United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
JOSEPH W. HOULT, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court on Petitioner Joseph W. Hoult's
Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or
Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody (d/e 1). A
hearing on the Motion is not required because “the
motion, files, and records of the case conclusively show that
the prisoner is entitled to no relief.” Hutchings
v. United States, 618 F.3d 693, 699-700 (7th Cir. 2010)
(quotation omitted). Specifically, while a claim under
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2251 (2015)
would be timely, Petitioner does not have a cognizable
Johnson claim. Petitioner's remaining claims are
untimely. Therefore, the Section 2255 Motion is DENIED.
August 2012, Petitioner was charged by indictment with six
counts of distribution of child pornography, six counts of
receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of
child pornography. See United States v. Joseph W.
Hoult, Central District Illinois, Urbana Division, Case
No. 12-20053 (hereinafter Case No. 12-20053), Indictment (d/e
6). On June 21, 2013, Petitioner entered an open plea of
guilty to all 13 counts of the Indictment before United
States Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal. Case No. 12-20053,
June 21, 2013 Text Order. Judge Bernthal prepared a Report
and Recommendation recommending that the plea of guilty be
accepted. Case No. 12-20053 (d/e 18). On July 16, 2013,
Senior United States District Judge Michael P. McCuskey
approved the recommendation of the magistrate judge, accepted
the guilty plea, and adjudged Petitioner guilty of the
offenses. Case No. 12-20053 (d/e 20).
Probation Office prepared a Revised Presentence Investigation
Report (PSR). Case No. 12-20053, PSR (d/e 29). The probation
officer determined that the base offense level for
Petitioner's offenses was 22. Id. ¶ 26.
Petitioner received a two-level enhancement due to the age of
the children depicted (U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2(b)(2)); a
five-level enhancement for distribution in exchange for
additional child pornography (U.S.S.G. §
2G2.2(b)(3)(B)); a four-level enhancement for material
displaying violence (U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2(b)(4)); and a
five-level enhancement for having 600 or more images
(U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2(b)(7)(D)). Id. ¶¶
27-30. After a reduction for acceptance of responsibility,
Petitioner's total offense level was 35. Id.
¶¶ 36-38. In addition, Petitioner had a total
criminal history score of 17, which established a criminal
history category of VI. Id. ¶¶ 49-50.
on a total offense level of 35 and a criminal history
category of VI, the guideline imprisonment range was 292 to
365 months. Case No. 12-20053, PSR ¶ 85. However, the
statutory maximum sentence was 240 months on Counts 1 through
12 and 120 months on Count 13. Id. ¶¶ 85,
86. Therefore, the guideline range on Counts 1 through 12 was
240 months and the guideline range on Count 13 was 120
counsel did not object to the PSR. Case No. 12-20053,
December 20, 2013 Minute Entry. Judge McCuskey adopted the
PSR without change. See Statement of Reasons (d/e
McCuskey sentenced Petitioner to 200 months' imprisonment
on Counts 1 through 12 and 120 months' imprisonment on
Count 13, all to run concurrently. Case No. 12-20053,
Judgment (d/e 32). Judge McCuskey also imposed a life term of
supervised release on all counts, to run concurrently.
Id. Petitioner did not file a direct appeal.
16, 2016, Petitioner placed his Section 2255 Motion in the
prison mailing system. See Motion (d/e 1). The
Motion was filed on June 23, 2016. Because of Judge
McCuskey's retirement from his position as a District
Court Judge, the case has been assigned to this Court.
raises three grounds for relief in his Motion. First,
Petitioner argues that, in light of Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), he was sentenced under a
higher guideline range than he should have been. Section 2255
Motion (d/e1) (Ground One). Second, Petitioner argues that
the sentencing guideline enhancements under United States
Sentencing Guidelines “§ 2G2” and
“§ 2G1” are unconstitutional. Id.
(Ground Two). Finally, Petitioner argues that he received
ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel
failed to file a timely notice of appeal to raise the claim
that Petitioner's sentence was unreasonable in light of
the “§ 2G1” and “§ 2G2”
enhancements. Id. (Ground Three).
United States has filed a response asking that the Court deny
Petitioner's claims because (1) any of Petitioner's
claims that are not based on the United States Supreme
Court's decision in Johnson are untimely and (2)
Petitioner's purported Johnson claim fails on
the merits because Petitioner was not sentenced under the
Armed Career Criminal Act or as a career offender under the
Guidelines. Resp. at 1 n.1, 7, 9 n.10, 10-12 n.12. Petitioner
did not file a reply despite being given an opportunity to do
one-year period of limitation applies to § 2255
petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). The one-year ...