The Northern District of Illinois continues to be a hotbed of Padilla retroactivity activity (try to say that three times in a row!). In a recent decision issued by Chief Judge Holderman, the court concluded that the principle announced in Padilla did not constitute a new rule for purposes of qualifying for subsection (f)(3) of 28 U.S.C. 2255 — which if met would start the limitations clock on the date such a “new rule” was “initially recognized” rather than on the date the conviction becomes “final,” as is generally the case. The upshot of all this being that a court would accept an otherwise untimely 2255 motion. The case is Mudahinyuka v. United States, Case No. 10 C 5812 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 7, 2011) and is available here. [As an interesting aside, the petitioner in this case is a native of Rwanda who had sought but was denied refuge in the U.S. because of his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.] The core of the Mudahinyuka court’s retroactivity analysis is as follows:
District courts have issued divergent opinions on the question of whether Padilla “created a newly recognized right that is retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review.” United States v. Gutierrez Martinez, Criminal No. 07-91(5) ADM/FLN/Civil No. 10-2553 ADM, 2010 WL 5266490, at *2-3 (D. Minn. Dec. 17, 2010) (collecting cases). Some district courts, including the Southern District of California, the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Eastern District of New York, have held that Padilla’s application of Strickland did not create a “new” rule, thus barring application of § 2255(f)(3). See, e.g., Luna v. United States, No. 10CV1659 JLS (POR), 2010 WL 4868062, at *3-4 (S.D. Cal. Nov. 23, 2010); United States v. Shafeek, Criminal Case No. 05-81129 / Civil Case No. 10-12670, 2010 WL 3789747, at *3 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 22, 2010); Gacko v. United States, No. 09-CV-4938 (ARR), 2010 WL 2076020, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. May 20, 2010); see also United States v. Chaidez, 730 F. Supp. 2d 896, 904 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 11, 2010) (holding that Padilla “did not announce a new rule” in the context of a petition for writ of error coram nobis). Other district courts, including the District of Nebraska and the District of New Jersey, have held that Padilla did announce a “new constitutional rule,” stressing that the result in Padilla was not dictated by precedent in the majority of the federal courts, but have further held that Padilla should not be considered retroactive for this very reason. See, e.g,., United States v. Perez, No. 8:02CR296, 2010 WL 4643033, at *2 (D. Neb. Nov. 9, 2010); United States v. Gilbert, No. 2:03-cr-00349-WJM-1, 2010 WL 4134286, at *3 (D.N.J. Oct. 19, 2010).
The requisite elements of § 2255(f)(3) are difficult to establish, in light of Supreme Court precedent generally holding that “new” constitutional rules of criminal procedure should not be applied retroactively to cases on collateral review. See Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 310 (1989). This court is not aware of any decision by a state or federal court holding that the Supreme Court recognized a new right in Padilla that is also retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review. Mudahinyuka, himself, takes the position that “[t]here is nothing new about” the holding in Padilla. United States v. Mudahinyuka, 10 C 5812 (N.D. Ill.) (Dkt. No. 15 (“Mudahinyuka Reply”) at 6.) This court is therefore not persuaded that § 2255(f)(3) should be applied to re-start the limitations period for Mudahinyuka’s claims. Therefore, Mudahinyuka’s § 2255 motion is dismissed as untimely under § 2255(f).
Thanks for gathering up these cases. Good work.
You are very welcome, Jim. I hope you find them helpful in your practice.