United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
VACATE AND CORRECT SENTENCE PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2255
[DOC. NO. 60]
MICHAEL M. ANELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
March 22, 2018, Defendant Jennifer Haney was charged in a
two-count Superseding Information with importing
methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21, United States
Code, section 952 and 960. See Doc. No. 32.
Defendant pleaded guilty to Count 2, and was sentenced to a
mandatory minimum custodial term of sixty months.
See Doc. Nos. 40, 54. Defendant now moves to vacate
her conviction and correct her sentence pursuant to Title 28,
section 2255, arguing that she received ineffective
assistance of counsel and an unfair sentence. See
Doc. No. 60. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
summarily DISMISSES Defendant's motion.
2255 provides that if a defendant's motion, file, and
records “conclusively show that the movant is entitled
to no relief” the Court summarily may dismiss the
motion without sending it to the United States Attorney for
response. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). The rules
regarding Section 2255 proceedings similarly state that the
Court summarily may order dismissal of a 2255 motion without
service upon the United States Attorney only “[i]f it
plainly appears from the face of the motion, any attached
exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the moving
party is not entitled to relief . . . .” Rule 4 of the
Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings. Thus, when a movant
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or
when the motion is incredible or patently frivolous, the
district court may summarily dismiss the motion. Cf.
United States v. Burrows, 872 F.2d 915, 917 (9th Cir.
1989); Marrow v. United States, 772 F.2d 525, 526
(9th Cir. 1985).
motion is subject to summary dismissal. Defendant claims
that the sentence she received is unfairly based on her past
state convictions and her attorney provided ineffective
assistance by agreeing with the prosecution regarding the
sixty-month custodial term. See Doc. No. 60, 4-5.
With respect to the first argument, the Court is statutorily
required to consider a defendant's “history and
characteristics” at the time of sentencing. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a)(1). This includes the defendant's criminal
history. See U.S.S.G. § 4A1.1. As noted above,
Defendant pleaded guilty to importing methamphetamine in
violation of Title 21, sections 952 and 960. See
Doc. No. 32. Section 960 sets forth the range of penalties
for violating section 952, which includes a five-year
mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for an individual in
Defendant's position. See 21 U.S.C. §
960(b)(2)(H). And in this case, Defendant's prior
convictions rendered her ineligible for any relief from the
mandatory minimum. See 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f);
U.S.S.G. § 5C1.2. Moreover, the Ninth Circuit has made
clear that a “district court must impose a mandatory
minimum sentence even if doing so ‘makes it impossible
for the judge to impose a total sentence that the court
considers reasonable.'” United States v.
Thomas, 843 F.3d 1199, 1205-06 (9th Cir. 2016) (quoting
United States v. Washington, 462 F.3d 1124, 1140
(9th Cir. 2006). The Court lacked the authority to sentence
Defendant to any lower custodial term.
did not receive an incorrect sentence, nor did she receive
ineffective assistance of counsel. Defense counsel submitted
a detailed memorandum on her client's behalf for the
Court's review prior to sentencing. See Doc. No.
48. Counsel advocated for the lowest possible custodial term
in this case, the applicable statutory mandatory minimum of
sixty months. Ultimately, defense counsel's efforts were
successful, not ineffective, and Defendant has not shown
“that counsel's assistance was not within the range
of competence demanded of counsel in criminal cases.”
Lambert v. Blodgett, 393 F.3d 943, 979-80 (9th Cir.
2004); see also Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 57-58
on the foregoing, the Court summarily
DISMISSES Defendant's motion. The Court
DECLINES to issue a Certificate of
Appealability because Defendant has not made a substantial
showing of the denial of a constitutional right. See
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); see also Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483 (2000). The Clerk of Court
is instructed to enter judgment accordingly in the related
IS SO ORDERED.
 The Court need not hold an evidentiary
hearing if the issues can be conclusively decided on the
basis of the record. See Blackledge v. Allison, 431
U.S. 63, 76 (1977); see also United States v.
Mejia-Mesa, 153 F.3d 925, 929 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting
that a “district court has discretion to deny an
evidentiary hearing on a Section 2255 claim where the files
and records conclusively show that the movant is not entitled
to relief”). Here, a review of the record conclusively
establishes that Defendant is not entitled to relief.
Therefore, an evidentiary hearing is neither warranted nor
 The Sixth Amendment right to counsel
“extends to the plea-bargaining process.”
Lafler v. Cooper, 566 ...