United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER
LYNN WINMILL U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff Raymond Camacho's Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside or Correct By A Person in Federal Custody
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Civ. Dkt. 4). The motion
is fully briefed and at issue. Having reviewed and considered
the motion and the Government's response, the Court will
deny the § 2255 motion and dismiss the action without a
February 28, 2012 Raymond Camacho was charged in Counts I-IV
and XI of a twelve-count superseding indictment for
conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, three counts of
possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and
illegal re-entry by a removed alien. See Crim. Dkt. 36. On
January 24, 2013 Mr. Camacho pled guilty to Count Four of the
Superseding Indictment-possession with intent to distribute
more than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine in violation of
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(I)(A). Counsel for Mr.
Camacho moved to withdraw from the case on June 23, 2013
because the attorney-client relationship had broken down. See
Crim. Dkt. 292. After a hearing, the Court granted the motion
to withdraw on July 3, 2013. Crim. Dkt. 294. Upon receiving
new counsel Mr. Camacho filed a motion to withdraw his plea
of guilty, which was denied by the Court on October 16, 2013.
Crim. Dkts. 306, 321. On January 16, 2014 Mr. Camacho was
sentenced to 360 months imprisonment and five years
supervised release to run concurrently with the sentence in
case No. 4:12-cr-15. Crim. Dkt. 341.
Camacho appealed his conviction and sentence, arguing his
innocence, and that intimidation and misrepresentations of
the law by his attorney rendered his guilty plea invalid. See
Crim. Dkt. 344. On April 23, 2014 the Ninth Circuit denied
Mr. Camacho's appeal. See Crim Dkt. 374. Separately,
based on retroactive changes to the sentencing guidelines,
the Court later reduced Mr. Camacho's sentence from 360
to 291 months on November 17, 2015. See Crim. Dkt. 385. On
June 27, 2016 Mr. Camacho filed his first motion to correct
sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, the amended version of
which is now before the Court. For the reasons that follow,
the Court will deny the motion without a hearing.
Standard for 28 U.S.C. § 2255
U.S.C. § 2255 provides four grounds on which a court may
grant relief to a federal prisoner who challenges the
imposition or length of his or her custody: (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.” Mr.
Camacho challenges his sentence under the first ground for
relief under Section 2255.
4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings provides
that a court may summarily dismiss a § 2255 motion
“[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the motion
and any annexed exhibits and the prior proceedings in the
case that the movant is not entitled to relief.” A
court need not hold an evidentiary hearing in a § 2255
case “when the issue of the prisoner's credibility
can be conclusively decided on the basis of documentary
testimony and evidence in the record.” Frazer v.
United States, 18 F.3d 778, 781 (9th Cir. 1994). The
court may dismiss the § 2255 motion at other stages of
the proceeding such as pursuant to a motion by respondent,
after consideration of the answer and motion, or after
consideration of the pleadings and an expanded record. See
Advisory Committee Notes following Rule 8 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254, incorporated by reference into the
Advisory Committee Notes following Rule 8 of the Rules
Governing 2255. If the court does not dismiss the proceeding,
the court then determines, pursuant to Rule 8, whether an
evidentiary hearing is required. A hearing is not required
if, in light of the record, the movant's allegations are
“palpably incredible or patently frivolous.”
Joseph v. United States, 583 Fed.Appx. 830, 831 (9th
Cir. 2014)(citing United States v. Mejia-Mesa, 153
F.3d 925, 931 (9th Cir.1998)).
Standard for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
establish ineffective assistance of counsel, Mr. Camacho must
show (1) that his “counsel's representation fell
below an objective standard of reasonableness, ” and
(2) that there is a “reasonable probability” that
the deficient performance prejudiced the defense.
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).
Conclusory allegations are insufficient to state a claim of
ineffective counsel. Shah v. United States, 878 F.2d
1156, 1161 (9th Cir. 1989).
evaluating a defendant's representation, there is a
strong presumption that counsel's performance falls
“within the wide range of reasonable professional
assistance.” Strickland, 466 U.S. at 688. 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 conclude that a
particular act or omission of counsel was unreasonable in the
harsh light of hindsight.” Bell v. Cone, 535
U.S. 685, 702 (2002).
order to establish prejudice, a defendant must affirmatively
prove by a reasonable degree of probability that, but for
counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the
proceeding would have been different. Strickland, 466 U.S. at
694. The Strickland standard is “highly
demanding.” Kimmelman v. Morrison, 477 U.S.
365, 381-82 (1986). Both ineffective assistance of counsel
and prejudice must be found before a district court will find
that a conviction or sentence “ ‘resulted from a
breakdown in the adversa[ial] process that render[ed] the
result [of the proceeding] unreliable' and thus in
violation of the Sixth Amendment.” United States v.
Thomas,417 F.3d 1053, 1056 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 687). If either element of the
two-part Strickland test is absent, then a defendant has not
met his or her burden. When ...