United States District Court, S.D. New York
Attorney for Plaintiff GEOFFREY S. BERMAN United States
Attorney Russell Capone, Esq.
Attorney for Defendant Defendant, pro se Eric Fernandez
W. SWEET U.S.D.J.
Eric Fernandez ("Fernandez" or the
"Defendant") has moved for a reduction of his
sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) (2) based on
the promulgation of the United States Sentencing
Commission's (the "Sentencing Commission")
Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (the
"Guidelines"). For the reasons set forth below,
Defendant's motion is denied.
regarding Defendant's crime of conviction, plea
agreement, sentencing, and prior habeas petition are
described in previous opinions of the Court. See United
States v. Fernandez, No. 12 Cr. 844 (RWS), 2017 WL
4339657 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 28, 2017); United States v.
Fernandez, No. 12 Cr. 844 (RWS), 2015 WL 1542026
(S.D.N.Y. Apr. 6, 2015). Familiarity is assumed.
April 8, 2015, the Court sentenced Defendant to a term of 135
months' imprisonment. Dkt. No. 256. On September 28,
2017, Defendant's motion to compel specific performance
of his plea agreement with the Government was denied. Dkt.
November 28, 2017, Defendant filed the instant motion, Dkt.
No. 399, which was taken on submission and marked fully
submitted on January 17, 2018.
3582(c) "does not authorize a . . . resentencing
proceeding, " but rather provides for the possibility of
"a limited adjustment to an otherwise final
sentence" following a "two-step approach."
Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 825-27
step one, § 3582(c)(2) requires the court to follow the
[Sentencing] Commission's instructions ... to determine
the prisoner's eligibility for a sentence modification
and the extent of the reduction authorized."
Id. at 827. As to whether the defendant is eligible
for any reduction, "[U.S.S.G.] § 1B1.10(b)(1)
requires the court to begin by 'determining the amended
guideline range that would have been applicable to the
defendant' had the relevant amendment been in effect at
the time of the initial sentencing." Id.
(quoting U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(b)(1) (alteration omitted)).
If "an amendment . . . does not have the effect of
lowering the defendant's applicable guideline range,
" then a "reduction in the defendant's terra of
imprisonment is . . . not authorized under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2)." U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(a) (2) (B).
Similarly, "[c]ourts generally may not reduce the
defendant's term of imprisonment . . . to a term that is
less than the minimum of the amended guidelines range"
produced by the amendment. Dillon, 560 U.S. at 827
(internal quotation marks omitted); United States v.
Erskine, 717 F.3d 131, 137041 (2d Cir. 2013)
(recognizing that Section 1B1.10 prohibits reductions below
the bottom of the amended range, irrespective of departures
or variances granted at the original sentencing).
step two of the inquiry, " if the defendant has been
determined to be eligible, and the extent of his eligibility
has been established, a district court must decide, in light
of the applicable Section 3553(a) factors, whether to grant a
reduction "in whole or in part under the particular
circumstances of the case." Dillon, 560 U.S. at
827. This decision is committed to the court's
discretion. See United States v. Mock, 612 F.3d 133,
137 (2d Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted)
("If, and only if, a defendant is eligible for a
reduction in sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, then the second step of the
analytical framework set forth in Dillon requires
the district court to consider any applicable § 3553(a)
factors and determine whether, in its discretion, the
reduction authorized by reference to the policies relevant at
step one is warranted in whole or in part under the
particular circumstances of the case.").
cases such as here, where a litigant is represented pro
se, the litigant's submissions must be read to
"Iraise the strongest arguments they suggest" and
be held "to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers." Pile v. Columbia
Univ., 332 F.Supp.2d 599, 607 (S.D.N.Y. 2004),
aff'd, 136 Fed.Appx. 383 (2d Cir. 2005)
(citations omitted); see also Triestman v. Federal Bureau
of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (observing
that pro se litigants must be treated with
"special solicitude"). However, a pro se
litigant is not absolved from "compliance with relevant
rules of procedural and substantive law." Id.
(quoting Traguth v. Zuck, 710 F.2d 90, 95 (2d Cir.
Motion for a ...