United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
ORDER TRANSFERRING MOTION TO FIFTH CIRCUIT
cause is before the Court on Movant's motion for relief
from the judgment dismissing his § 2255 motion pursuant
to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
7, 2018, this Court entered a judgment denying Williams'
motion to vacate his federal sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§2255. Doc. #496. On or about January 29, 2019, Williams
filed the instant Rule 60 motion asking the Court to vacate
his conviction or resentence him without a career offender
enhancement. Doc. #501 at 23.
seeks to reopen his case pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b), claiming that this Court erred in denying
his claim that counsel rendered ineffective assistance by
failing to object to Williams' classification as a career
offender, and arguing that absent such a designation, he
would have received a much more lenient sentence. He asserts
that the Court failed to address his claims on their merits,
thereby allowing reconsideration of his claims under Rule
Court notes that a "true" Rule 60(b) motion
"either (1) challenges only a procedural ruling of the
habeas court which precluded a merits determination of the
habeas application; or (2) challenges a defect in the
integrity of the federal habeas proceeding, provided that
such a challenge does not itself lead inextricably to a
merits-based attack on the disposition of a prior habeas
petition." Spitznas v. Boom, 464 F.3d 1213,
1215-16 (10th Cir. 2006) (citing Gonzalez v. Crosby,
545 U.S. 524, 531-32 & n.4 (2005)).
dismissing Williams' career offender claim, the Court
Williams fails to show that the alleged error [designating
him as a career offender] could not have been raised on
direct appeal. Questions of constitutional or jurisdictional
magnitude may not be raised for the first time on collateral
review absent a showing of cause and prejudice. United
States v. Shaid, 937 F.2d 228, 231-32 (5th Cir. 1992).
Other types of error may be raised under § 2255 only if
the movant demonstrates that the error could not have been
raised on direct appeal and, if allowed, would result in a
complete miscarriage of justice. United States v.
Pierce, 959 F.2d 1297, 1301 (5th Cir. 1992). As the
Court has already determined, Williams cannot demonstrate the
requisite cause and prejudice, because he has not
demonstrated that his sentence would have been shorter had
counsel objected to the career offender designation.
Moreover, technical application of the Guidelines does not
raise a constitutional issue. United States v.
Vaughn, 955 F.2d 367, 368 (5th Cir. 1992). Finally, the
Court notes that the alleged error did not constitute a
fundamental defect which inherently resulted in a complete
miscarriage of justice. United States v. Smith, 844
F.2d 203, 206 (5th Cir. 1988) (quotation marks omitted).
Therefore, a claim that the district court erroneously
applied a career offender enhancement under the Guidelines
fails to qualify as a constitutional injury and is not
otherwise cognizable in a § 2255 proceeding. See
United States v. Williamson, 183 F.3d 458, 462 (5th Cir.
1999). Relief on this claim is denied.
Doc. #497 at 5-6.
argues that since the Court did not address his career
offender claim on its merits, his motion is properly
considered under Rule 60(b). See Gonzalez, 545 U.S.
at 538 (noting petitioner may challenge district court's
failure to reach merits of his petition under Rule 60(b));
see also Williams v. Thaler, 602 F.3d 291, 302 &
n.4 (5th Cir. 2010) (applying rationale of Gonzalez
to § 2255 proceedings). This argument is unpersuasive,
however, as the Court found the claim failed to state a
constitutional injury. See Doc. #497. Therefore,
despite Williams' classification of the instant motion,
his arguments invite review of issues decided on their
merits, and his motion attacks the validity of his
conviction. Accordingly, the instant motion is, in substance,
a successive petition requiring appellate authorization
before it may be considered by this Court. 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3)(A) and (B); Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 531;
United States v. Rich, 141 F.3d 550, 551 (5th Cir.
1998). Absent such authorization, the Court is without
jurisdiction to proceed. See United States v. Key,
205 F.3d 773, 774 (5th Cir. 2000).
IT IS ORDERED Williams' motion  is hereby
TRANSFERRED to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3) and In re Epps, 127 F.3d
364 (5th Cir. 1997) for determination of whether ...