United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
REBECCA RUTHERFORD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Teresa Castillo, a federal prisoner, has filed, through
counsel, a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set
aside, or correct her federal sentence. See Dkt.
Nos. 1 & 2. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and
Special Order 3, Castillo's Section
2255 motion was referred to the United States magistrate
judge. Castillo's motion challenges her criminal judgment
in United States v. Castillo, No. 3:08-cr-119-D (2)
(N.D. Tex.). Because her Section 2255 motion is successive,
the Court should transfer it to the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for appropriate action.
2009, a jury found Castillo guilty of possession with the
intent to distribute cocaine, and, on March 5, 2010, the
Court sentenced Castillo to 151 months of imprisonment.
See United States v. Castillo, No. 3:08-cr-119-D (2)
(N.D. Tex.), Dkt. No. 255.
2011, Castillo filed her first Section 2255 motion,
challenging her 2010 criminal judgment. See Castillo v.
United States, No. 3:11-cv-420-D (N.D. Tex.). The Court
denied that motion on its merits. See Castillo v. United
States, No. 3:11-cv-420-D (N.D. Tex.), Dkt. No. 8.
2013, Castillo filed a successive Section 2255 motion, which
the Court transferred to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Fifth Circuit. See Castillo v. United
States, No. 3:13-cv-3766-D (N.D. Tex.), Dkt. Nos. 2
& 4. The Fifth Circuit later denied her request for
authorization to file her successive Section 2255 motion.
See In re Castillo, No. 13-11168 (5th Cir. 2014).
2015, Castillo moved to reduce her sentence under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582. The Court granted her motion and reduced her
prison sentence to 122 months. See United States v.
Castillo, No. 3:08-cr-119-D (2) (N.D. Tex.), Dkt. No.
304. Because the Court merely reduced Castillo's sentence
under Section 3582, no “new” criminal judgment
was created. See United States v. Jones, 796 F.3d
483, 486 (5th Cir. 2015) (holding that when the district
court reduces the defendant's sentence under Section
3582, the court merely modifies the existing sentence-without
conducting a full resentencing-and so no new criminal
judgment is created under Magwood v. Patterson 561
U.S. 320, 324 (2010)). And, the reduction in her sentence
“[did] not wipe clean the slate of habeas applications
that [she had] previously filed.” Jones, 796
F.3d at 487.
through counsel, now files this Section 2255 motion.
See Dkt. Nos. 1 & 2. She again challenges her
2010 criminal judgment.
LEGAL STANDARDS AND ANALYSIS
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, a
movant may only file a successive motion for post-conviction
relief if she first receives authorization from a three-judge
panel of the United States court of appeals. Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-132, 110
Stat. 1214 (1996). See United States v. Fulton, 780
F.3d 683, 686 (5th Cir. 2015) (“In order to file a
second or successive [habeas] application with the district
court, 28 U.S.C. § 2244 provides that an applicant must
first obtain authorization from the court of
appeals.”). The appellate certification requirement for
a successive Section 2255 motion “acts as a
jurisdictional bar to [this] district court's asserting
jurisdiction over any successive [motion to vacate] until
[the Fifth Circuit] has granted the [movant] permission to
file [such a motion].” United States v. Key,
205 F.3d 773, 774 (5th Cir. 2000); accord Crone v.
Cockrell, 324 F.3d 833, 836 (5th Cir. 2003);
Williams v. Thaler, 602 F.3d 291, 301 (5th Cir.
the Fifth Circuit, rather than this Court, is the proper
initial gatekeeper for successive Section 2255 motions,
Castillo's successive Section 2255 motion should be
transferred to the Fifth Circuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1631 for appropriate action. See, e.g., Fulton, 780
F.3d at 686 (transferring an unauthorized successive habeas
application pursuant to Section 1631 is an alternative to
dismissal of such an application).
the Court should transfer Castillo's current Section 2255
motion to vacate to the United States Court of Appeals for
the Fifth Circuit for appropriate action.
FOR SERVICE AND NOTICE OF ...