United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge
Rodney Pittman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to
distribute controlled substances and two counts of
distributing cocaine base. The Court sentenced him to 90
months in prison and three years of supervised release. ECF
No. 478. On July 31, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals
for the Eighth Circuit affirmed Pittman's sentence on
direct appeal. ECF Nos. 505, 506.
matter is before the Court on a filing from Pittman entitled
“Appeal from U.S. District Court for the District of
Minnesota.” ECF No. 507. In the filing, Pittman
requests “another” extension of time because the
prison where he is incarcerated is on lockdown and he lacks
access to his legal paperwork. Pittman also refers to a
“first petition” raising claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel and a “second petition”
raising claims about a sentencing enhancement (presumably the
Court's finding that he is a career offender under §
4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines).
Court has not received any petitions of any kind from
Pittman, nor has it granted any extensions of time for any
anticipated filings. It is therefore unclear what Pittman is
talking about. To the extent Pittman may be seeking an
extension of time in which to file a motion under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, however, the Court notes two things:
because Pittman has not yet filed a § 2255 motion, the
Court lacks jurisdiction over a motion for an extension of
time to file a § 2255 motion. United States v.
Asakevich, 810 F.3d 418, 421 (6th Cir. 2016) (noting
that the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eleventh, and District
of Columbia Circuits have all held that district courts lack
authority to entertain motions for extensions to file a
§ 2255 motion in the absence of a pending § 2255
motion); but see United States v. Thomas, 713 F.3d
165, 174 (3d Cir. 2013) (holding that district courts have
authority to rule on motions for extensions of time before a
§ 2255 motion is filed).
as the Eighth Circuit disposed of Pittman's direct appeal
just over a month ago, the statute of limitations for Pittman
to file a § 2255 motion has not yet begun to run.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1); Clay v. United
States, 537 U.S. 522, 527 (2003) (a conviction becomes
final when the Supreme Court either denies a petition for a
writ of certiorari or affirms the conviction on direct review
or, if a petition is never filed, when the time for filing
such a petition expires).
short, to the extent Pittman may be seeking an extension of
time to file a § 2255 motion, the Court lacks
jurisdiction over such a request and in any event no
extension is warranted. It appears to the Court, however,
that Pittman may not actually be seeking an extension of time
to file a § 2255 motion. Instead, it appears that he may
have intended to submit his filing to the Eighth Circuit. The
Eighth Circuit recently granted Pittman an extension of time
in which to file a pro se petition for rehearing. United
States v. Pittman, No. 18-3048 (8th Cir. Aug. 16, 2019)
(order granting extension of time). As Pittman's current
filing is labeled an “appeal, ” and as it
requests a “second” extension, it appears likely
that this filing is related to his intended petition for a
rehearing before the Eighth Circuit. Notably, Pittman's
first request for an extension was submitted through counsel
and there are no other pro se filings on the Eighth
Circuit's docket, suggesting that Pittman may be confused
as to where to direct his appellate filings. The Court will
therefore deny his motion without prejudice to the extent
that it seeks an extension of time from this Court and will
transfer his motion to the Eighth Circuit.
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
Defendant's motion for an extension of time [ECF No. 507]
is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to the extent that it seeks an
extension of time to file a motion under 28 U.S.C. §
motion [ECF No. 507] is TRANSFERRED to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Where the motion for an extension of
time contains sufficient detail about the proposed claims for
relief, a district court should consider whether to construe
it as a § 2255 motion. United States v.
Asakevich, 810 F.3d 418, 424 (6th Cir. 2016). Although
Pittman's motion contains references to claims he intends
to bring, it is plain that Pittman does not intend this
filing to constitute a § 2255 motion. As discussed
below, Pittman has ample time to file any future § 2255
motion and this filing likely relates to his current effort
to secure a rehearing from the Eighth Circuit. Construing
this filing as a § 2255 motion would therefore likely
lead to confusion and delay. See generally Castro v.
United States, 540 U.S. 375 (2003) (discussing the
pitfalls of construing a ...