United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
LORI A. HELMER, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT, DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on petitioner Lori A.
Helmer's Motion to Vacate, Set aside or Correct Sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. 1). The Government
has not filed a response and the time for doing so has not
expired. However, a response from the government is not
required by the Court. For the following reasons, the Court
denies Ms. French's motion.
November 15, 2013, Ms. Helmer pleaded guilty to one count of
conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 846. See United States v. Helmer, Case
No. 13-cr-40089-JPG-3 (Doc. 65). On February 6, 2015, the
undersigned Judge sentenced Ms. Helmer to 87 months
imprisonment, three years supervised release, a $100 special
assessment, and a $100 fine. (Doc. 126, 13-cr-40089). The
Court found that there were no aggravating or mitigating role
adjustments. (Doc. 128, 13-cr-40089).
Helmer's § 2255 motion argues that Amendment 794
with regard to a mitigating role reduction should be applied
retroactively to her sentence. She states that she,
“was a mere ‘peon' in the entire
scheme” and that her role was minor compared with other
in the conspiracy.
Court must grant a § 2255 motion when a defendant's
“sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution
or laws of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
However, “[h]abeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 is reserved for extraordinary situations.”
Prewitt v. United States, 83 F.3d 812, 816 (7th Cir.
1996). “Relief under § 2255 is available only for
errors of constitutional or jurisdictional magnitude, or
where the error represents a fundamental defect which
inherently results in a complete miscarriage of
justice.” Kelly v. United States, 29 F.3d
1107, 1112 (7th Cir. 1994) (quotations omitted). It is proper
to deny a § 2255 motion without an evidentiary hearing
if, “the motion and the files and records of the case
conclusively demonstrate that the prisoner is entitled to no
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b); see Sandoval v.
United States, 574 F.3d 847, 850 (7th Cir. 2009). No
evidentiary hearing has been conducted in this matter as the
records and files clearly demonstrate that Ms. Helmer is not
entitled to any relief.
794 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines became
effective on November 1, 2015. Although Amendment 794 has
been held retroactive on direct appeal, it has not been held
retroactive for collateral review. See U.S.S.G
§§ 1B1.10(d)(listing covered amendments for
retroactivity); U.S. v. Quintero-Leyva, 823 F.3d.
519, 521 nt 1 (9th Cir.2016)(holding that
Amendment 794 applies retroactively in direct appeals, but
declining to determine whether the amendment applies to
“a defendant who has exhausted his direct appeal can
move to reopen sentencing proceedings.”). The
petitioner has not cited to any controlling case law that
Amendment 794 applies retroactively. As such, the Court
properly used the sentencing guideline manual in effect on
the date of the petitioner's sentencing. See
U.S.S.G § 1B1.11.
Certificate of Appealability
denied Ms. Helmer's motion, the Court must grant or deny
a certificate of appealability. See Rule 11(a) of
the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United
States District Courts; 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c). Section
2253(c)(2) provides that a certificate of appealability may
issue only if a petitioner has made a substantial showing of
the denial of a constitutional right. Ms. Helmer has made no
such showing. Therefore, the Court denies a certificate of
appealability. Pursuant to Rule 11(a), Ms. Helmer may not
appeal the denial of a certificate of appealability, but she
may seek a certificate from the Court of Appeals for the
this Court DENIES Ms. Helmer's § 2255 Motion (Doc.
1) and DISMISSES this action. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of
Court to enter judgment accordingly. Further, the Court
DENIES a certificate of appealability.