United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER L. RAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a guilty plea to a charge of possessing ammunition as a
convicted felon, Jeremy James was sentenced to 77 months'
imprisonment in January 2017. Doc. 63
(Judgment). He appealed, and the Court of Appeals
affirmed the judgment. See docs. 66 (Notice of Appeal)
& 89 (Court of Appeals' mandate). He now moves to
vacate his conviction on the grounds that he received
ineffective assistance from counsel at trial and on appeal.
Doc. 90 at 4-5.
contends that his motion is timely filed. Doc. 90 at 10; doc.
91 at 1. The Court of Appeals' judgment became final on
January 15, 2018. See, e.g., Michel v. United
States, 519 F.3d 1267, 1268 n. 1 (11th Cir. 2008)
(explaining that “[w]hen no petition for writ of
certiorari is filed, the [Court of Appeals'] judgment
becomes final for § 2255 purposes when the time for
filing the petition expires.”); Sup. Ct. Rule 13
(requiring petition for certiorari from judgment of the Court
of Appeals to be filed within 90 days of judgment); doc. 89
at 2 (Court of Appeals' judgment entered Oct. 17, 2017).
He had one year from that date to file his § 2255
motion. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). He filed his
motion on January 11, 2019. See, e.g., Bullock v. United
States, 655 Fed.Appx. 739, 741 (11th Cir. 2016) (citing
jurisdiction, the motion appears meritless. Regardless of the
state of the Court's jurisdiction when the
“motion” was filed or its merits, it is now
clearly moot. Accordingly, the Clerk is
DIRECTED to terminate the motion. Doc. 83.
Washington v. United States, 243 F.3d 1299, 1301
(11th Cir. 2001)) (“Under the ‘prison mailbox
rule,' a pro se prisoner's section 2255
motion is deemed filed on the date the prisoner delivers the
motion to prison authorities for mailing.”). His
petition, therefore, appears timely.
timely, it is no more than a “placeholder”
motion. The motion itself contains no more than conclusory
recitations of the asserted grounds, without any factual
support or argument. See doc. 90 at 4-5. Accompanying
his motion is a request to hold consideration of the motion
in abeyance for 90 days to allow him to acquire court records
and support his claims. Doc. 91 at 2.
Court has explained, “[a]n extension of time in a
§ 2255 case may only be granted if (1) the movant
requests the extension upon or after filing the § 2255
motion, and (2) rare and exceptional circumstances warrant
equitably tolling the limitations period.” Collins
v. United States, 2009 WL 3379071 at * 1 n. 1 (S.D. Ga.
Oct. 20, 2009). Although filing an “abbreviated”
§ 2255 motion may satisfy the first requirement, see
id., Jones points to no “rare and exceptional
circumstances” sufficient to warrant equitable tolling.
He protests that his attorney has not sent “a copy of
his case file, with his transcripts, and discovery to allow
him to properly cite, and support the claims in the §
2255.” Doc. 91 at 2. A movant's “inability to
obtain documents to assist him in preparing his § 2255
motion [does] not constitute an extraordinary circumstance
warranting tolling.” Goins v. United States,
2017 WL 235187 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 18, 2017) (citing,
inter alia, Hansen v. United States, 956
F.2d 245, 248 (11th Cir. 1992)). His request to hold his
§ 2255 motion in abeyance, therefore, is
clear that Jones' claims, as presented, are insufficient.
“[C]onclusory claims-unsupported by any facts or
argument of any kind-do not entitle a movant to § 2255
relief.” Collins, 2009 WL 337901 at * 1
(citing, inter alia, Tejada v. Dugger, 941
F.2d 1551, 1559 (11th Cir. 1991); Rodriguez v. United
States, 473 F.2d 1042, 1043 (5th Cir. 1973)); see
also Goins, 2017 WL 235187 at * 1 (movant's
“general claims his lawyers' actions constituted
[ineffective assistance] . . . are not allegations sufficient
to support a claim under section 2255.” (quotes and
cites omitted)). Accordingly, James' § 2255 motion
should be DENIED.
the Certificate of Appealability (COA) standards set forth in
Brown v. United States, 2009 WL 307872 at * 1-2
(S.D. Ga. Feb. 9, 2009), the Court discerns no COA-worthy
issues at this stage of the litigation, so no COA should
issue either. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1); Rule 11(a) of the
Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases Under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 (“The district court must issue or deny a
certificate of appealability when it enters a final order
adverse to the applicant.”) (emphasis added).
report and recommendation (R&R) is submitted to the
district judge assigned to this action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B) and this Court's Local Rule 72.3.
Within 14 days of service, any party may file written
objections to this R&R with the Court and serve a copy on
all parties. The document should be captioned
“Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendations.” Any request for additional time to
file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that failure to
timely file objections will result in the waiver of rights on
appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v. V.A. Leasing
Corp., 648 Fed.Appx. 787, 790 (11th Cir. 2016);
Mitchell v. United States, 612 Fed.Appx. 542, 545
(11th Cir. 2015).
REPORTED AND RECOMMENDED.
 The Court is citing to the criminal
docket in CR416-085 unless otherwise noted, and all page
numbers are those imprinted by the court's docketing
 In 2017, James filed what appears to
be a copy of a letter he sent to his appointed counsel. Doc.
83. It complained of counsel's performance and objected
to the arguments he raised in an appellate brief.
Id. The Clerk docketed that letter as a
“Motion to Appoint New Counsel.” Id. At
the time it was filed, it is not clear that this Court had
jurisdiction to consider it. See, e.g., United States v.
Riolo, 398 Fed.Appx. 568, 571 (11th Cir. 2010)
(“Generally, the filing of a notice of appeal deprives
a district court of jurisdiction over all of the issues
involved in the appeal.”). Further, while a criminal
defendant has a right to counsel on appeal, he does not have
the right to dictate that counsel's strategy or judgment
on the merits of issues. See, e.g., Jones v. Barnes,
463 U.S. 745, 754 (1983) (rejecting rule that would require
appointed appellate counsel to raise every issue urged by a
defendant because “[f]or judges to second-guess
reasonable professional ...