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Young v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

May 15, 2019

JAMES R. YOUNG, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER ON MOTION FOR RELIEF UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2255

          Robert J. Bryan, United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court on the on Petitioner's Motion under 28 U.S.C. §2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody. Dkt. 1. The Court has reviewed the pleadings filed regarding the petition and the remaining file.

         Petitioner seeks 28 U.S.C. §2255 habeas corpus relief from his 90-month sentence imposed after his guilty pleas in two separate cases to the crimes of Interstate Transportation for the Purposed of Prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2 and 2421, and Conspiracy to Defraud the Government with Respect to Claims in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 285. Dkt. 1. In this petition, he claims that his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel was violated. Dkt. 1.

         I. BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         A. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY OF CRIMINAL CASE

         On August 29, 2017, the Petitioner entered into written plea agreements in each case, United States v. Young, Western District of Washington case 14-5242 RJB and United States v. Young, Western District of Washington case 14-5448. Dkts. 11-2 and 11-3. At the time, the Petitioner was represented by lawyers Emily Gause and Terrence Kellogg. As is relevant here, both written plea agreements provided:

16. Waiver of Appellate Rights and Rights to Collateral Attacks. Defendant acknowledges that by entering the guilty plea required by this plea agreement, Defendant waives all rights to appeal from his conviction and any pretrial rulings of the court. Defendant further agrees that, provided the court imposes a custodial sentence of 90 months, Defendant waives to the full extent of the law:
a. Any right conferred by Title 18, United States Code, Section 3742, to challenge, on direct appeal, the sentence imposed by the court, including any fine, restitution order, probation or supervised release conditions, or forfeiture order (if applicable); and
b. Any right to bring a collateral attack against the conviction and sentence, including any restitution order imposed, except as it may relate to the effectiveness of legal representation . . .

Dkts. 11-2, at 9 and 11-3, at 8-9. During the August 29, 2017 plea hearing, (a copy of the transcript is attached for ease of reference), the following exchange took place between the Court and the Petitioner:

THE COURT: Now, you've given up your right to appeal your conviction and pretrial rulings. And I should add to that we have a number of motions pending. And if you plead guilty, you'll never get an answer to those motions. Do you understand that?
YOUNG: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: And the right to appeal that you're giving up here includes sentence and fine, the restitution order, the supervised release conditions and so forth. Do you understand that?
YOUNG: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: And your waiver of your appeal right includes giving up the right to bring a collateral attack against your conviction and sentence, including restitution or any other matters at all resulting from this conviction and sentence, unless there's a constitutional basis based on effectiveness of legal representation. And if there was that issue, there would be a possibility you could appeal in spite of your waiver of appeal. Do you understand that?
YOUNG: Yes, sir.

Dkt. 11-1, at 29. In a “Declaration of Affidavit, ” filed in support of this Petition, ...


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