United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
for consideration the motion of Jacqueline Morrison
("movant") under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate,
set aside, or correct sentence. After having considered such
motion, its supporting memorandum, the government's
response, movant's reply, and pertinent parts of the
record in Case No. 4:14-CR-O69-A, styled "United States
of America v. Gladstone Morrison, et al., " the court
has concluded that the motion should be denied.
contained in the record of the underlying criminal case
discloses the following:
On September 4, 2014, movant and her husband, Gladstone
Morrison, were named in a twenty-count second superseding
indictment. CR Doc. 57. She was charged in count 1 with
conspiracy to aid and assist in preparation and presentation
of false and fraudulent tax returns, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 371; in counts 2-14 with aiding and assisting
in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent
return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2); and, in
counts 15, 17-18 with wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1343. Id.
case was tried to a jury, which returned its verdict on
October 23, 2014, finding movant guilty as to all counts. CR
Doc. 144. The court sentenced movant to terms of imprisonment
of 11 months as to each of the counts, to run consecutively
to each other, for a total aggregate sentence of imprisonment
of 187 months. CR Doc. 2 52. Movant was ordered to pay
restitution in the amount of $17, 807, 106.00. Id.
Movant appealed and the judgment was affirmed. United
States v. Morrison, 833 F.3d 491 (5th Cir. 2016).
November 6, 2017, movant filed her motion under § 2255
along with a sixty-page memorandum. Docs. 1 & 2. By
lengthy order signed November 17, 2107, the court ordered
that movant's memorandum be stricken from the record and
gave her an opportunity to file a revised supporting
memorandum not to exceed twenty-five pages in length. The
order explained why movant had apparently misunderstood the
purpose of a motion under § 2255 and urged her to focus
on grounds she thought would have some prospect of success in
filing her revised memorandum. And, the order directed that
movant "clearly designate in such document by
appropriate headings the part or parts of the document that
are intended to be in support of each ground of her [motion]
that she wishes to continue to urge." Doc. 8. On
December 18, 2017, movant filed an amended memorandum,
improperly purporting to incorporate by reference the amended
memorandum filed by her husband under Case No. 4:17-CV-898-A
to get around the page limitation. Doc. 11. The court ordered
the amended memorandum stricken and granted movant one final
opportunity to file a proper memorandum. Doc. 15. On January
5, 2018, movant filed her revised memorandum. Doc. 17.
Thereafter, on January 23, 2018, movant filed an amended
memorandum, purporting to completely change the grounds she
was pursuing. Doc. 18. The Court ordered the amended
memorandum stricken from the record and instructed that the
government should proceed in preparation of its response to
the motion and revised memorandum. Doc. 20.
January 31, 2018, the government filed its response to
movant's motion, addressing each of the grounds supported
by the revised memorandum. Doc. 22, And, on February 16, 2018, the
clerk filed movant's reply. Doc. 24.
Grounds of the Motion
sets forth nine grounds in her motion, worded as follows:
GROUND ONE: Denial of effective assistance of counsel, when
[movant was] not present in the courtroom during crucial
period of the trial proceedings.
Doc. 1 at 5.
GROUND TWO: The jury failed to make a factual finding as to
the elements of the offense in which punishment was rendered
by the court.
Id. at 6.
GROUND THREE: [Movant was] denied effective assistance of
counsel when the statute of limitation on the alleged offense
as charged in the second superseding indictment had expired.
Id. at 8.
GROUND FOUR: Counsel(s) were constitutionally ineffective for
failing to file for dismissal of the charges based upon
prosecutor misconduct: scanning and copying of the defense
Id. at 9.
GROUND FIVE: [Movant was] denied effective assistance of
counsel when a restitution order was issued as a ...