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Tahlawi v. United States

United States District Court, Third Circuit

October 15, 2013

ABDULLAH TAHLAWI, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

MARY L. COOPER, District Judge.

Petitioner, with the assistance of counsel, petitions for a writ of error coram nobis to set aside his plea of guilty entered before the Court in 2005. See 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). Petitioner claims that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment when his counsel told him that he could return to the United States upon completion of his probation period. The Petition will be denied.

BACKGROUND

I. Relevant Statutory Provisions

A. 18 U.S.C. § 371

This statute states:

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.
B. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)

Pursuant to this statute, an alien convicted of committing a crime involving moral turpitude is ineligible to receive a visa and ineligible to be admitted to the United States.

C. 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a)

This statute enables the federal courts to "issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law." 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). "The writ of error coram nobis is an infrequent' and extraordinary' form of relief that is reserved for exceptional circumstances.'" United States v. Babalola , 248 Fed.Appx. 409, 411 (3d Cir. 2007) (citing Carlisle v. United States , 517 U.S. 416, 429 (1996)). A petition for writ of error coram nobis "is used to attack allegedly invalid convictions which have continuing consequences, when the petitioner has completed serving his sentence and is no longer in custody' for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2255". Babalola , 248 Fed.Appx. at 411. "A coram nobis petitioner must... show that (1) he is suffering from continuing consequences of the allegedly invalid conviction; (2) there was no remedy available at the time of trial; and that (3) sound reasons exist for failing to seek relief earlier." Id. at 412 (internal quotes and cites omitted). Although a petitioner seeking a writ of error coram nobis faces a heavy burden, the United States Supreme Court "ha[s] reaffirmed the continued existence of coram nobis relief in the appropriate circumstances." Id . (citing United States v. Morgan , 346 U.S. 502, 511 (1954)).

II. Facts

Petitioner was charged in 2002 for permitting someone else to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language exam on his behalf. See Crim. No. 02-358 (MLC). In 2005, petitioner entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. ...


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