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Galloway v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 15, 2018

CHARLES LEONARD GALLOWAY, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge.

         On March 23, 2012, a jury convicted Petitioner Charles Leonard Galloway (“Petitioner” or “Galloway”) of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. This Court sentenced Galloway to 292 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release. (ECF No. 364.) Petitioner subsequently appealed his conviction, raising several arguments, which the United States Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit denied. United States v. Galloway, 749 F.3d 238 (4th Cir. 2014). Currently pending before this Court are Petitioner's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 458), Petitioner's Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 476), and Petitioner's Motion to Amend the Motion to Vacate Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 512.) For the following reasons, Petitioner's Motion to Amend (ECF No. 512) is GRANTED;[1] Petitioner's Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 476) is DENIED;[2] and Petitioner's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 458) is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         On December 15, 2010, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging the Petitioner and co-defendants with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. (ECF No. 1.) The Petitioner was also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841; one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Id. On December 16, 2011, the Government filed a notice pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 of its intention to seek enhanced penalties based on the Petitioner's 2000 conviction for CDS-Unlawful Manufacturing in Baltimore City. (ECF No. 169.)

         Petitioner initially retained private counsel. (ECF No. 90.) On December 31, 2011, Petitioner sent a letter to his counsel and to this Court detailing his dissatisfaction with his counsel's efforts on his behalf. (ECF No. 194.) On January 6, 2012, counsel filed a motion to strike her appearance which this Court granted. (ECF No. 195.) On February 15, 2012, this Court held a lengthy hearing regarding Petitioner's desire to represent himself, ultimately granting Petitioner's request and appointing the Federal Public Defender to act as shadow Court stated that the Petitioner would be brought to the courthouse to review discovery materials while in custody. (Id.) On March 9, 2012, this Court held a hearing on pre-trial motions where it afforded Petitioner the option of traveling to access discovery daily. (ECF No. 474-4 at 7:24.)

         After a five day trial, a jury convicted Galloway of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. (ECF No. 292.) On July 11, 2012, this Court sentenced the Petitioner to 292 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release. (ECF No. 364.) On appeal, the Fourth Circuit rejected Defendant's claims and affirmed his conviction.[3] See United States v. Galloway, 749 F.3d 238 (4th Cir. 2014). On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied Defendant's petition for a writ of certiorari. See United States v. Galloway, 135 S.Ct. 215 (2014). On October 9, 2015 Petitioner moved to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No. 458.)

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         This Court recognizes that Petitioner is pro se and has accorded his pleadings liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a prisoner in custody may seek to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence on four grounds: (1) the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, (2) the court was without jurisdiction to impose the sentence, (3) the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or (4) the sentence is otherwise subject to a collateral attack. Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424, 426-27 (1962) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2255). “[A]n error of law does not provide a basis for collateral attack unless the claimed error constituted ‘a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice.'” United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185 (1979) (quoting Hill, 368 U.S. at 428).

         The scope of a § 2255 collateral attack is far narrower than an appeal, and a “‘collateral challenge may not do service for an appeal.'” Foster v. Chatman, 578 U.S., 136 S.Ct. 1737, 1758 (2016) (quoting United States v. Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 165 (1982)). Thus, procedural default will bar consideration under § 2255 of any matters that “could have been but were not pursued on direct appeal, [unless] the movant show cause and actual prejudice resulting from the errors of which he complains.” United States v. Pettiford, 612 F.3d 270, 280 (4th Cir. 2010) (citing United States v. Mikalajunas, 186 F.3d 490, 492-93 (4th Cir. 1999)).

         ANALYSIS

         I. Petitioner's Motion to Vacate (ECF No. 458) is timely

         A one-year statute of limitations applies to § 2255 petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). The limitations period runs from the latest of: (1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final; (2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action; (3) 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; or (4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence. Id.; see also Whiteside v. United States, 775 F.3d 180, 183 (4th Cir. 2014).

         A conviction becomes final for the purpose of starting the one-year limitations period when the opportunity to appeal expires. See Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 524-25 (2003); United States v. Sosa, 364 F.3d 507, 509 (4th Cir. 2004). The Supreme Court of the United States denied Galloway's petition for writ of certiorari on October 6, 2014. Petitioner therefore initially had until October 6, 2015 to file his § 2255 motion. The Government has challenged the timeliness of Petitioner's Motion to Vacate. However, on September 14, 2015, Petitioner requested an extension of time to file his § 2255 Motion to Vacate. This Court granted Petitioner's request and extended the deadline to file to October 14, 2015. (ECF Nos. 450 and 451.) Petitioner filed on October 9, 2015. Petitioner's motion is therefore timely.

         II. Petitioner's Claims

         Petitioner raises nine claims in his Motion to Vacate, six of which are procedurally defaulted. This Court first addresses the non-procedurally defaulted claims.

         a. Three Claims Properly Before this Court i. Petitioner's Access to Discovery

         Petitioner argues that this Court violated his due process rights by requiring that Petitioner access discovery while physically present at the courthouse. Where security is a concern, the right to discovery is not unfettered. See United States v. Galloway, 749 F.3d 238 (4th Cir. 2014) (finding “that the limitations the court imposed were reasonable” and observing that the Petitioner failed “to show any prejudice from the arrangement”); see also United States v. Sarno, 73 F.3d 1470, 1492 (9th Cir. 1995) (holding that while a pro se petitioner's “access to discovery materials was hardly optimal, ” the “limitations imposed on him were reasonable”); United States v. Bisong, 645 F.3d 384, 396 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (observing that, “[e]ven assuming that pro se defendants have a Sixth Amendment right to discovery in preparing their defense, ” a defendant arguing such a claim “must demonstrate prejudice in order to prevail”).

         The decision to restrict Petitioner's access to discovery materials to a room on the sixth floor of the courthouse stemmed from having had “enormous security issues with respect to federal detention facilities.” (ECF No. 474-3 at 42.) As clarified during pretrial proceedings, “[w]hatever room you want to have set up at the Maryland correctional facility center . . . it can be set up on the sixth floor lock up here…” Id. Petitioner received “perfect privacy” with “access to all of the evidence” and the liberty to “take as much time” as desired. Id. at 371. Accordingly, this Court accommodated Petitioner's access to discovery whilst mitigating serious security concerns.

         ii. Petitioner's Counsel ...


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