United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant/Movant's Motion to Vacate,
Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. Civil Dkt. 1; Crim. Dkt. 531. For the following
reasons, the Court will deny the motion without a hearing.
February 25, 2016, Defendant/Movant, Mr. Linares plead guilty
to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamme, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(c), 846
(Count One). Crim. Dkts. 1, 413, 414. At sentencing, the
Court calculated Mr. Linares' total combined offense
level of 32 with a Criminal History Category of IV. As such,
Count One carried a guideline range of 168-210 months of
March 8, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to withdraw his
guilty plea. An evidentiary hearing was held on September 7,
2016 and this Court denied Mr. Linares' motion finding
that Mr. Linares "participated in his plea negotiations,
and willingly signed a plea agreement he understood."
Crim. Dkt. 497. Mr. Linares fully reviewed the agreement in
Spanish and with an interpreter. Id. Although he
"ultimately received a recommended base offense level he
did not want, [that alone] is not grounds for withdrawal of
the guilty plea." Id. at 3. On November 1,
2016, Defendant was sentenced tol20months.Crim. Dkt.512.
Linares now challenges the constitutionality of his sentence
on numerous grounds, including ineffective assistance of
counsel and due process claims. Crim. Dkt. 531 at 3; Civil
Dkt. 1 at 3. Mr. Linares argues he received ineffective
assistance of counsel and, had he not relied on false
information provided by his attorney, he would not have pled
guilty. Mr. Linares further argues that the Court's
denial of his request to withdraw his guilty plea was
erroneous. Crim. Dkt. 531 at 4-9; Civil Dkt. 1 at
Section 2255 Standard
state a cognizable claim under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a
movant must assert (1) that he or she is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States,
(2) that the district court lacked jurisdiction, (3) that the
sentence exceeded the maximum allowed by law, or (4) that the
sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255(a). In detraining whether a § 2255 motion
requires a hearing, "[t]he standard essentially is
whether the movant has made specific factual allegations
that, if true, state a claim on which relief could be
granted." United States v. Withers, 638 F.3d
1055, 1062 (9th Cir. 2011).
4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings provides
that a federal district judge may dismiss a § 2255
motion "[i]f it plainly appears from the fact of the
motion and any annexed exhibits and the prior proceedings in
the case that the movant is not entitled to relief."
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Standard
well-established two-prong test for evaluating ineffective
assistance of counsel claims is (1) deficient performance and
(2) resulting prejudice. See Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). More specifically, to
prevail on an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, a
defendant must show that counsel's performance "fell
below an objective standard of reasonableness" and that
"there is a reasonable probability that, but for
counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the
proceeding would have been different." Id. at
688, 697; see also Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 695
(2002). Mere conclusory allegations are insufficient to state
a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. See Shah v.
United States, 878 F.2d 1156, 1161 (9th Cir. 1989).
order to establish deficient performance, a defendant must
show that "counsel's conduct so undermined the
proper functioning of the adversarial process that the trial
cannot be relied on as having produced a just result[;]"
or that "counsel made errors so serious that counsel was
not functioning as 'counsel' guaranteed the defendant
by the Sixth Amendment." Strickland, 466 U.S.
at 686-87. Under the performance prong, there is a strong
presumption that counsel's performance falls "with
the wide range of reasonable professional assistance."
Id. at 689. The presumption exists for the reason
being that, for the defendant, "[i]t is all too tempting
... to second-guess counsel's assistance after conviction
or adverse sentence...." Id. For the Court,
"it is all too easy to ...