United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. RAINEY SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Guadalupe Reyna-Medina (Reyna-Medina) filed a motion vacate,
set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. D.E. 26. Pending before the Court is the
Government's motion for summary judgment based upon
Reyna-Medina's waiver of her right to collaterally attack
her sentence (D.E. 37), to which Reyna-Medina filed a reply
pled guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement to
transportation of an undocumented alien in violation of 8
U.S.C. §§ 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii), 1324(a)(1)(A)(v)(II),
and 1324(a)(1)(B)(ii). In exchange for her guilty plea and
waiver of her right to appeal or to file a motion pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255, the Government agreed to recommend a
sentence within the applicable guideline range and to
recommend maximum credit for acceptance of responsibility.
Probation Department prepared a Presentence Investigation
Report (PSR). Reyna-Medina's base offense level was 12.
The PSR included increases for previous felony immigration
violations, using a minor to commit the offense, and for
obstruction of justice because Reyna-Medina claimed to be a
United States citizen. Her final offense level was 20 before
credit for acceptance of responsibility. Reyna-Medina had
four previous felony immigration convictions in 2003, 2004,
2005, and 2008. Her criminal history category was V. Her
sentencing guideline range was 63 to 78 months, with a
maximum statutory sentence of five years. Counsel objected to
the imposition of obstruction of justice and attached a
Declaration of Birth that reflected that Reyna-Medina was
born in Brownsville, Texas.
sentencing, the Court sustained Reyna-Medina's objection
to application of obstruction of justice. That change reduced
her offense level to 15 after acceptance of responsibility.
Her guideline sentencing range was reduced to 37 to 46
months' imprisonment. The Court sentenced her to 46
months' imprisonment to be followed by three years'
supervised release. Judgment was entered on May 24, 2016.
Reyna-Medina did not appeal.
challenges the Court's application of obstruction of
justice and use of a minor to calculate her sentence. She
also argues that her sentence was erroneously increased for a
crime of violence that no longer applies after Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Reyna-Medina
finally complains that her counsel's failure to object to
the PSR constituted ineffective assistance of counsel.
28 U.S.C. § 2255
are four cognizable grounds upon which a federal prisoner may
move to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence: 1)
constitutional issues, 2) challenges to the district
court's jurisdiction to impose the sentence, 3)
challenges to the length of a sentence in excess of the
statutory maximum, and 4) claims that the sentence is
otherwise subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. §
2255; United States v. Placente, 81 F.3d 555, 558
(5th Cir. 1996). “Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is
reserved for transgressions of constitutional rights and for
a narrow range of injuries that could not have been raised on
direct appeal and would, if condoned, result in a complete
miscarriage of justice.” United States v.
Vaughn, 955 F.2d 367, 368 (5th Cir. 1992).
Waiver of Right to File a § 2255 Motion
waived her right to file a motion to vacate by the terms of
her plea agreement. D.E. 14, ¶ 7. She did not address
the waiver in her motion. The Government urges the Court to
enforce the waiver.
does not argue that counsel was ineffective before her guilty
plea, but only after the plea and at sentencing. Her claim of
ineffective assistance does not automatically relieve her of
the waivers of appeal and § 2255 post-conviction
proceedings. See United States v. White, 307 F.3d
336, 343-44 (5th Cir. 2002) (an ineffective assistance claim
survives a waiver “only when the claimed assistance
directly affected the validity of that waiver or the plea
itself”). In White, the court decided there
was “no need to except ineffective assistance of
counsel claims from the general rule allowing defendants to
waive their statutory rights so that they can reach a plea