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United States v. Clanton

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 1, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
(1) EUGENE MAURICE CLANTON, Defendant.

          Thomas M. Hollenhorst, Assistant United States Attorney, Counsel for Plaintiff.

          Eugene Maurice Clanton, pro se.

          MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner's Independent Action to Obtain Relief from Judgment or Order Pursuant to Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. [Docket No. 69] The Court denies the motion as untimely.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On December 14, 2010, Petitioner Eugene Maurice Clanton was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1). [Docket No. 1] On February 11, 2011, he pled guilty to the indictment. [Docket No. 21] On July 21, 2011, the Court sentenced Clanton to 224 months in prison. [Docket Nos. 33-34]

         Clanton did not appeal his sentence. On July 26, 2012, he filed a Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody. [Docket No. 36] The Court denied Clanton's motion on April 19, 2013. [Docket No. 47] He appealed that ruling, and, on September 16, 2013, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied his application for a certificate of appealability and dismissed his appeal. [Docket No. 53]

         On November 22, 2016, Clanton filed a Motion to Vacate Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [Docket No. 56] On March 10 and 13, 2017, the Eighth Circuit denied authorization for Clanton to file a successive habeas petition. [Docket Nos. 59-62] On April 11, 2017, this Court denied Clanton's successive § 2255 motion because he did not have authorization to file it. [Docket No. 65] On November 21, 2017, the Eighth Circuit denied Clanton's most recent application to file a successive habeas petition. [Docket No. 67]

         On January 23, 2018, Clanton filed the current Independent Action to Obtain Relief from Judgment or Order Pursuant to Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. [Docket No. 69] He asserts three grounds for his motion. First, he claims that, when ruling on his first § 2255 petition, the Court violated 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b) by failing to make findings of fact and conclusions of law. Second, Clanton claims that the Court violated Rule 7 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings by failing to expand the record, failing to require that materials be authenticated, and failing to require that materials be made a part of the record. Third, he asserts that the Court violated Rule 8 of the Rules Governing § 2255 Proceedings by failing to adequately consider whether he was entitled to an evidentiary hearing.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         28 U.S.C. § 2255(a) provides:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

         A petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing on a § 2255 motion, “[u]nless the motion and the files of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). Section 2255(h) provides that a petitioner must obtain certification ...


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