United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ORDER ON MOTION TO RECONSIDER
Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge
conclusion of a trial in this Court in June 1996 (in Case No.
96-CR-40027-WLB), a jury convicted Anthony Dawon Taylor of
conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute crack cocaine (Count 1) and distribution of crack
cocaine (Counts 2 and 3). The late Judge William L. Beatty
sentenced Taylor, finding him to be a career offender within
the meaning of § 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing
Guidelines. Judgment was entered on November 13, 1996. Taylor
appealed. In June 1997, the United States Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit affirmed Taylor's conviction and
sentence. United States v. Taylor, 116 F.3d 269
(7th Cir. 1997).
1998, Taylor filed a petition to vacate, set aside, or
correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2255 (Case No.
98-cv-4207-WLB). Judge Beatty denied the petition but granted
a certificate of appealability on one claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel (id., Doc. 26). In June 2002,
the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Taylor's
§ 2255 petition. Taylor v. United States, 287
F.3d 658 (7th Cir. 2002).
years ago, Taylor filed in his closed criminal case a motion
to reduce his sentence under Amendment 782 to the Sentencing
Guidelines, via 18 U.S.C. 3582. Supplemental briefs raised
the June 26, 2015 United States Supreme Court decision in
Johnson v. United States, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015). In August 2015, the undersigned denied Taylor's
motion to reduce sentence, after concluding that Taylor was
not entitled to a reduction under Amendment 782. But the
undersigned clarified that the denial of relief under
Amendment 782 did not preclude Taylor from filing a
Johnson-based § 2255 petition, if he secured
approval from the Court of Appeals to do so. (Because it
would be a second or successive petition, such approval was
obtained authorization to file the § 2255 petition. On
October 2, 2015, Taylor filed a pro se petition and
supporting brief herein seeking a corrected sentence based on
Johnson. Counsel was appointed to assist Taylor in
presenting his Johnson-based arguments. The parties
briefed the issues thoroughly, with a final supplement filed
by Taylor's counsel in April 2016.
September 26, 2016, the undersigned denied Taylor's
§ 2255 petition, concluding that Taylor's
designation as a career offender was based on prior
convictions falling under the enumerated clause and
elements clause of U.S.S.G. 4B1.2(a), not the
residual clause of U.S.S.G. 4B1.2(a)(2). So if Taylor had
overcome various procedural hurdles to his petition, he would
not be entitled to merits-based relief. On October 27, 2016,
Taylor moved the undersigned to reconsider the denial of the
§ 2255 petition. Taylor bases his motion on Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 59(e).
final judgment has been entered in a civil case, a
dissatisfied litigant's avenues of relief fall under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b). See
Abcarian v. McDonald, 617 F.3d 931, 943 (7th Cir. 2010).
Whether a motion is construed under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b)
depends on the date the motion was filed and the substance of
the motion, not the label on the motion. See Banks v.
Chicago Bd. of Educ., 750 F.3d 663, 666 (7th
Cir. 2014); Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489,
493-94 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 555 U.S.
953 (2008). A 28-day deadline governs Rule 59(e) motions.
Id. See also Carlson v. CSX Transp., Inc., 758 F.3d
819, 825 (7th Cir. 2014).
under both Rule 59(e) and Rule 60(b) is an
“extraordinary remedy” that a court should grant
“only in exceptional circumstances.” Willis
v. Dart, -- Fed. App'x --2016 WL 7177756, at *2
(7th Cir. Dec. 9, 2016); Foster v.
DeLuca, 545 F.3d 582, 584 (7thCir. 2008).
See also Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 536
(2005) (extraordinary circumstances needed to justify grant
of Rule 60(b) motion).
motion was received by the Clerk's Office on October 27,
2016. If that date governs, Rule 60(b) applies, because the
motion was filed outside the 28-day window of Rule 59(e). If
Taylor gets the benefit of the prisoner mailbox rule (the
Court thinks he does), the date on the certificate of service
is used (October 22, 2016, see Doc. 14, p. 19), and
Rule 59(e) applies. Taylor is not entitled to relief either
prevail on a motion to alter or amend judgment under Rule
59(e), the movant “must ‘clearly establish'
(1) that the court committed a manifest error of law or fact,
or (2) that newly discovered evidence precluded entry of
judgment.” Blue v. Hartford Life & Acc. Ins.
Co., 698 F.3d 587, 598 (7th Cir. 2012),
quoting Harrington v. City of Chicago, 433 F.3d 542,
546 (7th Cir. 2006). A losing party's
disappointment with a ruling does not equate to manifest
error, and Rule 59(e) may not be used to rehash previously
rejected arguments. Vesely v. Armslist LLC, 762 F.3d
661, 667 (7th Cir. 2014), citing Oto v. Metro.
Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir.
2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 1152 (2001).
contends that this Court committed a “clear error of
law” in finding that his 1994 Illinois aggravated
battery conviction is a crime of violence without
“consulting” the State of Illinois'
interpretation of the statute of conviction (720 ILCS
5/12-3). Taylor's lengthy argument boils down to this
contention - the Court overlooked that it is possible to
commit battery under 720 ILCS 5/12-3 in a way that does
not involve the use, attempted use, or threatened
use of physical force, so a conviction under that statute is
not a “categorical match” to a crime of violence
under U.S.S.G. 4B1.2(a)(1) (Doc. 14, pp. 10-16).
undersigned did not overlook that fact at all. The
undersigned reached a different conclusion than the one urged
by Taylor. Taylor's classification as a career offender
was based on two prior felony convictions: (1) burglary (of a
dwelling) and assault with a deadly weapon under U.S.
military law, and (2) aggravated battery under Illinois law.
The undersigned found that both of those offenses
constituted crimes of violence as that term is defined in
U.S.S.G. 4B1.2(a). Taylor's counsel conceded (and Taylor
does not now dispute) that the first conviction was for a
crime of violence. Taylor takes issue with the conclusion
that aggravated battery with a firearm is a crime of violence
under § 4B1.2(a)(1). He argues that the undersigned
wrongly relied on Seventh Circuit precedent rather than
Illinois state cases in assessing the aggravated battery
analyzing the Illinois aggravated battery conviction, the
undersigned carefully explained the categorical and modified
categorical approach to deciding whether a prior conviction
is a crime of violence for federal sentencing purposes,
reviewed the 1994 Illinois battery statute (720 ILCS
5/12-3(a)), found that statute to be divisible (allowing
consideration of the charging documents and related
exhibits), and ultimately concluded that Taylor was convicted
under the “causes bodily harm” prong of the
Illinois statute, which meant his aggravated battery
conviction qualified as a crime of violence and was properly
counted as a predicate offense for career offender purposes.
In reaching this decision, the undersigned cited, inter
alia, Hill v. Werlinger, 695 F.3d 644, 649
(7th Cir. 2012), and United States v.
Rodriguez-Gomez, 608 F.3d 969, 973-74
(7thCir. 2010). Those are Seventh Circuit cases.
But they both interpreted the Illinois aggravated battery
statute and concluded that a conviction under the
“causes bodily harm” prong of the statute is a
crime of violence for federal sentencing purposes.
Order concluded: “Taylor was convicted of the type of
aggravated battery under Illinois law which necessarily had
as an element ‘the use, attempted use, or threatened
use of physical force against the person of another' and
thus fell squarely within the elements clause of U.S.S.G.
4B1.2(a)(1)” (Doc. 12, p. 17). “Both of
Taylor's predicate offenses are crimes of violence under
other provisions of the Guidelines - not the residual clause
of U.S.S.G. 4B1.2(a)(2). They were properly counted as
predicate offenses, ...