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Jones v. United States

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

May 6, 2019

TIMOTHY LOUIS JONES, JR., Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION

          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 Timothy Louis Jones, Jr. (“Jones”) on April 17, 2019. (Doc. 1.) Pursuant to § 2255(b) and Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings, this Court has conducted a preliminary review of the motion and determines that it is due to be denied and this action dismissed.

         II. Background

         On May 28, 2015, Jones was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) in case number 2:15-cr-000145-LSC-TMP-1, stemming out of an incident taking place on or about October 2, 2013. Jones pleaded guilty to that charge, pursuant to a written plea agreement, on November 5, 2015.

         On November 30, 2015, Jones was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) in case number 2:15-cr-000397-LSC-JHE-1, stemming out of a different incident and arrest that took place on or about March 26, 2015. He also pleaded guilty to that charge, pursuant to a written plea agreement, on January 26, 2016.

         This Court conducted Jones's sentencing hearing for both cases on March 8, 2016. For case number 2:15-cr-00145-LSC-TMP-1, Jones was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 63 months to run consecutive to all other cases. For case number 2:15-cr-00397-LSC-JHE-1, Jones was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 63 months to run concurrently with Jefferson County, Alabama Court cases CC 15-3086, DC 15-2901, and DC 15-2903 through 15-2905, and to run consecutive to the judgment in case number 2:15-cr-00145-LSC-TMP-1 and all other state court cases.

         Judgment was entered on March 9, 2016. Jones did not appeal.

         On April 17, 2019, Williams signed his § 2255 motion, which was filed into the record several days later.[1] Jones indicates that he is challenging the convictions and sentences in both criminal cases. (See doc. 1 at 1.) The Clerk has docketed the § 2255 motion in both criminal cases. (See doc. 24 in 2:15-cr-00145-LSC-TMP-1 and doc. 19 in 2:15-cr-000397-LSC-JHE-1). Jones complains about the performance of his criminal defense counsel in both cases as well as the fact that his sentences in each case were ordered to run consecutively to, rather than concurrently with, each other. He also asks for additional time to file a supplemental brief in support of his claims.

         Jones remains in custody.

         III. Discussion

         Jones's § 2255 motion is untimely on its face. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) creates a strict one-year limitation for § 2255 petitioners, such that Jones was obligated to file his motion no later than one year after “the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1). A federal criminal judgment that is not appealed becomes final for the purpose of § 2255 when the time for filing a direct appeal expires. See, e.g., Murphy v. United States, 634 F.3d 1303, 1307 (11th Cir. 2011). Therefore, Jones's convictions became final on March 23, 2016, 14 days after this Court entered judgment. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(b)(1)(A). In waiting to file the instant motion until April 2019, Jones has run afoul of the one-year limitation period found in § 2255(f)(1).

         The statute provides for alternative triggers for the one-year period where “the movant was prevented from making a motion by . . . government action, ” where a “right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable, ” or where the claim was based on newly-discovered facts. § 2255(f)(2)-(4). Jones has not alleged, and there is no reason to believe, that any of those circumstances are applicable here; therefore, his AEDPA clock commenced running when his judgment of conviction became final.

         In sum, relief under § 2255 is not warranted here because Jones's motion is barred by the ...


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