from the United States District Court No.
1:15-cr-00107-JRH-BKE-4 for the Southern District of Georgia
WILSON and BRANCH, Circuit Judges, and VINSON, [*] District Judge.
BRANCH, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Lee Padgett purports to bring a direct criminal appeal,
asserting the government breached the terms of their plea
agreement. The government has moved to dismiss for failure to
file a timely notice of appeal.
sentencing, Padgett filed an untitled document in the
district court stating her intent to file a collateral
attack. We conclude that this filing reflected Padgett's
understanding of her waiver of a direct appeal under the plea
agreement. Moreover, we conclude that the filing did not
comply with the jurisdictional requirements for a notice of
appeal under Rule 3 of the Federal Rules of Appellate
Procedure. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal for lack of
Padgett's Plea Agreement and Sentencing
was indicted as a participant in a drug-trafficking
conspiracy. In the indictment, she was charged with
conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1), 846 (Count 1); possession with intent
to distribute a controlled substance, 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B), (b)(1)(C) (Count 8); possession of a
firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i) (Count 10); and possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g),
924(a)(2) (Count 11).
later signed a plea agreement in which she agreed to plead
guilty to Counts 1 and 11 and the government agreed to drop
the other counts. The agreement contained a comprehensive
Defendant entirely waives her right to a direct appeal of her
conviction and sentence on any ground. The only exceptions
are that the Defendant may file a direct appeal of her
sentence if (1) the court enters a sentence above the
statutory maximum, (2) the court enters a sentence above the
advisory Sentencing Guidelines range found to apply by the
court at sentencing; or (3) the Government appeals the
sentence. Absent those exceptions, Defendant explicitly and
irrevocably instructs her attorney not to file an appeal.
further waived her right to collateral attacks-except for an
attack based on ineffective assistance of counsel:
Defendant entirely waives her right to collaterally attack
her conviction and sentence on any ground and by any method,
including but not limited to a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion.
The only exception is that the Defendant may collaterally
attack her conviction and sentence based on a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel.
plea agreement also contained a provision that said,
"The government will not object to a recommendation by
the U.S. Probation Office that Defendant receive a two-level
reduction in offense level for acceptance of responsibility .
. . ."
government's breach of that final provision is what would
be at issue in this appeal if we had jurisdiction over it. At
sentencing, the government objected to the
acceptance-of-responsibility recommendation based on
Padgett's conduct in jail, which it said it learned of
the day before sentencing. Padgett, the government alleged,
had committed the state-law crime of interference with
government property. The government said she intentionally
clogged her toilet to flood her cell and then smeared feces
on the wall. Padgett's attorney objected to evidence
about the incident based on relevance, not based on surprise,
and the district court overruled that objection. Her counsel
later reiterated that he had not had an opportunity to review
the government's evidence and was ...