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Sumerlin v. United States

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

November 9, 2017

MICHAEL DONNELL SUMERLIN Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION

          L. SCOTT COOGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Michael Sumerlin (“Sumerlin”) seeks to have his sentence vacated, set aside, or otherwise corrected pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Docs. 1 & 2.) The Government has filed a Motion to Dismiss this action as time-barred. (Doc. 4.) For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss will be granted, the § 2255 motion will be denied as time-barred, and this action will be dismissed with prejudice.

         I. Background

         On July 1, 2009, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Alabama returned a one-count indictment charging Sumerlin with committing the crime of Possession with the Intent to Distribute 50 grams or More of a Mixture and Substance Containing Cocaine Base, more commonly referred to as “Crack” Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A). The indictment was unsealed on July 20, 2009, upon Sumerlin's initial appearance on the charges. On August 7, 2009, the government filed a Notice of Prior Felony Drug Convictions pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851. After the notice of prior convictions, Sumerlin faced a mandatory life sentence upon conviction of the charge in the indictment.

         On January 11, 2010, Sumerlin's jury trial commenced and he was convicted on January 12, 2010. On August 5, 2010, this Court imposed a custodial sentence of life. Judgment was entered on August 6, 2010.

         On August 12, 2010, Sumerlin filed a notice of appeal. On October 29, 2012, after issuance of a mandate from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Sumerlin's sentence was vacated and remanded pursuant to the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 and the reduction in the cocaine base guidelines.

         On January 8, 2013, this Court re-sentenced Sumerlin to 15 years' imprisonment and 96 months' supervised release. On January 11, 2013, judgment was entered.

         Sumerlin did not appeal the conviction/judgment of January 11, 2013. Sumerlin did not file the instant habeas motion until June 10, 2017.[1]

         II. Discussion

         The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) provides for a one-year period in which a motion for post-conviction relief under § 2255 must be filed. Under the AEDPA, the one-year period in which to file a motion under § 2255 begins to run from the latest of four events:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making such a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

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