United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Smith Camp Chief United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Reconsideration,
ECF No. 48, filed by Defendant Corey J. Ojeda
(“Ojeda”), and the Motion for a Certificate of
Appealability, ECF No. 49, filed by Ojeda's
court-appointed counsel. Ojeda asks the Court to reconsider its
Judgment, ECF No. 47, in which the Court summarily dismissed
Ojeda's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence
by a Person in Federal Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 (“§ 2255 Motion”), ECF No. 39. For the
reasons stated below, Ojeda's Motion for Reconsideration,
ECF No. 48, will be granted.
Motion for Reconsideration is construed as a motion to alter
or amend judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), and is timely.
See Hallquist v. United Home Loans, Inc., 715 F.3d
1040, 1044 n.2 (8th Cir. 2013) (explaining “motions to
reconsider” are “treated as a motion to alter or
amend judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e) motions serve the limited function of correcting
‘manifest errors of fact or law or to offer newly
discovered evidence . . . .'” United States v.
Metro St. Louis Sewer Dist., 440 F.3d 930, 933 (8th Cir.
2006) (quoting Innovative Home Health Care v. P.T.-O.T.
Assoc. of the Black Hills, 141 F.3d 1284, 1286 (8th Cir.
contends that the Court dismissed his § 2255 Motion
before fully considering the application of the United States
Supreme Court's holding in Beckles v. United
States to the circumstances of his sentence. ___ U.S.
___, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017).
Beckles, the Supreme Court held that the
“advisory [United States Sentencing]
Guidelines are not subject to vagueness challenges under the
Due Process Clause.” Id. at 890 (emphasis
added). Ojeda was sentenced under the U.S.S.G. in
when the United States Sentencing Guidelines
(“U.S.S.G.”) were mandatory rather than advisory
and, as such, cites the following statement from
Beckles in his Motion to Reconsider:
The Court's adherence to the formalistic distinction
between mandatory and advisory rules at least leaves open the
question whether defendants sentenced to terms of
imprisonment before our decision in United States v.
Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 125 S.Ct. 738, 160 L.Ed.2d 621
(2005)-that is, during the period in which the Guidelines did
“fix the permissible range of sentences, ” ante,
at 892-may mount vagueness attacks on their sentences. That
question is not presented by this case and I, like the
majority, take no position on its appropriate resolution.
Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886, 905 n.4
(2017) (Sotomayor, J., concurring).
Beckles, as applied to Ojeda's
pre-Booker sentence, does not necessarily prohibit a
Due Process vagueness challenge to the mandatory U.S.S.G.
used to sentence Ojeda in 2002. Because Beckles was
relied upon to summarily dismiss Ojeda's § 2255
Motion, the Court finds it appropriate to grant the Motion to
Reconsider. As a result, Ojeda's Motion for a Certificate
of Appealability regarding the Court's denial of his
§ 2255 Motion is moot. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED:
Ojeda's Motion to Reconsider, ECF No. 48, is granted;
Ojeda's Motion for a Certificate of Appealability, ECF
No. 49, is denied as moot;
or before April 25, 2017, court-appointed counsel will
confirm whether he is representing the Defendant pursuant to
the Defendant's consent, and, if ...