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Drayton v. United States

United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama, Northern Division

November 4, 2014

CURTIS LEE DRAYTON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent

Curtis Lee Drayton, Plaintiff, Pro se, YAZOO CITY, MS.

For United States of America, Defendant: A. Clark Morris, LEAD ATTORNEY, Louis V. Franklin, Sr., LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Montgomery, AL; Nathan D. Stump, LEAD ATTORNEY, U S Attorney's Office, Fairview Heights, IL.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

CHARLES S. COODY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

This case is before the court on a pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 filed on October 5, 2014, by federal inmate Curtis Lee Drayton (" Drayton). Drayton challenges the sentence imposed by this court in 1995 upon his conviction for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise and for committing various federal controlled substance offenses.[1] See Criminal Case No. 2:94cr62-MHT. He contends his sentence violates the United States Supreme Court's recent holding in Alleyne v. United States, __ U.S. __, 133 S.Ct. 2151, 186 L.Ed.2d 314 (2013). As now discussed, the court concludes Drayton is not entitled to any relief and his § 2255 motion should be summarily dismissed.

I. DISCUSSION

In his § 2255 motion, Drayton claims his sentence violates the holding in Alleyne v. United States, __ U.S. __, 133 S.Ct. 2151, 186 L.Ed.2d 314 (2013).[2] This is effectively the fifth § 2255 motion filed by Drayton attacking the convictions and/or sentence imposed in Criminal Case No. 2:94cr62-MHT.

Drayton's first such § 2255 motion was filed on March 19, 1999. See Doc. No. 1247 in Criminal Case No. 2:94cr62-MHT. This court decided all claims presented in that initial § 2255 motion adversely to Drayton. See Criminal Case No. 2:94cr62 - Doc. No. 1611, April 30, 2003, Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, adopted as judgment of the court by final order of July 16, 2003 - Doc. No. 1671.

On September 3, 2004, Drayton filed a pleading styled as a " Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence, Pursuant to Rule 35(a) and Rule 36, of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure." See Civil Action No. 2:04cv846-MHT - Doc. No. 1. In that motion, Drayton asserted that the district court had erroneously sentenced him on fewer than all counts of which he was convicted and that, consequently, none of the judgments of conviction in his case were final, his sentence was void, and he was entitled to be resentenced on all counts. Id. Drayton's motion was denied by this court, which found the motion to be of the same legal effect as a collateral attack on his conviction and sentence and, consequently, a successive § 2255 motion filed without certification from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals authorizing this court to consider a successive § 2255 motion. See Id . - Doc. No. 4, December 7, 2004, Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, adopted as judgment of the court by final order of January 1, 2005 - Doc. No. 10.

On January 11, 2006, Drayton filed a pleading styled as a " Motion Under Rule 35(a) and Rule 36 Fed.R.Crim.P. to Correct Sentence for Clear Error, " by which he again challenged his sentence based on arguments and legal theories nearly identical to the ones he set forth in his previous motion. See Civil Action No. 2:06cv65-MHT - Doc. No. 1. Once again, this court found that Drayton had sought relief through a motion with the same legal effect as a successive § 2255 motion, which was due to be summarily dismissed because it was filed without the required certification from the Eleventh Circuit. See Id . - Doc. No. 4, May. 10, 2006, Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, adopted as judgment of the court by final order of May 26, 2006 - Doc. No. 7.

On August 1, 2013, Drayton filed a motion for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, arguing, as he does in the instant § 2255 motion, that his sentence violates the Supreme Court's holding in Alleyne v. United States, __ U.S. __, 133 S.Ct. 2151, 186 L.Ed.2d 314 (2013). See Civil Action No. 2:13cv617-MHT - Doc. No. 1. This court summarily dismissed that motion as a successive § 2255 motion filed without the required certification from the Eleventh Circuit. See Id . - Doc. No. 5, September 12, 2013, Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, adopted as judgment of the court on October 31, 2013 - Doc. No. 7.

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (" AEDPA") provides that, to file a second or successive § 2255 motion in the district court, the movant must first move in the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider the motion. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). The appellate court, in turn, must certify that the second or successive § 2255 motion contains " (1) newly discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense; or (2) a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable." See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h).

The pleadings and documents in this case reflect that Drayton has not received certification from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals authorizing this court to consider a successive § 2255 motion. It is well settled that a district court lacks the jurisdiction to consider a successive § 2255 motion where the movant fails to obtain permission from the appellate court to file a successive motion. See, e.g., Farris v. United States, 333 F.3d 1211, 1216 (11 Cir. 2003); Boone v. Secretary, Dept. of Corrections, 377 F.3d 1315, 1317 (11th Cir. 2004). Accordingly, this court lacks the jurisdiction to consider Drayton's present motion, and the motion is due to be summarily dismissed.

II. CONCLUSION

Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that the § 2255 motion be dismissed, as Drayton has failed to obtain the requisite order from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals authorizing this court to consider a successive § 2255 motion.

It is further

ORDERED that the parties shall file any objections to this Recommendation on or before November 18, 2014. A party must specifically identify the findings in the Recommendation to which objection is made; frivolous, conclusive, or general objections will not be considered. Failure to file written objections to the Magistrate Judge's proposed findings and recommendations shall bar a party from a de novo determination by the District Court of issues covered in the Recommendation and shall bar the party from attacking on appeal factual findings accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon grounds of plain error or manifest injustice. Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404 (5th Cir. 1982). See Stein v. Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 33 (11th Cir. 1982). See also Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981, en banc).


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