Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fields v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Delta Division

May 31, 2017

WILLIE LEE FIELDS MOVANT
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESPONDENT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL P. MILLS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Willie Lee Fields (“Fields”) has filed a “Judicial Notice/Relevant Legal/Factual Basis for Order to Clarify Judgment to Correct Federal Records, ” which this Court construed as a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255 after providing the appropriate notice to Fields. See Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375, 383 (2003). Having considered the pleadings and the record, including the relevant parts of Fields' underlying criminal case, along with the relevant law, the Court finds that an evidentiary hearing is unnecessary[1], and that the § 2255 motion should be denied.

         Background Facts and Procedural History

          Fields was indicted for possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of cocaine base on March 26, 2009. Doc. #3. On September 21, 2009, the Government filed an information to establish a prior conviction under 21 U.S.C. § 851. Doc. #32. That information noticed Fields that the Government intended to seek an enhanced sentence based on Fields' previous drug conviction[2], the sentencing judgment of which was attached to the information. Id. Furthermore, the information listed the enhanced penalties of not less than 20 years and not more than life imprisonment, along with fines, supervised release, and ineligibility for federal benefits. Id.

         On January 6, 2010, Fields filed an objection to the information for enhancement, arguing that the Government filed the information to punish Fields for pleading guilty. Doc. #44. On February 10, 2010, the Court overruled Fields' objection. Doc. #50. On February 19, 2010, Fields filed a motion to suppress evidence based on the underlying traffic stop, which was the basis of the charge. Doc. #51. On February 26, 2010, the Court held a hearing on the motion to suppress and denied the motion. Doc. #65. Trial began on March 22, 2010, and on March 23, 2010, a jury returned a verdict of guilty. Doc. #72. On October 27, 2010, Fields was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment. Doc. #92. Judgment was entered November 2, 2010. Id.

         Fields appealed the denial of the motion to suppress and the failure to apply the Fair Sentencing Act to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed this Court's ruling on April 13, 2012. Doc. #109. Following the Supreme Court decision in Dorsey v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 2321 (2012), the Fifth Circuit remanded Fields' sentencing to the district court based on retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act. Doc. #113. Subsequently, on February 4, 2013, Fields filed a motion for retroactive application of the sentencing guidelines to crack cocaine offense pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. Doc. #114. That motion was granted, and his sentence reduced to 120 months on February 4, 2013. Doc. #115.

         On or about November 13, 2015, Fields filed the instant motion to clarify his judgment, arguing that his sentence exceeded the statutory maximum, and that the Government violated his constitutional rights by failing to file an information for enhancement prior to the selection of the jury. Doc. #121 at 2-3. This Court construed the filing as a § 2255 motion and provided notice to Fields that he had an opportunity to withdraw or amend the pleading. Doc. #123. Fields did not respond to the Court's order.

         Legal Standard

          After a defendant has been convicted and exhausted his appeal rights, a court may presume that “he stands fairly and finally convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 164 (1982). A motion brought pursuant to § 2255 is a “means of collateral attack on a federal sentence.” Cox v. Warden, Federal Detention Ctr., 911 F.2d 1111, 1113 (5th Cir. 1990) (citation omitted). There are four separate grounds upon which a federal prisoner may move to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255: (1) the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) the court was without jurisdiction to impose the sentence; (3) the sentence exceeds the statutory maximum sentence; or (4) the sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Collateral attack limits a movant's allegations to those of “constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude.” United States v. Samuels, 59 F.3d 526, 528 (5th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted). Relief under § 2255 is reserved, therefore, for violations of “constitutional rights and for that narrow compass of other injury that could not have been raised on direct appeal and, would, if condoned, result in a complete miscarriage of justice.” United States v. Capua, 656 F.2d 1033, 1037 (5th Cir. 1981).

         Additionally, a motion filed under § 2255 must comply with the statute's one-year period of limitation, which runs from the latest of:

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.