Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Ellis

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

June 3, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ANTHONY ELLIS

         SECTION “R”

          ORDER AND REASONS

          SARAH S. VANCE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Anthony Ellis's motion seeking relief from the Court's judgment denying his motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[1] The Court denies the motion because Ellis's alleged lack of notice of the Court's judgment does not entitle him to relief.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On April 20, 2015, defendant Anthony Ellis pleaded guilty to transportation of an individual for purposes of engaging in prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2421, and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 1591(a).[2] In his plea agreement, Ellis waived his right to appeal and collaterally challenge his conviction and sentence, but he retained the right to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in an appropriate proceeding.[3] The Court accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Ellis to 60 months imprisonment as to the conspiracy charge, and 120 months imprisonment as to the charge under Section 2121, to be served consecutively.[4]

         On September 23, 2016, Ellis filed a motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[5] The Court denied the motion on February 21, 2018.[6] Ellis has now filed a motion for relief from the judgment alleging that he did not receive notice of the Court's denial of his Section 2255 motion.[7]The government opposes the motion.[8]

         II. DISCUSSION

         Ellis contends that his lack of notice of the Court's judgment entitles him to relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(d)(1).[9] Rule 60(d)(1) provides that a court may “entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order, or proceeding.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(d)(1). For relief under this Rule, Ellis must show “fraud, accident, or mistake which prevented the defendant in the judgment from obtaining the benefit of his defense.” Johnson v. Davis, 746 Fed.Appx. 375, 380 (5th Cir. 2018) (quoting Addington v. Farmer's Elevator Mut. Ins. Co., 650 F.2d 663, 668 (5th Cir. Unit A July 1981)). Ellis states that he was not notified of the Court's judgment due to accident or mistake. He does not explain how his lack of notice prevented him from obtaining the benefit of his defense, nor does he specify the relief he seeks.

         To the extent that Ellis seeks relief from the order itself, there is no basis for this under Rule 60(d)(1) or any other provision of law. If Ellis is asking the Court to extend or reopen his appeal period because his lack of notice prevented him from filing a timely appeal or a timely motion for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), this relief is not available either. The Fifth Circuit has held on multiple occasions that a defendant who was not notified of a court's judgment may not receive extra time to appeal the judgment. See United States v. Awalt, 728 F.2d 704, 705 (5th Cir. 1984) (“Lack of notice is not a basis for a plea of excusable neglect and does not excuse noncompliance with Rule 4(b).”); United States v. Green, 348 Fed.Appx. 917, 918 (5th Cir. 2009) (holding that petitioner who did not receive notice of a judgment could not obtain relief on the basis of a motion under Rule 60(b) that was filed more than one year after the judgment). This is because “the timely filing of a notice of appeal in a civil case is a jurisdictional requirement and courts have no authority to create equitable exceptions to jurisdictional requirements.” Id. at 918 (quoting Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205, 214 (2007) (alterations omitted)). Ellis therefore has no right to relief from the judgment itself, and he is also not entitled to an additional opportunity to respond to or appeal the judgment.

         III. CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, Ellis motion for relief from judgment is DENIED.

---------

Notes:

[1] R. Doc. 499.


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.