United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
SHANNON D. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
E. Payne Senior United States District Judge
a bench trial, Shannon D. Williams was convicted of various
drug offenses, three counts of murder while engaged in a drug
conspiracy, and one count of use of a firearm during and in
relation to a drug conspiracy, resulting in death, and was
sentenced to life in prison. See United States v.
Williams, 85 F.App'x 341, 345 (4th Cir. 2004) . The
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
affirmed his convictions and sentence. Id. By
Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on January 20, 2006, the
Court denied Williams's 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion.
United States v. Williams, Nos. 3:02CR85-JRS,
3:05CV100-JRS, 2006 WL 167659, at *6 (E.D. Va. Jan. 20,
2006). Since that time, Williams has inundated the Court with
various challenges to his conviction and sentence. See,
e.g., United States v. Williams, No. 3:02-CR-85-1, 2015
WL 11109787, at *l-3 (E.D. Va. June 10, 2015) (dismissing a
"Motion for Declaratory Judgment" and a Rule 60(b)
Motion as successive, unauthorized § 2255 motions);
Williams v. Galindo, No. 3:11CV649, 2013 WL 4759248,
at *3 (E.D. Va. Sept. 4, 2013) (dismissing "Motion for
Writ of Mandamus" as legally frivolous); see also
id. at *1 (outlining prior frivolous filings seeking his
release from incarceration).
26, 2016, the Court received a document titled,
"Complaint for Declaratory Judgment Fed.R.Civ.P.
57" ("Complaint, " ECF No. 1.) By Memorandum
Opinion and Order entered on April 3, 2017, the Court
dismissed the Complaint as a successive, unauthorized 28
U.S.C. § 2255 motion because Williams once again
challenged the validity of his conviction.
April 27, 2017, the Court received from Williams a
"Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment (Fed. R. Civ. Proc.
59(e))" ("Rule 59(e) Motion, " ECF No. 15).
of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy
which should be used sparingly." Pac. Ins. Co. v.
Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir.
1998) (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
recognizes three grounds for relief under Rule 59(e):
"(1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling
law; (2) to account for new evidence not available at trial;
or (3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice." Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d
1076, 1081 (4th Cir. 1993) (citing Weyerhaeuser Corp. v.
Koppers Co., 771 F.Supp. 1406, 1419 (D. Md. 1991);
Atkins v. Marathon LeTourneau Co., 130 F.R.D. 625,
626 (S.D.Miss. 1990)).
Williams fails to identify on which ground he seeks relief,
Williams seemingly argues that the Court should grant relief
to correct a clear error of law. Williams argues that the
Court erred when it granted him leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, but then dismissed his Complaint, as an
unauthorized, successive § 2255 motion. Williams
10) Had the court, after review, found that it did not have
jurisdiction, it would have dismissed the instant matter
under Rule 4 of the rules governing § 2255 proceedings.
11) However, Plaintiff was ordered to pay the initial partial
12) The court by law was to review this proceeding pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
59(e) Mot. 3.) Contrary to Williams suggestion, the Court
appropriately screened this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). Williams labeled his action as a
"Complaint for Declaratory Judgment Fed.R.Civ.P.
57." (Compl. 1.) Based on the fact that he labeled the
action as a Complaint, and due to his insistence "that
this action [was] not a 28 U.S.C. § 2255, nor a
successive § 2255" (Compl. 1), the Court filed it
as a new civil action.
order for an inmate to proceed in forma pauperis in
such civil actions, he must first satisfy the payment
requirements before the Court will review the content of a
complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1)-(2), (b)
(1) - (4) . Only after an inmate has been granted leave to
proceed in forma pauperis status, will the Court
screen the action. After granting Williams leave to proceed
in forma pauperis, the Court proceeded to the
screening stage and found that the Complaint was, in fact, a
mislabeled § 2255 motion. Thus, the Court dismissed the
action for lack of jurisdiction. Williams's lack of
candor with the Court in an attempt to circumvent the rules
that prohibit the filing of successive § 2255 motions is
the cause of the manner in which the Court handled the
action. After insisting that the action was not a successive
§ 2255 motion, he cannot now argue that he really
intended it to be such a motion. Due to Williams's lack
of candor with the Court, he is now "required to pay the
full amount of the filing fee." 28 U.S.C. §
fails to demonstrate any clear error of law that would
warrant Rule 59(e) relief. Accordingly, Williams's Rule
59(e) Motion (ECF No. 15) will be denied.
appeal may not be taken from the final order in a § 2255
proceeding unless a judge issues a certificate of
appealability ("COA"). 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(1)(B). A COA will not issue unless a prisoner makes
"a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253 (c) (2) . This requirement
is satisfied only when "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.'" Slack v. McDaniel, 529
U.S. 473, 484 (2000) (quoting Barefoot v. ...