timely made. Rule 60(b) provides that any motion made under
subsections (1) through (3) "shall be made not more than one year
after the judgment order, order, or proceeding was entered or taken." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60. Relief pursuant to clauses
(4) and (6) of Rule 60(b) must be sought within a reasonable time
period. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60. Grullon's conviction was affirmed by the
Second Circuit on November 17, 1997. See United States v.
Ramon Torres, et al., 129 F.2d 719 (2d Cir. 1997). His
conviction, therefore, became final as of the date upon which he
could no longer file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the
United States Supreme Court, which, pursuant to Rule 13 of the
Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States, was ninety days
after entry of the judgment: February 17, 1998. Grullon filed
this motion more than five years after his conviction became
final. Even if the Court viewed Grullon's motion as properly
directed at the habeas proceeding and order, that judgment order
was entered on January 17, 2001. Grullon has filed this motion
more than two years after the judgment order of his habeas
proceeding was entered. Grullon's motion, therefore, is
time-barred under Rule 60(b).*fn3
Coram Nobis Relief is Inappropriate.
Through his 60(b) motion, Grullon seeks relief pursuant to the
ancient common law doctrine of coram nobis. Although Rule 60(b) is not typically construed as a writ of coram nobis,
because Grullon is a pro se litigant facing deportation, the
Court will afford him liberal construction and the benefit of
such review. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972)
(recognizing that pro se defendants cannot be expected to
navigate the legal system as cleanly as a trained lawyer would;
thus courts are expected to give pro se defendants greater
latitude than they would trained lawyers). "A writ of error coram
nobis is a traditional common-law writ that allowed for the
correction of factual or clerical error in the judgment of a
court by the same court that had rendered judgment." Worlumarti
v. United States, 2002 WL 257817 at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 8, 2002)
(citing Black's Law Dictionary 513 (6th Ed. 1990)). Although
courts are still entitled to exercise coram nobis jurisdiction,
see United States v. Morgan, 346 U.S. 502 (1954), coram
nobis has become a disfavored means of exercising jurisdiction
and the circumstances under which it can be exercised are
narrowly limited. See Carlisle v. United States,
517 U.S. 416, 429 (1996) (stating that it is difficult for the Supreme
Court to imagine a situation in which the exercise of coram
nobis would be necessary or appropriate). Moreover, "coram
nobis is not a substitute for appeal, and relief under the writ
is strictly limited to those cases in which errors . . . of the
most fundamental character have rendered the proceeding itself irregular and invalid." Foont v. United States, 93 F.3d 76, 78
(2d Cir. 1996) (internal quotations omitted). A writ of coram
nobis should only be issued, and thereby litigation that would
otherwise be exhausted continued, when the circumstances compel
its use to right a great injustice. See Morgan,
346 U.S. at 511; Fleming v. United States, 146 F.3d 88, 90 (2d Cir. 1998).
In order for Grullon to be entitled to the relief of the
exercise of coram nobis jurisdiction, he must demonstrate:
"that 1) there are circumstances compelling such action to
achieve justice, 2) sound reasons exist for failure to seek
appropriate earlier relief, and 3) [that he] continues to suffer
legal consequences from his conviction that may be remedied by
granting of the writ." Foont v. United States, 93 F.3d 76, 79
(2d Cir. 1996). Grullon cannot satisfy this standard.
Although Grullon has sought appropriate earlier relief, he
fails to provide evidence of "circumstances compelling" the
exercise of coram nobis jurisdiction because he fails to
establish any occurrence of injustice. The merits of Grullon's
conviction were considered and affirmed on direct appeal. He also
challenged his conviction by filing a petition pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his conviction. Since the date of his
plea, the merits of his conviction have twice been considered. In
each of these proceedings, as in the present motion, the crux of
Grullon's claims have centered on his self-proclaimed innocence and unsubstantiated accusations of a conspiracy. In
each instance his claims have been rejected and his conviction
Nor does Grullon's claim that he was coerced into pleading
guilty indicate a circumstance compelling action to achieve
justice. The claim is advanced devoid of any evidentiary support.
In fact, what evidence there is in the record before the Court
contradicts this assertion. As previously noted, at his plea
allocution, Grullon testified that he understood his right to
trial and counsel and that he was not being forced into the plea
Similarly, Grullon's challenges to his conviction lack any
evidentiary support, and rely simply on his self-proclaimed
innocence. Lacking evidence to establish a compelling
circumstance of injustice, Grullon has failed to satisfy the
standard for exercising coram nobis jurisdiction. Therefore,
the Court finds it inappropriate to exercise coram nobis
For the foregoing reasons, Grullon's petition to vacate his
judgment of conviction is hereby denied. This case is closed and
the Court directs the clerk of the court to remove this case from
the Court's active docket.