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Rodriguez v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 1, 2014

ARMANDO RANGEL RODRIGUEZ Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. No. 13CV491-W

ORDER (1) DENYING MOTION FOR HABEAS CORPUS UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [DOC. 256] AND (2) CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

THOMAS J. WHELAN, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is Petitioner Armando Rangel Rodriguez's motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (the "Motion"). The Court decides the matter on the papers submitted and without oral argument. See S.D. Cal. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(1). For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Petitioner's Motion [Doc. 256] and a certificate of appealability.[1]

I. BACKGROUND

On December 4, 2002, a ten-count Indictment was filed against Rangel charging him with alien smuggling offenses on two different dates: March 26, 2002 and June 12, 2002. On July 3, 2003, Rangel was convicted on all counts. He appealed, and the Ninth Circuit reversed the conviction. Rangel was then retried, again convicted on all counts, and sentenced to 188 months in custody.

Rangel appealed for a second time. The Ninth Circuit reversed his conviction as to counts 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8, but not as to counts 4, 5, 6, and 10. After remand, the United States Attorney General dismissed the reversed counts. On June 23, 2008, Rangel was sentenced on the remaining counts to 188 months in custody. Rangel's third appeal was unsuccessful.

On January 29, 2013, Petitioner filed the Motion. Petitioner asserts Constitutional violations based on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, and the Court's failure to properly consider factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). On June 12, 2013, Respondent filed an opposition. On March 3, 2014, after two motions for extension of time were granted, Petitioner filed a reply.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a federal sentencing court is authorized to discharge or re-sentence a defendant if it concludes that "the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack." 28 U.S.C. § 2255. This statute is intended to alleviate the burden of habeas corpus petitions filed by federal prisoners in the district of confinement, by providing an equally broad remedy in the more convenient jurisdiction of the sentencing court. See United States v. Addonizio , 442 U.S. 178, 185 (1979); Hernandez v. Campbell , 204 F.3d 861, 864 n.4 (9th Cir. 1999).

The remedy available under § 2255 is as broad and comprehensive as that provided by a writ of habeas corpus. See Addonizio , 442 U.S. at 184-85. But this does not encompass all claimed errors in conviction and sentencing. Id . at 187. A mere error of law does not provide a basis for collateral attack unless the claimed error "resulted in a complete miscarriage of justice or in a proceeding inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure." Hamilton v. United States , 67 F.3d 761, 763-64 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting United States v. Timmreck , 441 U.S. 780, 783-84 (1979)).

III. DISCUSSION

Petitioner's Motion is based on six theories of alleged ineffective assistance of counsel and this Court's alleged abuse of discretion in sentencing. Respondent contends that the Motion is time barred and Petitioner's claims lack merits. The Court agrees with Respondent.

A. The Motion is time barred.

A one-year statute of limitations applies to motions filed under 28 U.S.C. §2255. The one-year period ...


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