United States District Court, D. New Mexico
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED
HONORABLE CARMEN E. GARZA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner Eric Lamont
Johnson's Motion to Amend (the
“Motion”), (CV Doc. 26), filed May 1,
2017. United States District Judge Martha
Vazquez referred this case to Magistrate Judge Carmen E.
Garza to perform legal analysis and recommend an ultimate
disposition. (CV Doc. 11). Having considered Petitioner's
Motion and the relevant law, the Court RECOMMENDS that
Petitioner's Motion be DENIED.
9, 2016, Petitioner filed a Motion under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in
Federal Custody (the “2255 Motion”), (CV
Doc. 1). Petitioner argued that following the Supreme
Court's ruling in Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015), that the residual clause in the Armed
Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) is
unconstitutionally vague, he was entitled to be resentenced
without being considered a career offender. (CV Doc. 1 at
4-5, 12). Petitioner was not sentenced under the ACCA though;
he was sentenced in reliance on the United States Sentencing
Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.” or
“Guidelines”). (CV Doc. 5 at 8; CR Doc. 235 at 3-
4). Petitioner argued that Johnson applied to the
residual clause in Guidelines § 4B1.2 and that he should
not have been deemed a career offender. (CV Doc. 5 at 8-9; CV
Doc. 9 at 4-6).
March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States held
that Johnson does not apply to the Guidelines.
Beckles v. U.S., 137 S.Ct. 886, 890 (2017). The
Supreme Court concluded that because of their advisory
nature, the Guidelines are not subject to vagueness
challenges. Id. Accordingly, on April 27, 2017,
Petitioner's 2255 Motion was denied, as the basis of
Petitioner's argument had been explicitly rejected by the
Supreme Court. (CV Doc. 24 at 4-6).
days later, the instant Motion was filed. (CV Doc. 26).
Although Petitioner titled the Motion a “Motion to
Amend” and stated in the Motion that he is
“requesting to be allowed to amend his petition,
” Petitioner does not propose any amendment. Rather,
Petitioner cites Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct.
2243 (2016), in support of his argument that he should be
resentenced. (CV Doc. 26 at 2-4). In Mathis, the
Supreme Court clarified aspects of the categorical approach
and modified categorical approach, which are used to
determine if prior convictions are for “crimes of
violence.” Mathis, 136 S.Ct. at 2248-50.
Specifically, the Supreme Court distinguished between
“elements” and “means, ” and held
that the categorical approach involves comparing only
“elements” and not “means.”
Id. at 2248, 2257. The Mathis opinion does
not discuss or express any opinion on the Guidelines or
of how it is styled, courts consider a motion filed within
 days of the entry of judgment that questions the
correctness of the judgment to be a Rule 59(e) motion.”
Trotter v. Regents of Univ. of N.M., 219 F.3d 1179,
1183 (10th Cir. 2000); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e).
This includes motions for leave to file an amended complaint
or motions for leave to amend the complaint. See Vreeken
v. Davis, 718 F.2d 343, 345 (10th Cir. 1983) (motion for
leave to file amended complaint); Quartana v.
Utterback, 789 F.2d 1297, 1300 (8th Cir. 1986) (motion
to amend complaint). The purpose of a motion under Rule 59(e)
is to correct manifest errors of law or to present new
evidence. Monge v. RG Petro-Machinery (Group) Co.
Ltd., 701 F.3d 598, 611 (10th Cir. 2012). “Grounds
for granting a Rule 59(e) motion include (1) an intervening
change in the controlling law, (2) new evidence previously
unavailable, and (3) the need to correct clear error or
prevent manifest injustice.” Somerlott v. Cherokee
Nation Distributors, Inc., 686 F.3d 1144, 1153 (10th
noted, Petitioner does not move to amend his petition to add
any new allegations or present any new evidence. Petitioner
only cites Mathis and maintains that his prior
conviction for being a prisoner in possession of a weapon
does not qualify as a crime of violence. (CV Doc. 26 at 3).
However, Mathis is unavailing for Petitioner.
Mathis did hold that Iowa burglary is not a violent
felony under the ACCA. See Mathis, 136 S.Ct. at
2551. But Mathis did not express any opinion about a
conviction for being a prisoner in possession of a weapon.
Further, Mathis, which was decided nearly a year
prior to Beckles, did not express anything
undermining the holding in Beckles that
Johnson does not apply to the Guidelines.
Beckles, 137 S.Ct. at 892. Thus, Petitioner has not
presented an intervening change in controlling law,
previously unavailable evidence, or any clear error or
manifest injustice. Consequently, the Court recommends
denying Petitioner's Motion.
foregoing reasons, the Court finds that Petitioner has not
presented any grounds warranting granting his Motion. IT IS
THEREFORE RECOMMENDED that Petitioner's Motion to
Amend (the “Motion”), (CV Doc. 26), be
PARTIES ARE FURTHER NOTIFIED THAT WITHIN 14 DAYS OF SERVICE
of a copy of these Proposed Findings and Recommended
Disposition they may file written objections with the Clerk
of the District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
A party must file any objections with the Clerk of the
District Court within the fourteen-day period if that party
wants to have appellate review of the proposed findings and
recommended disposition. If no objections are filed, no
[appellate review will be allowed. |