United States District Court, Western District of Virginia, Big Stone Gap Division
Christopher Allen Coates, Pro Se Defendant.
James P. Jones, United States District Judge.
The defendant, a federal inmate, brings this Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Upon review of the record, I find that the motion is untimely and will accordingly dismiss it.
Christopher Allen Coates pleaded guilty on December 16, 2009, to mailing a letter containing a threat to kill the President of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 871(a)(1), and mailing a letter containing a threat to injure another person, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 876(c). In exchange for his plea, the government moved to dismiss three other charges. I found that Coates’ conduct and background warranted a sentence above the advisory guideline range and sentenced him to 60 months in prison on each conviction, with the sentences to be served consecutive to each other and to any previously imposed sentence. On March 9, 2010, I entered an Amended Judgment to correct a typographical error. Coates appealed, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed his appeal by order dated April 13, 2011. He did not pursue a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.
Coates signed and dated his § 2255 motion on December 17, 2013. In the instant motion, he contends that his conviction should be overturned and he should be released from prison, because he was sick and under the influence of mind-altering medication at the time he signed the Plea Agreement and his attorney provided ineffective assistance.
By order entered January 3, 2014, the court advised Coates that his motion appeared to be untimely under § 2255(f) and would be summarily dismissed on that ground unless he provided additional information or argument demonstrating that his claims should be addressed on the merits. Coates has responded, asserting that he is entitled to equitable tolling of the statutory filing period because of his ongoing mental health and medical problems.
A person convicted of a federal offense has one year to file a § 2255 motion, starting from the latest of the following dates:
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). If the district court gives the defendant notice that the motion appears to be untimely and allows an opportunity to provide any argument and evidence regarding timeliness, and the defendant fails to make the requisite showing, the district court may summarily ...