United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
RODNEY L. BROWN, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is petitioner Rodney L Brown's
(“petitioner”) motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence (doc. 1).
Petitioner raises ten (10) grounds in support of the motion.
After review, the Court dismisses the motion for timeliness.
district court enters final judgment it lacks jurisdiction to
continue to hear related issues, except to the extent
authorized by statute or rule. See Carlisle v. United
States, 517 U.S. 416 (1996). The following post-judgment
motions are allowed if timely filed: a motion for
revision made under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35, a
motion for new trial made under Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 33, and lastly, as filed here, a collateral attack
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. “A motion . . . for
postconviction relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is subject
to a one-year time limitation that generally runs from the
‘the date on which the judgment of the conviction
becomes final.'” Clay v. United States,
537 U.S. 522, 524 (2003), quoting 28 U.S.C. §
petitioner did not file a notice of appeal after sentence was
imposed and judgment of conviction was entered. Therefore,
petitioner's conviction became final in January 2010
(doc. 268), and a timely motion under § 2255 had to be
filed by January 2011. Instead, petitioner's § 2255
petition was filed March 13, 2018, some eight years
after his conviction was finalized and seven years
past the one year statute of limitations deadline. To support
why his motion is filed so untimely, petitioner claims he
“wasn't aware of [the] decision or sentence”
as he had escaped federal custody prior to sentencing and
absconded to Mexico. See doc. 1 at 4; 13. When
petitioner was apprehended some seven months after his
escape, he was taken into State custody where he remained
until January 2017. Id. at 13. Petitioner claims he
had no access to the courts during this time - from 2010 to
2017 (id. at 10) - and did not learn of his sentence
to be able to file a direct appeal or other post-judgment
motion until he was released into federal custody in March
2017. Id. at 15.
makes the inference in his motion that the one year
limitations period should run from the date he claims he
became aware of his federal sentence, March 2017.
See doc. 1 at 15 (“As soon as defendant was in
federal custody (3-9-2017) and became aware of his sentencing
(3-14-2017), Defendant filed a Notice of Intent to file an
out-of-time appeal and requested transcripts. The Courts
denied said motion and this is the first opportunity the
defendant has had to file 2255.”). The Court is not
persuaded that March 2018 is the first opportunity petitioner
has had to file a § 2255 petition. To support this
accusation, petitioner merely makes repeated, conclusory
statements that he “didn't have access to the
courts”, yet does not provide any information as to
why. His § 2255 petition does not demonstrate why
petitioner was unable to access the courts for a seven year
period of time nor does it state any viable reason to toll
the one year statute of limitations from the date his
conviction became final. Furthermore, petitioner does not
cite to any case law establishing that committing a criminal
act, such as escaping from federal custody, is grounds to
extend the limitations period.
§ 2255 motion was filed over seven years late and
clearly, is untimely. His claims should have been raised, and
could have been raised, within the statute of limitations
period as petitioner has presented no valid reason why he was
not aware of them until 2017. Accordingly, his 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 motion is DISMISSED with prejudice.
the Court also DENIES a certificate of appealability as to
the § 2255 motion. A certificate of appealability is
required before a habeas petitioner may appeal an unfavorable
decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2253(c); FED. RAPP. P. 22(b). The Court denies a
certificate of appealability as reasonable jurists would not
debate that the denial of petitioner's § 2255 motion
is proper. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484
(2000) (stating, “a habeas prisoner must make a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right,
a demonstration that, ... reasonable jurists could debate
whether (or, for that matter, agree that) the petition should
have been resolved in a different manner or that the issues
presented were “adequate to deserve encouragement to
proceed further”) (citation and quotation marks
 Petitioner's January 29, 2010
sentence took into account crimes committed in the
276th Judicial Court of Morris County, Texas, and
was to run consecutively to the, at the time, undischarged
terms of imprisonment for the Morris County cases (doc.
 On April 14, 2017 petitioner requested
copies of certain parts of the record in order to file an
untimely appeal (doc. 275). The Court denied the motion in
part for it being “more likely ...