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Stuart v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

September 23, 2014

JACOB SAUL STUART, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. No. CR11-0120JCC

ORDER DENYING 28 U.S.C. §2255 MOTION AND DISMISSING CASE WITH PREJUDICE

JOHN C. COUGHENOUR, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Jacob Saul Stuart's motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, and his motion for appointment of counsel. (Dkt. Nos. 1 and 5.) Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds that Mr. Stuart is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing, DENIES his § 2255 petition, and DENIES his motion for appointment of counsel for the reasons explained herein.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering, on October 12, 2011, pursuant to a written plea agreement. Sentencing was held on October 19, 2012 before this Court. The Court imposed a sentence of 180 months, and judgment was entered that same day. (CR11-120JCC, Dkt. # 879.)

Petitioner did not file a direct appeal. This is Petitioner's first petition, and was filed on or about June 13, 2014. (Dkt. # 1077.) Petitioner asserts three grounds for relief, all of which are ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Specifically, Mr. Stuart argues (1) that his lawyers failed to obtain an affidavit from his father that would have offered an alternative explanation for Petitioner's possession of a firearm that played a role in his sentencing, and that they did not have his father speak at the sentencing hearing, despite having promised to do so; (2) that his lawyers ignored evidence about a trigger lock on the weapon; and, finally (3) that his lawyers failed to object to the introduction of evidence of prior moving violations at the sentencing hearing, despite the fact that the violations occurred more than ten years before the current arrest. (Dkt. No. 1 at 5-8.) Mr. Stuart filed a motion requesting appointment of counsel on July 23, 2014. (Dkt. No. 5.)

II. DISCUSSION

A. Statute of Limitations Under § 2255(f)

Under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"), persons in federal custody may file a motion to set aside, vacate, or correct their sentences pursuant to § 2255 within a one-year limitations period, which commences on specified triggering dates. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). The statute's requirements apply to all petitions filed after the date of its enactment, April 24, 1996. Jeffries v. Wood, 114 F.3d 1484, 1499 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc). Mr. Stuart filed his petition on or about June 13, 2014, and thus, it is subject to the provisions of AEDPA.

Section 2255(f) establishes that a motion under that section must be filed within a one-year limitations period, which runs from the latest of any of the following:

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 ...

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