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.

Hutton v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

October 6, 2017

KEENAN L. HUTTON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER

          L. Scott Coogler United States District Judge

         I. Introduction

         This is a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed by petitioner Keenan L. Hutton (“Hutton”). (Doc. 1.) Hutton claims that her guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily made and that her defense counsel was ineffective for failing to file a direct appeal after she asked him to. The United States has responded in opposition to Hutton's § 2255 motion but acknowledges that a limited evidentiary hearing is warranted on Hutton's ineffective assistance of counsel claim as it relates to the direct appeal. (Doc. 5.)

         For the reasons set forth below, the § 2255 motion is due to be denied and dismissed as to Hutton's involuntary guilty plea claim, and her ineffective assistance of counsel claim is due to be reserved for an evidentiary hearing.

         II. Background

         On March 26, 2015, Hutton was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).

         On May 26, 2015, Hutton pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement (“the Plea Agreement”). As part of the Plea Agreement, Hutton waived her appellate rights subject to some exceptions, one of which being her right to appeal on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. Hutton's defense counsel, James Gibson of the Federal Public Defender's Office, filed a signed Guilty Plea Advice of Rights Certification, and pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Court addressed Hutton on the record regarding the consequences of her plea and whether it was being knowingly and voluntarily made.

         On November 17, 2016, the Court sentenced Hutton to a below-Sentencing Guidelines sentence of sixty (60) months' custody to run concurrent with two state cases and thirty-six (36) months' supervised release. Hutton agreed to the forfeiture of the involved weapon. Judgment was entered on November 18, 2015. Hutton did not appeal. This is her first motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and she filed it on April 27, 2016.

         III. Discussion

         A. Legal Standard

         In a § 2255 proceeding if a “petitioner alleges facts that, if true, would entitle [her] to relief, then the district court should order an evidentiary hearing and rule on the merits of [her] claim.” Aron v. United States, 291 F.3d 708, 714-15 (11th Cir. 2002) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). However, a district court need not hold an evidentiary hearing if the petitioner's allegations are “patently frivolous, ” “based upon unsupported generalizations, ” or “affirmatively contradicted by the record.” Holmes v. United States, 876 F.2d 1545, 1553 (11th Cir. 1989). The record in this case includes the affidavit filed by Hutton's criminal defense counsel, which the United States attached to its response in opposition to Hutton's motion. (Doc. 5-1.) See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing 2255 Proceedings.

         B. A Limited Evidentiary Hearing is Warranted on Hutton's Claim that Defense Counsel was Ineffective in Relation to a Direct Appeal

         Hutton asserts that her defense counsel's performance was constitutionally deficient because he failed to file a notice of appeal when she requested one after sentencing. However, Assistant Federal Defender James Gibson patently denies Petitioner's assertion. (Gibson Affidavit, Doc. 5-1.) Mr. Gibson swears that he “timely advised Ms. Hutton of her right to appeal, ” and “Ms. Hutton did not request that [he] file an appeal for her.” (Id.)

         Hutton waived certain rights when she entered into her guilty plea, but she did not waive the right to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal or on collateral attack. Moreover, claims of ineffective assistance of counsel may be raised for the first ...


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.