United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
THOMAS L. TAYLOR Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
5, 1991, following a guilty plea, this Court sentenced
Petitioner Taylor Thomas to serve concurrent sentences
totaling 420 months. Count 1 was for conspiracy to distribute
over five kilograms of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 846; Counts 5, 9, and 26 were for possession of three
separate firearms by a convicted felon, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); and Count 6 was for the sale of a
stolen firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j).
See United States v. Taylor et al., No. 90-cr-30020.
did not file a direct appeal, but later filed three
challenges to his sentence. In 1997, he unsuccessfully sought
relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, claiming a violation of
his Plea Agreement. Taylor v. United States, No.
97-cv-360. In 2004, Taylor filed a Habeas Corpus Petition
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, arguing that his sentence for
conspiracy should not have been enhanced under the career
offender guidelines and that he was actually innocent of the
facts used to enhance his sentence as a career offender.
Taylor v. Veltri, No. 04-cv-57. This Court dismissed
the Petition for lack of jurisdiction, finding it to be an
unauthorized successive motion under § 2255. Taylor
filed another Habeas Corpus Petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2241in 2014, asserting he was innocent of the enhanced
sentences he received. Taylor v. Cross, No.
14-cv-304. Again, that Petition was denied.
October 2014, Taylor moved for a sentence reduction based on
Amendment 782. See United States v. Taylor, et al.,
No. 90-30020, at Doc. 415. On January 28, 2015, this Court
granted Taylor's motion and reduced his sentence from 420
months to 378 months. Taylor appealed to the Seventh Circuit,
arguing this Court erred in finding that he was ineligible
for the full two-level reduction under Amendment 782. The
Seventh Circuit affirmed this Court's ruling on July 10,
2015. Taylor now moves under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 for habeas
relief, once again contending that his sentence should be
Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing § 2255 Proceedings in
the United States District Courts, a judge receiving a §
2255 petition must conduct a preliminary review and,
“[i]f it plainly appears from the motion, any attached
exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the moving
party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the
motion and direct the clerk to notify the moving
party.” Here, a preliminary review of Taylor's
motion reveals that it must be dismissed as unauthorized
second or successive habeas petition.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”) “governs § 2255 proceedings
and imposes tight limits on second or successive
petitions.” Vitrano v. United States, 721 F.3d
802, 806 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Suggs v. United
States, 705 F.3d 279, 285 (7th Cir. 2013)).
Specifically, AEDPA “allows every prisoner one full
opportunity to seek collateral review.”
Vitrano, 721 F.3d at 806 (quoting Johnson v.
United States, 196 F.3d 802, 805 (7th Cir. 1999)). Any
additional, later-filed petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
is considered a “second or successive” motion,
which a district court may not entertain “unless the
prisoner has first obtained authorization to file from the
court of appeals.” United States v. Obeid, 707
F.3d 898, 901 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing 18 U.S.C. §§
previously filed a § 2255 petition and received a full
round of collateral review. He has also filed two § 2241
petitions. The instant habeas petition is his fourth attempt
at relief, which requires prior approval from the Seventh
Circuit. There is no indication, however, that Taylor has
sought permission from the Seventh Circuit to file this
successive § 2255 petition. Therefore, this Court is
without jurisdiction to consider the pending motion and it
must be dismissed. Obeid, 707 F.3d at 901 (citing
Nuñez v. United States, 96 F.3d 990, 991 (7th
Cir. 1996)). Accordingly, Taylor's § 2255 habeas
petition is DENIED.
11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings
instructs the district court to “issue or deny a
certificate of appealability when it enters a final order
adverse to the applicant.” A certificate of
appealability may issue only if the petitioner “has
made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); Miller-El v.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003). To meet this
requirement, the petitioner must “demonstrate that
reasonable jurists would find the district court's
assessment of his constitutional claims debatable or
wrong.” United States v. Fleming, 676 F.3d
621, 625 (7th Cir. 2012) (quoting Tennard v. Dretke,
542 U.S. 274, 281 (2004)). The petitioner need not show that
his appeal will succeed, but he must show “something
more than the absence of frivolity” or the existence of
mere “good faith” on his part.
Miller-El, 537 U.S. at 337, 338.
Taylor did not obtain leave to file a successive § 2255
petition. Therefore, he is not entitled to issuance of a
certificate of appealability.