United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
MORRIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
case comes before the Court on Defendant/Petitioner
Rowe's petition for writ of error coram nobis
(Doc. 49). Rowe is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se. The
Court sentenced Rowe to a sentence of 420 months on
convictions for aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual
contact, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury to a
person under the age of 16. See Judgment (Doc. 35)
filed a petition for a writ of coram nobis on
January 29, 2018. (Doc. 49.) This Court informed Rowe that 28
U.S.C. § 2255 provides the “exclusive means”
by which a federal prisoner may contest his detention. (Doc.
51 at 1.) The Court advised Rowe that, for the Court to
consider the merits of his claims, the Court must
characterize his petition and address his claims under 28
U.S.C. § 2255. Id. at 2. The Court ordered Rowe
to respond to indicate his intent to withdraw his petition or
amend it to add any more claims that he may wish to bring
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, on or before April 16, 2018.
Id. Rowe has responded by insisting that he wishes
to proceed with his petition under the All Writs Act, 28
U.S.C. § 1651.
Court previously advised Rowe, “[t]he general rule is
that a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the exclusive
means by which a federal prisoner may test the legality of
his detention, and that restrictions on the availability of a
§ 2255 motion cannot be avoided” by filing
something else. Stephens v. Herrera, 464 F.3d 895,
897 (9th Cir. 2006); see also Matus-Leva v. United
States, 287 F.3d 758, 761 (9th Cir. 2002) (writ of error
coram nobis). The Court will recharacterize Rowe's
petition as a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
asserts that Congress never duly enacted Title 18 into law.
As a result, he argues that the Court lacked jurisdiction to
hear the case against him and to sentence him. His claims
lack merit. The Court declines to address every twist and
turn of Rowe's allegations. The Court instead will
summarize the broad reasons these claims fail.
“injury to [the] sovereignty” of the United
States “aris[es] from violation of its laws” and
“suffices to support a criminal lawsuit by the
Government.” Vermont Agency of Nat'l Res. v.
United States ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765, 771 (2000).
A case or controversy existed because, in order to vindicate
its sovereign interest in the enforcement of its laws, the
United States had to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that
Rowe committed each element of the offenses alleged against
him. See, e.g., Indictment (Doc. 1); Minutes (Docs.
17, 18); Verdict (Doc. 20).
enacted Title 18 “into positive law” long ago.
See, e.g., Flores v. Attorney General, 856
F.3d 280, 289 n.38 (3d Cir. 2017) (citing cases). Congress
combined § 546 and § 547 of former Title 18 and
enacted 18 U.S.C. § 3231. Section 3231 continued without
interruption the federal district courts' original
jurisdiction of federal offenses.
claims the 1947 House Report endorsing enactment of Title 18,
see Act of June 25, 1948, ch. 645, § 1, 62
Stat. 683, did not properly record the vote of each member of
the House. The Constitution does not require that the
“yeas and Nays” of each member of Congress be
recorded in order to create any law. This recording
requirement applies only to the effort to override a
presidential veto. See U.S. Const. art. I, § 7,
cl. 2. A bill signed by the presiding member of each house
and by the President becomes a law. “Where such an
attested enrolled bill exists, Marshall Field
requires ‘the judicial department to act upon that
assurance, and to accept the bill as having passed
Congress.'” Public Citizen v. U.S. Dist.
Court, 486 F.3d 1342, 3150 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (internal
brackets omitted) (quoting Marshall Field & Co. v.
Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 672 (1892)).
even if the Court were to assume that Rowe correctly argues
that Congress adjourned on June 19, 1948, enrolled bills
signed by the president within ten days after Congress
adjourns constitute validly enacted laws. See U.S.
Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 2; Edwards v. United
States, 286 U.S. 482, 494 (1932).
validly enacted Title 18. United States v. Collins,
510 F.3d 697, 698 (7th Cir. 2007). A certificate of
appealability is denied because Rowe does not show he was
deprived of a constitutional right. See 28 U.S.C.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. Rowe's petition for writ of error coram nobis
(Doc. 49) is RECHARACTERIZED as a motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct the sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
2. So recharacterized, the motion is DENIED for lack of
3. A certificate of appealability is DENIED. The Clerk of
Court shall immediately process the appeal if Rowe files ...