United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
Defendant Ronald T. Bolden, pro se U.S. Attorney.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge United States District
matter is before the Court upon a pro se motion by
Defendant Ronald T. Bolden to reduce his sentence pursuant to
either 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) or Fed. Rule Civ. P.
60(b) (DN 174). For the following reasons, Bolden's
motion will be denied.
1998, Bolden was involved in three separate bank robberies in
the Louisville area. In April 1999, Bolden pleaded guilty to
one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, one
count of armed bank robbery, and one count of using a firearm
during a bank robbery. In July 1999, Bolden pleaded guilty to
two counts of armed bank robbery and to using a firearm
during one of those robberies. Bolden was sentenced to a
total of 378 months of imprisonment, and the court's
final judgment of sentence was entered on January 27, 2000.
On July 25, 2001, the Sixth Circuit affirmed Bolden's
sentence. United States v. Bolden, 15 F. App'x
313 (6th Cir. 2001) (unpublished). Bolden then filed a motion
to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in
2002. This motion was denied by the Court on May 12, 2003 (DN
155). In 2009, Bolden filed a motion in the Sixth Circuit
seeking authorization for this Court to consider a second or
successive motion to vacate. The Sixth Circuit denied this
motion on April 22, 2009 (DN 163).
motion now before the Court, Bolden asks the Court to grant
him relief in light of the United States Supreme Court
decision in Dean v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 1170
(2017), or the Eastern District of New York decision in
United States v. Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d 310
(E.D.N.Y. 2014). In Dean, the Supreme Court held
that nothing in the statute setting mandatory minimum
sentences for using or possessing a firearm in connection
with a violent or drug trafficking crime (18 U.S.C. §
924(c)) restricts the authority of sentencing judges to
consider a sentence imposed under the mandatory minimum
statute when calculating a fair sentence for the predicate
Holloway, after the denial of a § 2255 motion,
the defendant filed a motion for relief from judgment
pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Upon request from the district court to remedy
what the court perceived as an excessive sentence, the
government in Holloway ultimately did not oppose
granting the underlying § 2255 motion for the purpose of
vesting the Court with the authority to vacate two of
Holloway's § 924(c) convictions and re-impose a
sentence on such basis.
motion, Bolden includes a portion of the transcript from his
sentencing in which the Hon. Judge Edward H. Johnstone
You know when you say this that a judge is governed by these
guidelines, and there's little I can to do to reduce the
sentence the guidelines impose . . . That's a total
sentence of 36 years, and one hope that you may have is that
Congress wakes up and sees that young people can be foolish
and get over that foolishness in a hurry. Under these
circumstances, that will probably be the best channel for
your relief. There's no discretion in the judge's
(DN 174, p. 4).
further writes that he was 18 years old when he committed the
above-mentioned crimes and that he is now a 37-year-old man
who has earned his G.E.D., an Associate's Degree in
Applied Science from Somerset Community College, and diplomas
in Biblical studies and construction carpentry. He concludes
his motion by “beg[ging] leave of this most Honorable
Court . . . to take full advantage of the Supreme Court
decision” to reduce his sentence.
response to Defendant's motion, the United States argues
that the Court does not have jurisdiction to entertain this
motion under either 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) or Rule
60(b). The Court agrees. A district court “does not
have inherent power to resentence defendants at any
time.” United States v. Martin, 913 F.2d 1172,
1174 (6th Cir. 1990) (quoting United States v.
Minor, 846 F.2d 1184, 1187 (9th Cir. 1988)). “As
‘courts of limited jurisdiction, ' federal courts
‘possess only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute' and may not expand that power ‘by judicial
decree.'” United States v. Lucido, 612
F.3d 871, 873 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377
(1994)). Bolden, as the party claiming that this Court does
possess jurisdiction, “bears the burden of
demonstrating that jurisdictional prerequisites have been
met.” United States v. Streck, 62 F. App'x
575, 577 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing Ohio Nat'l Life Ins.
Co. v. United States, 922 F.2d 320, 324 (6th Cir.
first seeks relief under Dean and Holloway
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). However, this
specific statutory provision provides as follows: “The
court may not modify a term of imprisonment once it has been
imposed except that - in any case - the court, upon motion of
the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, may reduce the term of
imprisonment . . . if it finds that - extraordinary and
compelling reasons warrant such a reduction.” 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Thus, this statutory provision does
not provide the Court with jurisdiction because Bolden, and
not the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, made the instant
motion. The Court also notes that § 3582(c)(1)(B) does
not apply because neither another statute nor Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 35 permits the type of sentence
modification Bolden seeks. And, because Bolden is not moving
for a reduction in sentence based upon a change in the
sentencing guidelines, § 3582(c)(2) is also
also seems to seek direct relief from his sentence in light
of these cases under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). However, “Rule
60(b) applies to civil proceedings, proceedings authorized
under Rule 81, and habeas proceedings, which are civil in
nature.” United States v. Gibson, 424 F.
App'x 461, 464 (6th Cir. 2017). “‘Rule 60(b)
is not applicable to criminal proceedings, ' and may not
be used to disturb a criminal sentence or conviction.”
Id. (quoting United States v. Diaz, 79 F.
App'x 151, 152 (6th Cir. 2003)).
it appears that Bolden may seek relief under Rule 60(b) in
the manner that the defendant in Holloway sought
such relief. Unlike the defendant in Holloway,
however, Bolden cannot use Rule 60(b) to challenge the
Court's prior dismissal of his § 2255 motion. This
is because Bolden seeks relief in light of what he contends
is the new law set forth in Dean and possibly
Holloway. See, e.g., Gonzalez v.
Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 532 (2005) (holding that a motion
under Rule 60(b) that seeks to assert a new substantive claim
for habeas relief is actually a successive petition for which
prior authorization is required); McComb v. United
States, No. 2:04-CR-114, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190755
(S.D. Ohio July 8, 2015) (denying the defendant's attempt
to use Rule ...