United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SUSAN RUSS WALKER, Chief Magistrate Judge.
Jacqueline Slaton ("Slaton") is before the court on a pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Doc. Nos. 2 & 4.
On July 5, 2012, Slaton pled guilty under a plea agreement to one count of filing false claims against the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. The plea agreement contained a waiver of Slaton's right to appeal or collaterally challenge her conviction and sentence except on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct. Gov. Ex. 2 at 6-7. Following a sentencing hearing on October 23, 2012, the district court sentenced Slaton to 70 months in prison, comprising 46 months for the false-claims count and a consecutive 24-month term for aggravated identity theft. Slaton took no direct appeal.
In her § 2255 motion, Slaton claims:
(1) the district court erred by applying a 10-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(1), based on a finding that the amount of loss attributable to her was between $120, 000 and $200, 000, when the restitution amount ordered by the court was only $102, 573; and
(2) the facts of her case do not support a conviction for aggravated identity theft because she did not "steal" the identification information of the individuals under whose names she filed fraudulent tax returns and she did not directly communicate with those individuals in obtaining their identification information.
Doc. No. 2 at 1; Doc. No. 4 at 4-6.
The Government argues that Slaton's claim that the district court attributed an improper loss amount to her under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(1) is a nonconstitutional claim not subject to collateral review and, in any event, lacks merit. Doc. No. 7 at 3-5. The Government argues that Slaton's claim that the aggravated identity theft charge was improper also lacks merit. Id. at 5-7.
Based on the court's consideration of the parties' submissions, the record, and the applicable law, the court concludes that an evidentiary hearing is not required and that, pursuant to Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings in the United States District Courts, Slaton's § 2255 motion should be denied.
A. General Standard of Review
Because collateral review is not a substitute for direct appeal, the grounds for collateral attack on final judgments under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 are limited. A prisoner is entitled to relief under § 2255 if the court imposed a sentence that (1) violated the Constitution or laws of the United States, (2) exceeded its jurisdiction, (3) exceeded the maximum authorized by law, or (4) is otherwise subject to collateral attack. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255; United States v. Phillips, 225 F.3d 1198, 1199 (11th Cir. 2000); United States v. Walker, 198 F.3d 811, 813 n.5 (11th Cir. 1999). "Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is reserved for transgressions of constitutional rights and for that narrow compass of other injury that could not ...