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McCoy v. United States

United States District Court, D. Utah

April 3, 2018

HICKORY WESLEY McCOY, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR RELIEF

          Ted Stewart United States District Judge.

         District Judge Ted Stewart This matter is before the Court on Petitioner's Motion for Relief under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds Petitioner's Motion to be an unauthorized second or successive § 2255 petition and that it is not in the interests of justice to transfer the Motion to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Therefore, the Court will dismiss this matter for lack of jurisdiction.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On April 25, 2012, Petitioner was charged in a three-count Indictment with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The charges against Petitioner stemmed from a traffic stop conducted on January 24, 2012.

         Prior to trial, Petitioner challenged the legality of the stop. After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the Court denied Petitioner's motion to suppress. The Court concluded that the officer had a reasonable suspicion that Petitioner had committed a traffic violation.

         Petitioner appealed, challenging the Court's ruling on the motion to suppress. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Court's decision to deny the motion to suppress.

         Petitioner timely filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Petitioner argued, among other things, that the Court's ruling on the motion to suppress was erroneous. In particular, Petitioner argued that the suppression order failed to find or hold that Petitioner impeded traffic in the left lane.

         The Court rejected Petitioner's argument. The Court noted that it had found that Petitioner committed a left-lane violation, which “necessarily included the finding that Petitioner impeded traffic.”[1] Thus, the Court denied Petitioner's § 2255 motion and the Tenth Circuit denied Petitioner's request for a certificate of appealability. In its order, the Tenth Circuit too noted that it had concluded that the record supported this Court's reasonable suspicion determination.[2]

         Petitioner now files the instant Motion. Petitioner argues that the judgment should be set aside because the Court misconstrued Utah's left-lane violation statute, which resulted in an erroneous suppression ruling. Petitioner argues that the Court erred in not addressing this issue in its previous ruling.

         II. DISCUSSION

         The Tenth Circuit has provided the “steps to be followed by district courts in this circuit when they are presented with a Rule 60(b) motion in a habeas or § 2255 case.”[3] The Court must first determine “whether the motion is a true Rule 60(b) motion or a second or successive petition.”[4]

If the district court concludes that the motion is a true Rule 60(b) motion, it should rule on it as it would any other Rule 60(b) motion. If, however, the district court concludes that the motion is actually a second or successive petition, it should refer the matter to [the Tenth Circuit] for authorization . . . .[5]

         A Rule 60(b) “motion is a second or successive petition if it in substance or effect asserts or reasserts a federal basis for relief from the petitioner's underlying conviction.”[6]

Conversely, it is a “true” 60(b) motion if it either (1) challenges only a procedural ruling of the habeas court which precluded a merits determination of the habeas application, or (2) challenges a defect in the integrity of the federal habeas proceeding, provided that such a challenge does not itself lead ...

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