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Mathison v. United States

August 29, 2009

EUGENE MATHISON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Colleen Kollar-kotelly United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant defendant's motion to dismiss.

I. BACKGROUND

A. A Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255

A federal prisoner "claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). There is "[a] 1-year period of limitation... to [file] a motion under this section," which "shall run from the latest of... 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 [or]... the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(2), (4). The statute further provides that:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this section, shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) (emphasis added).

Generally, a court does not "entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the detention of a person pursuant to a judgment of a court of the United States if it appears that the legality of such detention has been determined" already "on a prior application for a writ of habeas corpus, except as provided in [§] 2255." 28 U.S.C. § 2244(a). Only under certain circumstances will a court hear a claim presented in a second or successive § 2255 motion. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b). Before a prisoner may file a second or successive motion under § 2255, he first must "move in the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to consider the application." 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A).

B. Plaintiff's Criminal Convictions and Efforts to Obtain Post-Conviction Relief

Two separate criminal cases were brought against plaintiff in the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota. See Mathison v. Morrison, No. 06-3496, 2007 WL 3224671, at *1 (D. Minn. Nov. 1, 2007).

1. The Mail Fraud Case

Plaintiff "was alleged to have operated a small Ponzi scheme in the early 1990s which involved an alleged $1.3 million in losses." Compl. ¶ 9. With respect to the charges brought in connection with the Ponzi scheme (the "mail fraud case"), the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit described plaintiff's convictions and efforts to obtain post-conviction relief as follows:

[On September 12, 1997], [plaintiff] was convicted in the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. He was sentenced to a total of 246 months followed by three years of supervised release. He also was ordered to pay over $1.3 million in restitution. On direct appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed. See United States v. Mathison, 157 F.3d 541 (8th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1089, 119 S.Ct. 841, 142 L.Ed.2d 696 (1999).

In 2000, [plaintiff] filed his first 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion in the district court for the District of South Dakota, which was denied as barred by the one-year statute of limitations. On appeal, the Eight Circuit denied a certificate of appealability and dismissed. See Mathison v. United States, No. 01-1078 (8th Cir. June 6, 2001) (unpublished). In 2001, he filed a second § 2255 motion in the District of South Dakota, which the district court denied. On appeal, the Eighth Circuit remanded the case with directions to dismiss the second § 2255 motion, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as a unauthorized second or successive motion. See Mathison v. United States, No. 02-3926 (8th Cir. May 6, 2003) (unpublished). In 2003, he filed a third § 2255 motion, which the district court dismissed because [plaintiff] failed to obtain an order from the Eighth Circuit authorizing the district court to consider this third motion. On appeal, the Eighth Circuit denied a certificate of appealability and dismissed. See Mathison v. United States, No. ...


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