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United States v. Card

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

August 20, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
DANIEL L. CARD, Defendant-Appellant.

(D.C. Nos. 2:99-CR-00674-DB-1 and 2:12-CV-00883-DB) (D. Utah)

Before HARTZ, O'BRIEN, and GORSUCH, Circuit Judges.


Terrence L. O'Brien United States Circuit Judge

Daniel Card, proceeding pro se, seeks a Certificate of Appealability (COA) in order to appeal from the district court's denial of his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion for post-conviction relief. A jury convicted him of armed robbery of two credit unions for which he was sentenced to 407 months incarceration. United States v. Card, 46 F.App'x 941, 942 (10th Cir. 2002). We affirmed his conviction on direct appeal. Id.

More than ten years later, Card filed a § 2255 motion challenging the district court's jurisdiction. As we read his motion, he argues the Tenth Amendment gives the states the exclusive authority to punish the armed robbery of a credit union.

The district judge denied the motion. He declined to reach the merits of Card's argument; instead, he concluded the argument was not timely. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f) (establishing a one-year limitation period). Although Card argued he could not have brought his argument before the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Bond v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 2355 (2011), [1] the judge concluded Card could have brought his argument at any time, reasoning: "[T]he Supreme Court's decision in Bond did not establish new ground for the movant to make a valid claim, [and] precedent would not have prevented Card from raising his claim before the Bond decision." (R. Vol. 1 at 99.) Moreover, Card has not shown any extraordinary circumstances preventing him from timely presenting his claim.[2]


Card contends his § 2255 motion was timely because jurisdictional issues can be raised at any time. See, e.g., United States v. Bustillos, 31 F.3d 931, 933 (10th Cir. 1994) ("[A] challenge to the court's jurisdiction may be raised at any time, even for the first time on appeal."); United States v. Cook, 997 F.2d 1312, 1320 (10th Cir. 1993) ("[J]urisdictional issues are never waived and can be raised on collateral attack."). Card reads these cases too broadly.

A COA is a jurisdictional prerequisite to our review of a denial of a motion for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(a), (c)(2); Miller–El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003). We issue a COA "only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). And, when the district court denies a § 2255 motion on procedural grounds, the applicant has the additional responsibility of showing reasonable jurists could find the correctness of the court's procedural ruling to be debatable. Clark v. Oklahoma, 468 F.3d 711, 713-14 (10th Cir. 2006).

Although we have construed his pleadings liberally, see Ledbetter v. City of Topeka, Kan., 318 F.3d 1183, 1187 (10th Cir. 2003), Card has not shown the procedural ruling to be debatable. Assuming he is permitted to challenge the district court's jurisdiction for the first time in a § 2255 motion, the motion must still be timely. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f) ("A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under this section"); United States v. Scruggs, 691 F.3d 660, 666-67 & n.13 (5th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S.Ct. 1282 (2013); Barreto-Barreto v. United States, 551 F.3d 95, 100 (1st Cir. 2008) ("Nothing in the language of § 2255 suggests that jurisdictional challenges are exempt from the one-year limitations period. To the contrary, § 2255(f) explicitly states that the limitations period 'shall apply' to all motions made under § 2255."). Since Card does not challenge the judge's conclusion that he could have brought his claim before the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Bond, and he makes no other argument for the timeliness for his motion, we see no way to reasonably debate the judge's procedural ruling.[3]

Card also filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in this court. The petition seeks the same relief as his § 2255 motion. The petition must also be denied. Mandamus is a proper remedy only when review by other means is impossible. W. Shoshone Bus. Council v. Babbitt, 1 F.3d 1052, 1059 (10th Cir. 1993). Here, because his § 2255 motion has given him the opportunity to present his argument for judicial review, he cannot obtain relief by a petition for a writ of mandamus.[4] See Cradle v. U.S. ex rel. Miner, 290 F.3d 536, 539 (3d Cir. 2002) (noting § 2255 relief is considered adequate even though the one-year limitations period has expired); cf. Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 758 (6th Cir. 1999) ("The one-year period provided him with a reasonable opportunity to file for relief; and if that time period has expired, it is the result of his own doing and not due to any inadequacy in the statute.").

We DENY Card's application for a COA, DENY his petition for a writ of mandamus, and DISMISS the matter and all pending motions.[5] Further, as Card has not shown "the existence of a reasoned, nonfrivolous argument on the law and facts in support of the issues raised, " DeBardeleben v. Quinlan, 937 F.2d 502, 505 (10th Cir. 1991), we DENY his motion to proceed without prepayment of costs and fees. Any unpaid ...

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