United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. Rossiter, Jr. United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Shannon Williams's
(“Williams”) “Motion for Relief from
Judgement under Rule 60(B) and Granting of Original of 2255
Motion Pursuant to Article III Section 2” (Filing No.
1579), as well as his “Objection to Sending 60(b)
Motion to Eighth Circuit under Rule 59(E)” (Filing No.
1576), “Motion to Withdraw Letter” (Filing No.
1580), “Motion to File 60(b)” (Filing No. 1581),
and “Petition for a Permanent Injunction against Court
Clerk Denise Lucks and Court Personel” (Filing No.
1587). For the reasons stated below, the Motion for Relief is
a successive habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h)
and will be dismissed, the Objection is overruled, and the
remaining motions will be denied.
is currently serving 480 months for drug conspiracy, 21
U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A)(vii), and 846,
concurrently with 240 months for money laundering, 18 U.S.C.
§§ 2 and 1956(a)(1)(A)(i) and (B)(i). After his
sentencing, Williams filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Filing No. 1432)
containing twenty-four claims for relief. Claim twelve argued
Williams's attorney was ineffective for failing to appeal
the district court's order excluding Williams's
family from the trial. The district judge denied claim
twelve and the rest of the Petition on the merits (Filing No.
February 16, 2018, the Court received a letter (“Rule
60(b) letter”) (Filing No. 1572) from Williams stating
he had attempted to move for relief pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 60(b), but the prison facility was
refusing to mail his filing. Williams opened the letter by
saying, “I am writing you with the hope you will treat
this letter as a 60(b) request to re-open my 2255
proceedings.” The Court accommodated Williams's
request. Based upon the information in the letter, the Court
determined the Rule 60(b) letter was actually a successive
§ 2255 petition and transferred (Filing No. 1573) the
filing to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
March 5, 2018, the Court received Williams's original
Motion for Relief (Filing No. 1579), the one the facility was
allegedly refusing to mail, as well as an Objection (Filing
No. 1576) to the transfer. On March 8, 2018, Williams moved
(Filing No. 1580) to withdraw his letter that the Court had
transferred to the Eighth Circuit. On March 9, 2018, Williams
moved (Filing No. 1581) to change the filing date on his
Motion for Relief to January 27, 2018, which would predate
the filing of his Rule 60(b) letter. On March 15, 2018,
Williams moved (Filing No. 1587) for a permanent injunction
against the Clerk of the District Court and other court
personnel for dating his filings when received rather than
when he delivered them to prison authorities.
Motion for Relief
specifically calls his motion a “Motion for Relief from
Judgement under Rule 60(b).” However, motions
purportedly brought under Rule 60(b) can be successive habeas
petitions in disguise. Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S.
524, 530-31 (2005).
60(b) motion is a successive petition if it contains a
“claim.” Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 530. A
motion contains a “claim” if it “seeks to
add a new ground for relief” or “if it attacks
the federal court's previous resolution of a claim on
the merits.” Id. at 532. A federal
prisoner whose Rule 60(b) motion is a successive habeas
petition must first present the claim to the appropriate
court of appeals. 28 U.S.C. §§ 2244(b)(3) and
2255(h); see also United States v. Lee, 792 F.3d
1021, 1023-25 (8th Cir. 2015) (using Gonzalez to
determine if a Rule 60(b) motion was a successive § 2255
asks for relief from a final judgment-the previous denial of
his Petition for Habeas Corpus. It is unclear if Williams
wishes to assert a violation of his right to a public trial
or an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim. Williams
states, “[I]f appellate counsel James Reisinger had
raised the Sixth Amendment violation, Petitioner's
conviction would have been automatically reversed on direct
appeal.” In another location, he claims, “This
case has a preserved structural error that banned the
Petitioner's African American family and friends from
attending his jury trial during the presentation of
Williams is claiming his counsel was ineffective for failing
to appeal the exclusion of his family from the trial, then he
“attacks the federal court's previous resolution of
a claim on the merits.” Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at
532. If he claims that the exclusion of his family from trial
was structural error, then Williams “seeks to add a new
ground for relief.” Id. Whichever one it is,
Williams is attempting to present a successive habeas
petition to the Court.
the district court determines the Rule 60(b) motion is
actually a second or successive habeas petition, the district
court should dismiss it for failure to obtain authorization
from the Court of Appeals or, in its discretion, may transfer
the purported Rule 60(b) motion to the Court of
Appeals.” Boyd v. United States, 304 F.3d 813
(2002). The Court has previously transferred a successive
Petition of Williams's to the Eighth Circuit, and
Williams withdrew it because he apparently did not wish to
litigate this matter there. Thus, Williams's Motion for
Relief is dismissed as a successive petition.
Objection to Sending 60(b) Motion to Eighth ...