United States District Court, D. New Jersey
SHAAMEL SPENCER, PETITIONER, PRO SE
PATRICK C. ASKIN, ESQ. COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT
L. HILLMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Shaamel Spencer, a prisoner presently confined at the Federal
Correctional Institution at McKean in Bradford, Pennsylvania,
filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 1. He later filed
an Amended Motion, ECF No. 5 (the “Petition”),
and a supplemental brief, ECF No. 7. Respondent filed an
Answer in which it argued that the Petition was untimely. ECF
No. 12. Petitioner has not filed a reply. For the reasons
that follow, the Court will deny the Petition as untimely.
April 14, 2014, Petitioner pled guilty to a two-count
information charging him with conspiring to possess with
intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and
possession of two firearms by a convicted felon. See
No. 14-cr-50, ECF Nos. 140 (Information); 143 (plea
agreement). In the plea agreement, Petitioner stipulated that
he was a “career offender” under the provisions
of U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1, that his total offense level was
31, and that his criminal history category was VI. No.
14-cr-50, ECF No. 143. In addition, Petitioner agreed to
waive his right to file an appeal or collateral attack on his
sentence if he was sentenced within or below the Guidelines
range resulting from a total Guidelines offense level of 31.
See id. at 8.
sentencing before the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas, the Court
found that Petitioner was a career offender with a total
offense level of 31 and a criminal history category of VI,
with a resulting advisory guideline range of 188 to 235
months. See No. 14-cr-50, ECF No. 12-3 (sentencing
transcript). The government asked for a sentence within the
middle of the guideline range, and Petitioner asked for a
downward variance and a sentence of 120 months'
imprisonment. Id. The Court granted a downward
variance to Level 29 and then sentenced Petitioner to 151
months' imprisonment, which was at the bottom of the
advisory guideline range at Level 29, Criminal History
Category VI. See No. 12-3 (sentencing
transcript). The Court entered the judgment of conviction on
July 23, 2014. No. 14-cr-50, ECF No. 246. Petitioner did not
file an appeal.
later filed a letter with the Court on April 11, 2016,
inquiring about the status of his case in light of the
Supreme Court's ruling that the residual clause of the
Armed Career Criminal Act was unconstitutionally vague,
citing Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015). See No. 14-cr-050, ECF No. 858. On June 24,
2016, Petitioner, through counsel, filed a motion to correct
his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 claiming that he was
incorrectly determined by the sentencing court to be a
“career offender” in light of Johnson.
See No. 14-cr-050, ECF No. 871; No. 16-cv-3733, ECF
No. 1. On June 29, 2017, Petitioner filed a notice of
voluntary dismissal of that § 2255 motion after the
Supreme Court's decision in Beckles v. United
States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017). No. 16-cv-3733, ECF No. 4.
23, 2017, Petitioner filed a new Motion to Vacate, Set Aside
or Correct Sentence pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 2255, the date
on which he placed it in the prison's mailing system. ECF
No. 1 at 5. It was filed on the docket a few days later, on
June 28, 2017. See ECF No. 1. At the direction of
the Court, Petitioner filed an amended motion utilizing the
correct form. ECF No. 5. In his Petition, Petitioner raises
as grounds for relief the ineffectiveness of his trial
counsel and a claim based on the Supreme
Court's holding in Mathis v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (2016). ECF Nos. 1, 5. On January 29, 2018,
Petitioner filed a motion to supplement the pending §
2255 petition. ECF No. 7. On February 1, 2018, the Court
granted Spencer's motion to supplement the pending §
2255 motion to correct the sentence. ECF No. 8. The
supplemental brief includes additional argument and authority
in support of the claims raised in the Petition. See
ECF No. 7.
2255 provides a one-year statute of limitations from the date
on which the petitioner's conviction becomes final or
from “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.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1) & (3).
Petitioner's sentence became final on or about August 6,
2014, after the time for filing an appeal expired. See
Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 149-50 (2012) (holding
that a judgment is determined to be final by the conclusion
of direct review, or the expiration of time for seeking such
review). The Petition, however, was not filed until on or
about June 23, 2017. ECF No. 1 at 5 (certificate of service
providing that Petitioner placed the Petition in the mail on
June 23, 2017). 2018”). See Burns v. Morton,
134 F.3d 109, 113 (3d Cir. 1998) (under the prison mailbox
rule, “a pro se prisoner's habeas petition is
deemed filed at the moment he delivers it to prison officials
for mailing[.]”). Thus, the Petition was filed beyond
the expiration of the applicable one-year statute of
limitations period contained in § 2255(f)(1).
does not address the issue of timeliness in either his
Petition or his Amended Petition other than to state that the
grounds for relief were not apparent until after the
Mathis decision or after he researched them.
See ECF No. 5 at 5. Because the Petition includes a
Mathis claim, the Court will presume in light of
Petitioner's pro se status that Petitioner is
asserting that Mathis ...