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Pyne v. United states

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 7, 2016

CHARLES PYNE, 38138-037 Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Respondent Civil Action No. DKC-16-788

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Pending is Charles Pynes’s “Motion to Vacate the August 2007 Section 2005 Judgment for Fraud on the Court by the Court Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(d)(3).” (ECF No. 239).

BACKGROUND

This motion represents one of many attempts by Pyne to set aside the August 30, 2007 decision that denied his first motion to vacate sentence filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. By way of background, on December 15, 2004, Judge Alexander Williams sentenced Pyne to 166 months imprisonment after a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin. Pyne appealed and the judgment was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. See United States v. Pyne, 175 F.App’x 639 (4th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 915 (2006).

On August 18, 2006, Pyne filed his first motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, alleging inter alia that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to appeal a magistrate judge’s pre-trial denial of his request for replacement counsel and by failing to object to the trial court’s denial of his motion for recusal. See Pyne v. United States, Civ. No. AW-06-2123, Criminal No. AW-04-0018, 2007 WL2556968 (D. Md. Aug. 30, 2007). Judge Williams rejected these claims and denied the motion to vacate sentence on August 30, 2007 (ECF Nos. 136 and 137). Pyne noted an appeal. Pyne also moved for a certificate of appealability which Judge Williams denied. (ECF No. 140). The Fourth Circuit denied a certificate of appealability and dismissed the appeal. (ECF No. 150).

Pyne then began “a pattern of filing numerous and vexatious motions, largely related to the same issues, unsuccessfully moving for reconsideration and appealing the denial of virtually every one.” (ECF No. 221, at 2).

On May 21, 2009, Pyne filed a motion seeking Judge Williams’ recusal (ECF No. 151), and a motion to vacate Judge Williams’s order denying his motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence (ECF No. 152). Judge Williams denied Pyne’s motion for recusal on June 18, 2009. (ECF No. 154). Pyne appealed.

On July 20, 2009, Pyne filed a second motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence. (ECF No. 157). It was dismissed on July 22, 2009. (ECF No. 159). Pyne moved for a certificate of appealability and appealed on August 27, 2009. (ECF Nos. 161 and 162). The Fourth Circuit affirmed Judge Williams’ judgment (ECF No. 166), denied Mr. Pyne’s motion for a certificate of appealability and dismissed his appeal (ECF Nos. 167).

On August 9, 2010, Pyne filed a motion requesting that the Order denying his motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence dated August 31, 2007, be set aside. (ECF No. 170). Judge Williams denied this motion on September 8, 2010 (ECF No. 171). Pyne appealed. The Fourth Circuit denied a certificate of appealability and dismissed the appeal on April 15, 2011. (ECF No. 175).

On July 11, 2011, Pyne filed another motion for vacatur of the August 31, 2007 order denying his motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence. (ECF No. 179). On November 18, 2011, Pyne filed motions for his immediate release and recusal. (ECF Nos. 184, 185). Judge Williams denied the motions on July 5, 2012. (ECF No. 187).

On October 1, 2012, Pyne filed a motion for an expedited reconsideration (ECF No. 189), a motion for expedited relief based on 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 190), and a motion for transfer of motions for fraud on the court to another district court outside the District of Maryland (ECF No. 191), all of which Judge Williams considered and denied on October 5, 2012. (ECF No. 193).

On February 1, 2013, Pyne filed a motion for recusal (ECF No. 195) and on February 15, Pyne appealed Judge Williams’ October 5, 2012 decision. (ECF No. 197). The Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision on July 15, 2013. (ECF Nos. 201).

This case was transferred to the undersigned on January 15, 2014, after Judge Williams retired from the bench.

On September 13, 2013, Pyne filed a motion to void the August 2007 judgment pursuant to Rule 60(d)(3) for fraud on the court (ECF No. 203) and a motion for recusal (ECF No. 205).[1]Pyne claimed: 1) the government failed to respond to his first § 2255 motion for over nine months, and thus had implicitly conceded his position, yet Judge Williams granted the government’s out of time request for an extension of time to respond; 2) the government’s subsequent response indicated Pyne did not object to Magistrate Judge Connelly’s August 2004 ruling regarding Pyne’s request for replacement counsel, even though the government knew that Pyne did in fact file objections; 3) Judge Williams intentionally precluded issues of material fact pertaining to the proper duties of a ...


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