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Raheem Moses v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 10, 2019

SAMIR YUSEF RAHEEM MOSES, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KATHARINE S. HAYDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         1. Pro se petitioner Samir Yusef Raheem Moses ("Moses") now moves, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to vacate, set aside, or correct the criminal sentence imposed on him by this Court on April 17, 2007. (See Am. § 2255 Mot, ECF No. 3.) Moses's present § 2255 motion, however, is a second or successive habeas application that he filed without authorization from the Third Circuit. As such, this Court does not have jurisdiction to consider the merits of the claims he has raised. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A), § 2255(h). The facts and legal considerations set forth below confirm that dismissal of the present habeas matter is appropriate, and that it does not appear to be in the interest of justice to transfer this matter to the Court of Appeals. See 28 U.S.C. §1631.

         2. On September 21, 2006, Moses pled guilty in his related criminal matter, United States v. Moses, Criminal Action No. 03-844-09 (KSH) (Moses's "Criminal Matter"), to one count of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c). (See April 17, 2007 Crim. J., Criminal Matter at ECF No. 662.) On April 17, 2007, the Court sentenced Moses to 336 months' imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. (See id.)

         3. On or about September 29, 2008, Moses filed his first § 2255 motion seeking relief from the Court's April 17, 2007 sentence in a related habeas matter, Moses v. United States, Civil Action No. 08-4837 (KSH) (Moses's "2008 Habeas Motion" in his "First § 2255 Matter").

         4. On October 29, 2008, the Court, in the First § 2255 Matter, advised Moses of his rights under United States v. Miller, 197 F.3d 644 (3d Cir. 1999), to, inter alia, affirmatively opt to have his 2008 Habeas Motion unequivocally construed "as a Section 2255 motion and heard [by the Court] as such." (See Oct. 29, 2008 Notice and Order, First § 2255 Matter at ECF No. 2.) At that time, the Court expressly informed Moses that if he chose to proceed in this manner "[he would be unable] to file a second or successive [§ 2255] pleading absent Certification by the Court of Appeals." (See Oct. 29, 2008 Notice and Order, First § 2255 Matter at ECF No. 2.) The record of subsequent proceedings in the First § 2255 Matter confirms that Moses elected to have the Court ! construe his 2008 Habeas Motion "as a Section 2255 motion[.]" (See, e.g., Dec. 10, 2009 Hr'g Tr. 4, First § 2255 Matter at ECF No. 13.)

         5. On July 26, 2010, the Court entered an Order formally denying habeas relief to Moses in the First § 2255 Matter. (See First § 2255 Matter at ECF No. 15.) That Order expressly incorporated the rulings which the Court made from the bench on December 10, 2009, i.e., the Court's "Bench Opinion." (Id.) The Third Circuit affirmed this Court's denial of habeas relief to Moses in the First § 2255 Matter on February 13, 2013. (See First § 2255 Matter at ECF No. 32.)

         6. As the foregoing makes clear, Moses's 2008 Habeas Motion - which, again, was ! filed in the First § 2255 Matter on September 29, 2008 - was adjudicated and dismissed on the merits.

         7. On or about October 4, 2018, Moses initiated the present § 2255 action. (See § 2255 Mot., ECF No. 1.) On or about December 20, 2018, Moses filed his pertinent § 2255 pleading. (See Am. § 2255 Mot., ECF No. 3 (hereinafter, the "Present § 2255 Motion").)

         8. Moses's Present § 2255 Motion challenges the same 2007 criminal conviction that Moses challenged in his 2008 Habeas Motion. Moses has not presented the Court with any basis to conclude that he received authorization from the Third Circuit to file the Present § 2255 Motion, notwithstanding that his current habeas pleading is clearly "[a] second or successive motion[, ]" see 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h), and that the Court expressly informed Moses that he could not file a second or successive § 2255 motion "absent Certification by the Court of Appeals." (See First § 2255 Matter at ECF No. 2.) The Court also independently searched for - and was likewise unable to locate - any document which suggests that: (i) Moses previously applied to the Third Circuit for authorization to file the Present § 2255 Motion; or (ii) Moses otherwise obtained prior authorization from the Court of Appeals to apply for habeas relief in this Court based on the i specific claims asserted in his current § 2255 motion.[1]

         9. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(a):

No circuit or district judge shall be required to entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus ... pursuant to a judgment of a court of the United States if it appears that the legality of such detention has been determined by a judge or court of the United States on a prior application for a writ of habeas corpus, except as provided in [28 U.S.C. §] 2255.

         10. Under U.S.C. § 2255(e):

An application for a writ of habeas corpus [under ยง 2255] shall not be entertained if it appears that ... the court which sentenced [petitioner]... has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is ...

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