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United States v. Quintero

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 13, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
(23) GALO ERIC QUINTERO, Defendant-Petitioner.

Andrew R. Winter, Steven L. Schleicher, and James S. Alexander, Assistant United States Attorneys, Counsel for Plaintiff-Respondent.

Galo Eric Quintero, pro se.

MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

MICHAEL J. DAVIS, Chief District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Galo Eric Quintero's pro se Motion for Relief from Judgment Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 60(b)(4) [Docket No. 950], which seeks relief from the Court's denial of Petitioner's earlier Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence [Docket No. 883]. Petitioner alleges that the Court violated his due process rights by failing to consider all of the arguments raised in his § 2255 petition.

II. BACKGROUND

On February 20, 2009, a jury found Petitioner guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A), 846, and 851. [See Docket Nos. 566, 567, 700] After his conviction, Petitioner moved for a new trial. [Docket Nos. 569, 570] On June 29, 2009, the Court denied this motion and sentenced Petitioner to an imprisonment term of 300 months. [Docket Nos. 696, 700]

On July 1, 2009, Petitioner filed a direct appeal of his conviction and sentence, arguing that the Court committed plain error in admitting evidence pertaining to firearms found in his brother's possession and evidence relating to his connection to a drive-by shooting; Petitioner also argued that the Court erred at sentencing by imposing a three-level enhancement for Petitioner's role in the offense. [Docket Nos. 703, 865] On June 24, 2010, the Eighth Circuit affirmed Petitioner's conviction and sentence. See United States v. Quintero (sub nom.), 608 F.3d 1049, 1055-56 (8th Cir. 2010).

On April 18, 2011, Petitioner brought a Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence. [Docket No. 883] Petitioner alleged ineffective assistance of counsel on three grounds. The first of these grounds complained of counsel's handling of the jury instruction process: (1) for failing to request a special jury instruction that money laundering was not the indicted charge, and (2) failing to object to the Court's answer to a jury question. The Court denied the § 2255 motion on July 22, 2011. (Mem. Law & Order, Docket No. 893.)

In the Court's Order denying Petitioner's § 2255 motion, the Court addressed the three grounds of Petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Specifically concerning the first ground, the Court concluded that, contrary to Petitioner's claim, counsel did in fact request the money laundering instruction; this request, however, was denied to because the Court found the instruction to be unnecessary. (Id. at 5-7.) The Court did not expressly address the jury question issue in its Order. (See id.) After addressing the other two grounds, the Court concluded that Petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim lacked merit, and the Court denied Petitioner's § 2255 motion. (Id. at 13, 15.)

On March 17, 2014, this Rule 60(b)(4) motion followed. [Docket No. 950] Petitioner requests that this Court re-open the § 2255 motion and vacate his conviction.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard for Rule 60(b) Motions

A Rule 60(b) motion should only be granted "upon an adequate showing of exceptional circumstances." United States v. One Parcel of Prop. Located at Tracts 10 & 11 of Lakeview Heights, Canyon Lake, Comal Cnty., Tex., 51 F.3d 117, 120 (8th Cir. 1995). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(4) allows a court to relieve a party from an order if, among other things, "the judgment is void." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(4). "A judgment is void if the rendering court... acted in a manner inconsistent with due process." United States v. ...


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