United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
FRANKLIN L. WILLIAMS, Movant,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. No. 5:06-cr-14
ORDER and MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Franklin Williams (“Williams”), who is currently
incarcerated at the Federal Satellite Low Camp in Jesup,
Georgia, has filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct
his Sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, in yet
another attempt to contest his conviction and sentence
obtained in this Court in Case Number 5:06-cr-14. Upon
review, I RECOMMEND that the Court
DISMISS Williams' Section 2255 Motion,
(doc. 1), DISMISS his Motion for Relief,
(doc. 6), DENY him in forma
pauperis status on appeal, and DENY him
a Certificate of Appealability. I also
RECOMMEND the Court DIRECT
the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and
enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal. The Court
GRANTS Williams' Motions to Supplement,
(docs. 3, 5, 9, 10), but only to the extent the Court
considered the allegations contained in Williams'
Supplements in reaching the recommended disposition of this
Section 2255 Motion.
Whether Williams can Proceed Pursuant to Section
present Motion is yet another in a long line of Section 2255
motions Williams has filed in this Court. The instant Motion
represents no less than Williams' twenty-sixth Section
2255 motion filed in this Court since 2008. All twenty-five
(25) of Williams' previous motions were denied on the
merits or as being an unauthorized second or successive
Section 2255 motion. See, e.g., Williams v.
United States of America, 5:08-cv-34 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 10,
2009), and Williams v. United States of America,
5:14-cv-62 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 29, 2014). This Court can minimize
the waste of judicial resources expended on the review of
Williams' claims and should dispose of his Motion as
expeditiously as possible.
his many prior motions, Williams has asserted either the same
claims as he does in this cause of action or some variation
of those claims. (Docs. 1, 3, 5, 9, 10.) As the Court
informed Williams on these many previous occasions, he is not
entitled to his requested relief. “The judge who
receives the [Section 2255] motion must promptly examine it.
If 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.” Rule
4(b), Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings. Williams'
Section 2255 Motion is successive, and there is no evidence
that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has authorized
Williams to file such a motion in this Court. Consequently, the
Court should DISMISS Williams' Motion.
Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis and Certificate of
Court should also deny Williams leave to appeal in forma
pauperis, and he should be denied a Certificate of
Appealability (“COA”). Though Williams has, of
course, not yet filed a notice of appeal, it is proper to
address these issues in the Court's order of dismissal.
Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2255
Cases, “the district court must issue or deny
a certificate of appealability when it issues a final order
adverse to the applicant.” (Emphasis supplied); see
also Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3) (trial court may certify
that appeal of party proceeding in forma pauperis is
not taken in good faith “before or after the notice of
appeal is filed”).
appeal cannot be taken in forma pauperis if the
trial court certifies that the appeal is not taken in good
faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3).
Good faith in this context must be judged by an objective
standard. Busch v. Cty. of Volusia, 189 F.R.D. 687,
691 (M.D. Fla. 1999). A party does not proceed in good faith
when he seeks to advance a frivolous claim or argument.
See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445
(1962). A claim or argument is frivolous when it appears the
factual allegations are clearly baseless or the legal
theories are indisputably meritless. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Carroll v.
Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993). Stated
another way, an in forma pauperis action is
frivolous, and thus, not brought in good faith, if it is
“without arguable merit either in law or fact.”
Napier v. Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528, 531 (11th Cir.
2002); see also Brown v. United States, Nos.
407CV085, 403CR001, 2009 WL 307872, at *1-2 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 9,
under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1), an appeal cannot be taken
from a final order in a habeas proceeding unless a
certificate of appealability is issued. A certificate of
appealability may issue only if the applicant makes a
substantial showing of a denial of a constitutional right.
The decision to issue a certificate of appealability requires
“an overview of the claims in the habeas petition and a
general assessment of their merits.” Miller-El v.
Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003). In order to obtain a
certificate of appealability, a petitioner must show
“that jurists of reason could disagree with the
district court's resolution of his constitutional claims
or that jurists could conclude the issues presented are
adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.”
Id. “Where a plain procedural bar is present
and the district court is correct to invoke it to dispose of
the case, a reasonable jurist could not conclude either that
the district court erred in dismissing the petition or that
the petitioner should be allowed to proceed further.”
Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see
also Franklin v. Hightower, 215 F.3d 1196, 1199 (11th
Cir. 2000). “This threshold inquiry does not require
full consideration of the factual or legal bases adduced in
support of the claims.” Miller-El, 537 U.S. at
on the above analysis of Williams' pleadings and applying
the Certificate of Appealability standards set forth above,
there are no discernable issues worthy of a certificate of
appealability; therefore, the Court should
DENY the issuance of a Certificate of
Appealability. If the Court adopts this recommendation and
denies Williams a Certificate of Appealability, Williams is
advised that he “may not appeal the denial but may seek
a certificate from the court of appeals under Federal Rule of
Appellate Procedure 22.” Rule 11(a), Rules Governing
Section 2255 Cases in the United States District Courts.
Furthermore, as there are no non-frivolous issues to raise on
appeal, an appeal would not be taken in good faith. Thus, the
Court should likewise DENY Williams in
forma pauperis status on appeal.
on the foregoing, I RECOMMEND that the Court
DISMISS Williams' Motion to Vacate, Set
Aside, or Correct his Sentence, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, DISMISS his Motion for Relief,
and DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal. I also RECOMMEND that
the Court DENY Williams a Certificate of
Appealability and DENY Williams in forma
pauperis status on appeal. The Court
GRANTS Williams' Motions to Supplement,
but only to the extent the Court considered the allegations
contained in Williams' Supplements in reaching the
recommended disposition of this Section 2255 Motion. (Docs.
3, 5, 9, 10.)
Court ORDERS any party seeking to object to
this Report and Recommendation to file specific written
objections within fourteen (14) days of the
date on which this Report and Recommendation is entered. Any
objections asserting that the Magistrate Judge failed to
address any contention raised in the pleading must also be
included. Failure to do so will bar any later challenge or
review of the factual findings or legal conclusions of the
Magistrate Judge. See 28 U.S.C. § ...