Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Richmond

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia

May 8, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL LEE RICHMOND, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DIRECTING THE CLERK TO FILE DEFENDANT'S LETTER AS A PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT OF FEDERAL CONVICTION AND DENYING PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT OF FEDERAL CONVICTION

          FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Procedural History

         In March 2006, the pro se[1] defendant pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). The defendant was sentenced to a term of 57 months incarceration, followed by three years of supervised release. At the defendant's sentencing hearing for his conviction in this Court, the defendant was adjudged under the United States Sentencing Guidelines as having a criminal history category of III based on five criminal history points.

         II. Facts

         The defendant has mailed a letter to this Court asking that this Court expunge his federal criminal conviction. In his letter, the defendant states that he wishes to have his federal criminal conviction expunged in order to obtain a better job that would require that the defendant not have a criminal background. The defendant represents that he had no violations during his probation, has been employed for over six years, has a two-year-old son, and is doing his best to be a good father and provide for his son as the primary parent. The defendant conveys to this Court that he needs a better job in order to be the father that his son deserves. The defendant further represents that, when he committed his crimes, he did not know how difficult it would be to get the type of job that would allow him to provide for a child with a felony conviction on his record. Accordingly, the defendant requests that this Court consider removing the felony conviction from his record.

         The Court believes that based on the content of the defendant's letter, that letter should be treated as a petition to expunge a federal criminal conviction. Thus, this Court will perform an analysis under that belief and finds, based on the following, that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the defendant's petition.

         III. Applicable Law

         Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and can only exercise the authority conferred by the Constitution or by statute. Additionally, although 18 U.S.C. § 3231 provides “district courts with original jurisdiction ‘of all offenses against the laws of the United States, ' a district court's jurisdiction under this statutory provision ends once the judgment of conviction is entered.” United States v. Mitchell, 683 F.Supp.2d 427, 432 (E.D. Va. 2010); 18 U.S.C. § 3231. Thus, no federal statute or regulation generally provides for expungement of a federal offense. Stoute v. United States, CIV.A. RDB-11-1220, 2011 WL 2037672 (D. Md. May 24, 2011).

         Further, federal jurisdiction “is not to be expanded by judicial decree.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Consequently, a district court must have ancillary jurisdiction to complete the expungement of a federal offense where “there is no explicit constitutional or statutory grant of jurisdiction.” United States v. Mitchell, 683 F.Supp.2d 427, 433 (E.D. Va. 2010).

         IV. Discussion

         The defendant states that he is seeking expungement of his federal criminal conviction. The defendant argues that expungement is warranted because of his positive actions and decisions since his conviction, and in order to obtain a better job in order to provide for his son. Based on the following analysis, however, this Court finds that the petition for expungement of his federal conviction should be denied because this Court lacks jurisdiction to review the matter.

         A. Kokkonen and Ancillary Jurisdiction

         The concepts and boundaries of ancillary jurisdiction were explained in the United States Supreme Court's analysis in Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Insurance, 511 U.S. 375 (1994). Ancillary jurisdiction, or as it is sometimes called, “ancillary enforcement jurisdiction, ” is the concept under which federal courts maintain jurisdiction over related proceedings that are technically separate from the claims or causes of action in the initial case that invoked federal subject matter jurisdiction. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 378-89.

         Significantly, the Supreme Court held that ancillary jurisdiction may be asserted for two purposes: “(1) to permit disposition by a single court of claims that are, in varying respects and degrees, factually interdependent; and (2) to enable a court to function successfully, that is, to manage its proceedings, vindicate its authority, and effectuate its decrees.” Id. at 379-380 (citations omitted). Thus, in the dispute that arose in Kokkonen over the enforcement of the terms of a settlement agreement, the Supreme Court found that it did not have ancillary jurisdiction because that dispute did not fall within the two purposes listed above. Id. at 381-82. Similarly, as discussed more fully below, because the expungement of a conviction ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.