United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
HERNDON, District Judge.
before the Court is petitioner Quawntay Adams’ motion
to reconsider (Doc. 55). The Clerk’s Office filed said
motion as one to reconsider the order on motion to reopen
case. However, the Court construes Adams’ motion as one
to reconsider the dismissal of his Section 2255 petition. In
his pending motion, Adams contends that the Court made
various manifest errors of law in sentencing him as a career
offender. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES
25, 2008, a jury convicted Adams on charges that he possessed
more than 100 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to
distribute, see 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and
(b)(1)(B)(vii), and that he conspired to commit money
laundering, see 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(I) and (h).
The jury later acquitted Adams of conspiracy to possess with
intent to distribute marijuana. See 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and 846. (USA v. Adams, 04-cr-30029-3,
Docs. 412-416). Also, at the outset of trial, Adams pleaded
guilty to attempting to escape from custody, see 18 U.S.C.
§ 751(a). (USA v. Adams, 04-cr-30029-3, Doc.
direct appeal, the Seventh Circuit held the evidence did not
support the conspiracy to commit money laundering conviction,
but otherwise affirmed the judgment of conviction and
remanded the matter for resentencing. United States v.
Adams, 625 F.3d 371 (7th Cir. 2010). On remand, without
the money laundering conviction, this Court sentenced Adams
to the same sentence imposed previously, 420 months in prison
(Cr. Docs. 478 and 523), due to his career offender status.
The Seventh Circuit later affirmed the sentence. See
United States v. Adams, 451 Fed. App’x. 576 (7th
February 20, 2013, Adams filed a motion to vacate, set aside,
or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
(Doc. 1). Thereafter, the Court denied and dismissed with
prejudice petitioners’ § 2255 motion on the basis
that his claims lacked merit (Doc. 20). Adams appealed the
dismissal on December 23, 2013 (Doc. 22). On June 12, 2014,
the Seventh Circuit denied Adams’ appeal and
application for a certificate of appealability finding that
there was no substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right. See 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(2). Adams then sought to reopen his § 2255
motion under the guise of bringing new claims (Doc. 44),
which the Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because
the motion was a successive collateral attack on his sentence
without pre-authorization from the Court of Appeals (Doc.
45). Adams now moves for reconsideration of the denial of his
§ 2255 petition (Doc. 55).
Law and Analysis
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly contemplate
motions to “reconsider.” However, the Seventh
Circuit has held district courts should automatically
consider motions challenging the merits of a district court
order under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b). See Mares v.
Busby, 34 F.3d 533, 535 (7th Cir.1994). A motion for
reconsideration serves the limited function of allowing a
court to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present
newly-discovered evidence. See Caisse Nationale de Credit
Agricole v. CBI Indus., Inc ., 90 F.3d 1264,
1270 (7th Cir.1996).
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) permits a court to amend a
judgment or order if the movant demonstrates a manifest error
of law or fact or presents newly discovered evidence that was
not previously available. A manifest error of law is the
“disregard, misapplication, or failure to recognize
controlling precedent.” Oto v. Metro. Life
Ins., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting
Sedrak v. Callahan, 987 F.Supp. 1063, 1069 (N.D.
Ill. 1997)). To succeed on a Rule 59(e) motion, the movant
must “clearly establish one of the aforementioned
grounds for relief.” Harrington, 433 F.3d at
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60, a court may relieve a
party from a final judgment or order based on, among other
reasons, “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect, ” newly discovered evidence, or any other
reason justifying relief.Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b); Musch v.
Domtar Indus., Inc., 587 F.3d 857, 861 (7th Cir. 2009).
“The movant seeking relief under Rule 60(b)(6) must
show extraordinary circumstances justifying the reopening of
a final judgment.” Ramirez v. United States,
799 F.3d 845 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing Gonzalez v.
Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 535 (2005)). A party invoking Rule
60(b) must claim grounds for relief that could not have been
used to obtain a reversal by means of a direct appeal.
Banks v. Chicago Board of Education, 750 F.3d 663,
667 (7th Cir. 2014).
Adams’ grievances merely demonstrate his disagreement
with this Court's denial of his Section 2255 petition,
motion to reopen case, and the Seventh Circuit’s
decision to affirm his sentence. Instantly, he re-alleges
many of the allegations previously argued before this Court
as support for reconsideration. In the Court’s previous
orders, it was found that there was no substantial showing of
the denial of a constitutional right. See 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(2}. Also, the Court found that Adam’s motion to
reopen was actually a successive collateral attack on his
criminal judgment, and it was dismissed for lack of
reviewing the merits of Adam’s current motion to
reconsider, this Court thoroughly and methodically
contemplated the factual and legal allegations presented. As
petitioner presented claims either foreclosed from review, or
claims of ineffective assistance of counsel completely
inadequate to satisfy the burden required of either
Strickland prong, Strickland v. Washington,
466 U.S. 668, 694, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984) in
his Section 2255 petition, this Court correctly denied
petitioner's Section 2255 petition. Currently, Adams
fails to demonstrate any manifest error of law pertaining to
the Court’s denial. In his motion to reopen, Adams also
failed to demonstrate a manifest error of law or fact or
present newly discovered evidence not previously available.
Seventh Circuit has also addressed the issues raised in
Adam’s current motion. Most importantly, when
addressing the fact that Adams waived any argument regarding
whether his prior controlled substance conviction qualified
as a career offender predicate offense, the Seventh Circuit
found that by not raising the issue on his first appeal, his
argument was waived during his collateral attack. The Seventh
Circuit stated, “[i]n any case, the belated challenge
as to the nature of Adams’ prior conviction fails on
the merits.” See United States v. Adams, 451
Fed. App’x. 576 (7th Cir. 2011). The Seventh Circuit
explained its reasoning by stating:
The felony complaint underlying Adams' 1997 conviction,
as well as the judgment itself, are both in the record,
having been attached to an “Information Charging Prior
Offenses” that the government filed in advance of
Adams' trial. R. 69. The complaint, which captions the
charge as “Sell/Furnish Controlled Narcotic Substance,
” alleges that “[o]n or about January 24, 1996[,
] QUAWNTAY ADAMS did unlawfully sell, furnish, administer,
and give away, and offered to sell, furnish, administer, and
give away controlled substances, to wit: cocaine base, in
violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11352(a).”
R. 69-1 at 1. The complaint thus establishes that Adams was
charged not with transportation of a narcotic, but rather
with the distribution and attempted distribution of a
narcotic. The district court itself pointed to the
complaint's language in rejecting Adams' contention.
R. 529 29-30. In short, the record makes clear ...