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United States v. Goodwin

June 9, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES C. GOODWIN III, DEFENDANT-MOVANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

Pending before the Court is James C. Goodwin III's ("Goodwin") Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Docket No. 1) and Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Docket No. 3). The Court has reviewed Goodwin's Motion, supporting Memorandum (Docket No. 2), Response to Motion for Extension of Time (Docket No. 9), and the record in the underlying criminal case. For the reasons set forth below, the Court summarily dismisses the § 2255 Motion without requiring a response from the Government.

BACKGROUND

Goodwin pled guilty without a Plea Agreement to one count of possession of child pornography. More specifically, he pled guilty to possession of a computer disk containing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct that had been transported in interstate and foreign commerce. On August 30, 2007, the Court sentenced him to a term of imprisonment of 120 months to be followed by twenty (20) years of supervised release. Judgment (Docket No. 27 in criminal case). He timely appealed various sentencing issues. On July 29, 2008, the Ninth Circuit rejected his arguments and affirmed the Court's Judgment. USCA Mem. Dec. (Docket No. 37 in criminal case). Goodwin did not file a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

On March 12, 2010, Goodwin filed the pending § 2255 Motion alleging that the Government had insufficient evidence and lacked jurisdiction to charge the offense, that the Court lacked jurisdiction to impose sentence, that counsel was ineffective, and that he was actually innocent of the offense. He premised his arguments on all points on the contention that there was no evidence establishing the requisite interstate commerce element of the offense.*fn1

STANDARD OF LAW

Title 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provides four grounds under which a federal court may grant relief to a federal prisoner in custody who challenges the imposition or length of his or her incarceration: (1) "that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States;" (2) "that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence;" (3) "that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law;" and (4) that the sentence is otherwise "subject to collateral attack." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a) (emphasis added).

Generally, motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 must be filed within one year of "the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final." See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1).*fn2 In a case, such as the present one, where an appeal from the federal conviction was pursued in the Ninth Circuit but no petition for certiorari was pursued in the United States Supreme Court, the conviction becomes final, and the one-year period within which to file a § 2255 motion begins to run, ninety days after the Ninth Circuit's judgment is entered (i.e.,the time allowed to file for certiorari in the Supreme Court). See United States v. Aguirre-Ganceda, 592 F.3d 1043, 1045 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 527 (2003)). See also United States v. Garcia, 210 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

The Ninth Circuit entered its Judgment affirming Goodwin's conviction on July 29, 2008. Therefore, Goodwin's conviction became final on October 27, 2008 (i.e., ninety days after the Ninth Circuit's Judgment was entered) and the deadline for filing his § 2255 motion was therefore October 27, 2009. However, Goodwin did not file his § 2255 Motion until March 12, 2010, almost six months after that deadline had passed.

In apparent recognition that his § 2255 Motion was untimely, Goodwin asserted therein that it was timely because jurisdictional claims may not be defaulted, that a defendant need not show cause to justify his failure to raise a jurisdictional claim, and that he is actually innocent. He continued those arguments in his Response to the Government's Motion for Extension of Time.

Response to Motion for Extension (Docket No. 9 in civil case). Goodwin's arguments are without merit.

A. Statute of Limitations

Section 2255 does not exclude jurisdictional claims from the one-year limitations period. "Nothing in the language of § 2255 suggests that jurisdictional challenges are exempt from the one-year limitations period. To the contrary, § 2255(f) explicitly states that the limitations period 'shall apply' to all motions made under § 2255." Barreto-Barreto v. United States, 551 F.3d 95 (1st Cir. 2008). See also United States v. Williams, 2009 WL 3230399 (N.D. Fla. Oct. 2 2009); Drobil v. Barnhart, ...


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