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Riley v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

August 4, 2016

DANIEL JOHN RILEY, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          Daniel John Riley, Petitioner, Pro Se.

          USA, Respondent, represented by Seth R. Aframe, U.S. Attorney's Office.

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON 28 U.S.C. § 2255 MOTION

          JOHN C. NIVISON, Magistrate Judge.

         Petitioner Daniel John Riley has filed a second or successive motion, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence following his conviction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).[1] (Motion, ECF No. 1.) Petitioner cites Johnson v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), as the basis for relief, and he requests that counsel be appointed. ( Id. at 1-2.)

         Petitioner filed his first section 2255 motion in 2012; the Court denied relief on the merits. ( Riley v. United States, No. 1:12-cv-00047-GZS (D. N.H. Feb. 25, 2013) (order affirming), ECF No. 40.) The First Circuit denied a certificate of appealability. ( Riley v. United States, No. 13-1435 (1st Cir. Feb. 7, 2014).) The Supreme Court denied certiorari. Riley v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 277 (2014).

         Petitioner has requested permission from the First Circuit to file a second or successive section 2255 motion. ( Riley v. United States, No. 16-1582 (application filed May 19, 2016).) In his application, Petitioner cites Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551.

         This Court lacks jurisdiction to consider a second or successive section 2255 motion unless the First Circuit has specifically authorized the Court to consider it. Section 2244 applies to second or successive section 2255 motions, pursuant to section 2255(h). Section 2244(b)(3)(A) states: "Before a second or successive application permitted by this section is filed in the district court, the applicant shall move in the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider the application." See also First Circuit Rule 22.1. The First Circuit has held: "We have interpreted [section 2255(h)] as stripping the district court of jurisdiction over a second or successive habeas petition unless and until the court of appeals has decreed that it may go forward.'" Trenkler v. United States, 536 F.3d 85, 96 (1st Cir. 2008) (quoting Pratt v. United States, 129 F.3d 54, 57 (1st Cir. 1997)).

         Because the record lacks any evidence that the First Circuit has authorized Petitioner to proceed on the pending motion, the Court is without jurisdiction to consider the merits of the motion. First Circuit Rule 22.1(e) provides that if a second or successive section 2255 petition is filed in the district court without the required authorization from the First Circuit, the district court "will transfer the petition to the court of appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631 or dismiss the petition."[2] The issue, therefore, is whether the Court should dismiss or transfer the matter.

         Given that Petitioner relies on the Supreme Court's ruling in Johnson to support his motion, and given that the one year limitations period, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(3), for filing Johnson -related motions has expired, transfer is appropriate. See United States v. Barrett, 178 F.3d 34, 41 n.1 (1st Cir. 1999) (holding that transfer is not mandated, but noting "that transfer may be preferable in some situations in order to deal with statute of limitations problems or certificate of appealability issues"); In re Watkins, 810 F.3d 375, 378 (6th Cir. 2015) (noting that the district court had transferred to the circuit court, pursuant to section 1631, a second or successive section 2255 motion containing a claim under Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551, for the circuit court to consider whether to authorize the motion as a second or successive section 2255 motion).

         CONCLUSION

         Based on the foregoing analysis, I recommend the Court transfer the pending section 2255 motion to the First Circuit, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631 and First Circuit Rule 22.1(e). I further recommend that the Court deny a certificate of appealability pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Cases because there is no substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).

         NOTICE

A party may file objections to those specified portions of a magistrate judge's report or proposed findings or recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the district court is sought, together with a ...

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