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Tidwell v. Krueger

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division

November 23, 2016

SAMUEL K. TIDWELL, Petitioner,
v.
J.E. KRUEGER, Respondent.

          ORDER & OPINION

          JOE BILLY McDADE United States Senior District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Samuel K. Tidwell's Motion for Reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59. (Doc. 4). For the reasons stated below, the Motion is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

         Background and Procedural History

         Petitioner was convicted of conspiring to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 846, distributing crack cocaine, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and using and carrying firearms during the conspiracy, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 924(c). (Doc. 1 at 11). At the sentencing hearing, the court found Petitioner responsible for 14.5 kilograms of powder cocaine and 9.5 kilograms of cocaine base. United States v. Tidwell, No. 13-2736, at 2 (7th Cir. Feb. 6, 2014). This resulted in a base offense level of 40, to which the district court added four levels for Petitioner's leadership role in the offense, for a total offense level of 44. Id. The court originally sentenced Petitioner to life imprisonment for the conspiracy count. Id. Additionally, the court sentenced Petitioner to a concurrent forty-year term of imprisonment on the distribution counts and a consecutive five-year term of imprisonment on the firearm count. Id. Petitioner appealed his conviction and sentence, which were subsequently affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. United States v. Evans, 92 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 1996). Petitioner filed for a Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court which was denied. Tidwell v. United States, 519 U.S. 972 (1996).

         The remainder of Petitioner's procedural history is extensive. By the time Petitioner filed this motion, Petitioner had already filed at least four § 2255 motions, [1]three applications for permission to file a second or successive § 2255 motion, [2] and one other motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.[3]

         Pertinent to the original Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus are the following motions. According to Petitioner, he filed his first § 2255 motion in the summer of 1996. (Doc 1 at 4). Then, on June 30, 2016, Petitioner filed a motion pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) for a sentence reduction because of Amendment 782's two-step reduction of the sentencing guidelines. On June 30, 2016, Judge Reinhard granted Petitioner's motion and reduced his sentence from life imprisonment to 420 months imprisonment.

         On October 27, 2016, Petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He alleged four grounds: 1) that “Amendment 782 [to the Sentencing Guidelines] gravely alters the drug amounts as calculated at Movant's sentencing;” 2) inaccurate drug amounts; 3) improper application of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); and 4) “clerical error in judgment.” (Doc. 1 at 6-8).

         The Court dismissed Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (Doc. 2). The Court found that Petitioner failed to satisfy the requirements of In re Davenport, 147 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 1998), which requires a prisoner to prove that § 2255 motion is an inadequate or ineffective remedy and before it allows a prisoner to challenge his sentence through a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 2 at 5). Specifically, the Court found that Petitioner had already received a sentence reduction pursuant to Amendment 782. Id. Additionally, the Court found that Petitioner's remaining claims could have been brought during one of his four previous § 2255 motions. Id. The Court also found that Petitioner's arguments did not rely on a new case of statutory interpretation. Id.

         Because Petitioner did not prove that a § 2255 would be inadequate or ineffective, the Court consider his petition to be a successive § 2255 motion in disguise. Id. at 8. Because Petitioner brought it without permission from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Court dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction. Id. Additionally, the Court declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Id. at 9.

         On November 21, 2016, Petitioner filed this Motion for Reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59. (Doc. 4). Petitioner sets forth two arguments. First, Petitioner argues that he was improperly convicted of § 924(c).[4] Id. at 1. Second, Petitioner argues that his drug amounts were improperly calculated.[5] Id. at 4.

         Legal Standards

         A request to alter or amend judgment filed pursuant to Rule 59(e) may only be granted if a movant clearly establishes that the court made a manifest error of law or fact, or presents newly discovered evidence. LB Credit Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 49 F.3d 1263, 1267 (7th Cir. 1995). A manifest error is the “wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks omitted). A movant may not advance in a Rule 59(e) motion arguments he should have raised before judgment was entered. Sigsworth v. City of Aurora, Ill., 487 F.3d 506, 512 (7th Cir. 2007).

         Discussion

         Petitioner does not assert that the Court made a manifest error of law or fact; nor does Petitioner present newly discovered evidence. Rather Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration is nothing more than identical copy ...


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