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United States v. Pierre

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 7, 2020

United States of America, Respondent-Plaintiff,
v.
Frantz Pierre, Petitioner-Defendant.

          Frantz Pierre, Petitioner-Defendant, Pro Se.

          Joseph H. Thompson, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, counsel for the Government.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner-Defendant Frantz Pierre's (“Petitioner-Defendant”) self-styled pro se motion to reopen habeas proceedings in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). (Doc. No. 412.) The United States of America (the “Government”) opposes Petitioner-Defendant's motion. (Doc. No. 416.)

         Petitioner-Defendant asserts that his conviction should be vacated on two grounds. First, he claims that the Court violated Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure when it requested that Government's counsel conduct portions of the colloquy during Petitioner-Defendant's change of plea hearing. Second, he claims that his lawyer provided ineffective assistance in that he failed to allow Petitioner-Defendant to enter a conditional plea of guilty that would have allowed Petitioner-Defendant to appeal the Court's denial of previous motions by the defense. The Government notes that the Eighth Circuit has affirmed the Court's denial of Petitioner-Defendant's motion to dismiss and Petitioner-Defendant's conviction and sentence. Further, the Government points out that Petitioner-Defendant's first petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, alleging the same grounds for relief, was denied on the merits.

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court respectfully denies Petitioner-Defendant's motion.

         BACKGROUND

         An abbreviated version of the procedural history and record is provided because the Court examined both at length in its Memorandum and Order denying Petitioner-Defendant's previous challenge to his sentence. (Doc. No. 400.)

         On June 9, 2016, Petitioner-Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 210 months in prison. (Doc. No. 343 at 1.) All but 36 months of that sentence were to run concurrently to the 208-month sentence imposed in the Southern District of Florida. (Id. at 2.) Additionally, Petitioner-Defendant was sentenced to 3 years of supervised release. (Id. at 3.)

         Petitioner-Defendant filed a pro se motion on June 29, 2018 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. No. 388.) He first asserted that the Court violated Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure when it asked the Assistant United States Attorney to conduct portions of the colloquy during the change of plea hearing. (Id. at 3.) Second, Petitioner-Defendant asserted that his attorney was ineffective for failing to allow him to enter into a conditional guilty plea which would allow him to appeal this Court's denial of his motion to dismiss on double jeopardy and denial of his motion to suppress bank records. (Id.)

         This Court denied the motion on October 18, 2018, reasoning that the record entirely foreclosed any notion or finding that Petitioner-Defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel under Strickland. (Doc. No. 400.) Not only was there not any actual prejudice to Petitioner-Defendant, but based on the record, the Court could not envision any evidence that it could have received or any procedures it could have followed that would have affected the outcome of the case. (Id.) The Court required no evidentiary hearing to reach this conclusion, and no certificate of appealability was issued. (Id.) The Eighth Circuit denied Petitioner-Defendant's application for a certificate of appealability on March 15, 2019. (Doc. No. 410.)

         In this motion, Petitioner-Defendant now asserts the same claims under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which have already been rejected by both this Court and the Eighth Circuit. (Doc. No. 412; United States v. Pierre, 870 F.3d 845 (8th Cir. 2017).) The Government opposes Petitioner-Defendant's motion, arguing that Petitioner-Defendant raises no new issues or arguments under Rule 60(b) that were not already denied in his § 2255 petition. (Doc. No. 416.) Petitioner-Defendant rebuts the Government's arguments in his most recently filed pleading, conceding that the Government is correct that he “does not raise new arguments, ” but states that it would be improper for him to do so under Rule 60(b), and ...


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