United States District Court, D. Connecticut
R. Underhill United States District Judge
26, 2016, the petitioner, Douglas Hutchings, filed a filed a
placeholder version of a motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct his sentence in light of the holding in Johnson
v. United States, 576 U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015),
which struck down the Residual Clause of the Armed Career
Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 942(e),
and which he argued would also strike down parallel
provisions in the Career Offender guideline under which he
was sentenced, U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2). (doc. 1) On March
13, 2017, following the Supreme Court's ruling in
Beckles v. United States, 580 U.S. __, 135 S.Ct.
2928 (2017), Hutchings filed an amended petition.
See 2d Am. Pet. (doc. 16). The government argues in
opposition that Hutchings' petition is barred by section
2255's one-year statute of limitations. I agree;
accordingly, Hutchings' petition is
March 21, 2012, Hutchings was indicted on one count of bank
robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). See
United States v. Hutchings, 3:12-cr-56 (SRU) (D. Conn.)
(doc. 1). On August 6, 2012, Hutchings entered a guilty plea
to that charge, and on February 5, 2013, he was sentenced to
108 months' imprisonment followed by three years of
supervised release, and a special assessment of $100.
3:12-cr-56 (SRU) (docs. 15, 31). Judgment entered in the case
on February 7, 2013. 3:12-cr-56 (SRU) (doc. 33). Hutchings
did not file an appeal from that judgment. He now claims that
he received ineffective assistance of counsel on the basis
that his attorney failed to challenge my determination that
he had the requisite number of predicate offenses to qualify
for the Career Offender guideline under which he was
sentenced, as well as my determination that his offense of
conviction qualified as a crime of violence triggering that
2255(f) of Title 28 of the United States Code provides the
statute of limitations for federal habeas petitions as
A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under
this section. The limitation period shall run from the latest
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes
(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
(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.
present case, none of those dates falls within one year from
the date that this petition was filed. The first three
provisions are manifestly inapplicable: Hutchings'
judgment of conviction became final on February 7, 2013, more
than three years before the instant petition was filed. He
has not alleged the removal of any impediment to filing a
petition, nor-in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in
Beckles-can he allege that his petition relies on a
new rule of constitutional law made retroactively applicable
to cases on collateral review.
Hutchings asserts that he filed this petition within one year
of the date on which the facts supporting his claims could
reasonably have been discovered. Hutchings' ineffective
assistance claims are primarily based on the facts of his
prior convictions, statements and findings made on the record
of his criminal case, and case law that predates the entry of
judgment in that case. See Otrosinka v. United
States, 2016 WL 3688599, at *2 (W.D.N.Y. July 12, 2016)
(“[T]he discovery of case law is not a new fact for
purposes of the delayed accrual of §
2255(f)(4).”); see also Diaz v. United States,
2014 WL 4449782, at *6 n.6 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 10, 2014)
(collecting cases holding that even court decisions
articulating new law after a petitioner's conviction do
not generally constitute new facts under section 2255(f)(4),
or its counterpart, section 2244(d)(1)(D), unless those
decisions occur in the petitioner's own case).
Indeed, Hutchings' petition does not indicate any reason
why a duly diligent person in his circumstances would not
have been able to discover the facts or law supporting those
arguments at the time he was sentenced. See Wims v.
United States, 225 F.3d 186, 190 (2d Cir. 2000).
Accordingly, Hutchings's petition was not timely filed
pursuant to any of the provisions of section 2255(f), and
must therefore be denied.
appeal from a final order denying habeas relief under §
2255 cannot be taken unless the court issues a certificate of
appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c). When,
as in the present case, habeas relief is denied on procedural
grounds, a certificate of appealability should be issued only
if “the petitioner shows, at least, that jurists of
reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a
valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right, and that
jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the
district court was correct in its procedural ruling.”
Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000).
Hutchings cannot meet that standard-the language of section
2255(f) and substantial case law make clear that ...