United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
EPHREN TAYLOR II, BOP Reg. # 26896-045, Movant,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
TO VACATE 28 U.S.C. § 2255
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S ORDER AND FINAL
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. RAVERMAN UMTED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ephren Taylor II, filed a pro se motion under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence in
criminal action number 1:14-cr-217-TCB-AJB-1. [Doc.
The Government filed a response in opposition. [Doc. 101.]
Movant filed a reply, [Doc. 109], additional documents in
support of his § 2255 motion, [Docs. 125, 126, 134, 143,
144], and a motion for evidentiary hearing, [Doc. 133].
also submitted two motions to expand the record. [Docs. 127,
129.] Movant asks the Court to consider information regarding
his use of Xanax and alcohol. [Doc. 127 at 1-2; Doc. 129 at
1-2.] The Government did not oppose the motions to expand the
record. For good cause shown, the undersigned
GRANTS Movant's motions to expand the
record, [Docs. 127, 129].
further submitted a motion to disqualify United States
District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr., from this case. [Doc.
132.] Judge Duffey subsequently retired, and the case was
reassigned to United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten,
Sr. [See Dkt. Entry July 2, 2018.] Accordingly,
Movant's motion to disqualify, [Doc. 132], is
DENIED AS MOOT.
Movant submitted a “motion for judicial docket
data.” [Doc. 136.] Movant asks the Court to provide
“the number of habeas cases pending before Hon. Judge
Batten ahead of this instant proceeding.” [Id.
at 1.] Movant's request is not relevant to whether he is
entitled to § 2255 relief. Accordingly, Movant's
“motion for judicial docket data, ” [Doc. 136],
reasons discussed below, Movant's motion for evidentiary
hearing, [Doc. 133], is DENIED, and the
undersigned RECOMMENDS that his § 2255
motion, [Doc. 87], be DENIED.
28 U.S.C. § 2255 Standard
motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence may be
made “upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in
violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States,
or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such
sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum
authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral
attack . . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
“[C]ollateral review is not a substitute for a direct
appeal . . . .” Lynn v. United States, 365
F.3d 1225, 1232 (11th Cir. 2004) (per curiam).
Section 2255 relief “is reserved for transgressions of
constitutional rights and for that narrow compass of other
injury that could not have been raised in direct appeal and
would, if condoned, result in a complete miscarriage of
justice.” Id. (quoting Richards v. United
States, 837 F.2d 965, 966 (11th Cir. 1988))
(internal quotation marks omitted).
§ 2255 movant “has the burden of sustaining his
contentions by a preponderance of the evidence.”
Tarver v. United States, 344 Fed.Appx. 581, 582
(11th Cir. Sept. 18, 2009) (per curiam) (quoting
Wright v. United States, 624 F.2d 557, 558
(5th Cir. 1980)). The Court must conduct an evidentiary
hearing unless “the motion and the files and records of
the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to
no relief . . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). “[A]
district court need not hold an evidentiary hearing where the
movant's allegations are affirmatively contradicted by
the record, or the claims are patently frivolous.”
Bain v. United States, 565 Fed.Appx. 827, 828
(11th Cir. May 12, 2014) (per curiam) (quoting
Aron v. United States, 291 F.3d 708, 715
(11th Cir. 2002)) (internal quotation marks
present case, the undersigned determines that an evidentiary
hearing is not needed because the § 2255 motion and
record conclusively show that Movant is entitled to no
relief. Accordingly, the undersigned ORDERS
that Movant's motion for evidentiary hearing, [Doc. 133],
October 8, 2014, Movant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1349. [Docs. 1, 40.] On March 24, 2015, the District Court,
Duffey, J., filed the Judgment and Commitment,
sentencing Movant to 235 months of imprisonment, followed by
three years of supervised release. [Doc. 65.] Movant did not
appeal. [Doc. 87 at 2.] The District Court, Duffey,
J., subsequently reduced Movant's custodial sentence
to 223 months. [Doc. 103.] The United States Court of Appeals
for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the sentence reduction.
See United States v. Taylor, 727 Fed.Appx. 979
(11th Cir. Feb. 27, 2018) (per curiam). [Doc.
timely executed his § 2255 motion on March 16, 2016.
[Doc. 87 at 12.] Movant claims that (1) trial counsel
provided ineffective assistance (grounds one through four),
and (2) the District Court, Duffey, J., erred
(grounds five through seven). [Id. at 20-37; see
also Doc. 101 at 13-14.]