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United States v. Cochran

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

September 6, 2018




         This matter is before the court on multiple motions and other documents filed by defendant Larry Cochran, a pro se prisoner. Since his restricted filer status was removed in August 2017, Cochran has filed many documents with the court. (DE ## 491-97, 500-3, 510-12, 514, 516, 518-31.) Some of these filings have been disposed of by the court in prior orders. (See DE ## 504, 509, 515, 517, 526.) However, the following motions remain pending: (1) Request for Postage (DE # 491); (2) Objections to the Amended/Revised Presentencing Report, pursuant to Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (DE # 493); (3) Motion for Relief From Judgment, pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (DE # 497); (4) Motion for Modification of Sentence, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and Amendment 750 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (DE # 500); (5) Motion for Hearing on 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) Motion and Appointment of Stand-By Counsel (DE # 502); (6) Motion to Expedite 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) Proceedings (DE # 503); (7) Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's November 30, 2009 Order (DE # 522); (8) Letter Requesting Documents (DE # 528); and (9) Motion Requesting Expeditious Ruling (DE # 531).

         The Government (DE # 513) and the Probation Officer (DE # 505) filed responses to several of these motions. Cochran replied to both of those responses. (DE ## 512, 518.) The court will now address all of the pending motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Larry Cochran was originally sentenced on January 25, 2008. (DE # 280.) At that time, he was committed to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 405 months. (Id.) On September 8, 2009, Cochran filed his first motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (DE # 346.) This motion was denied. (DE ## 365, 366.) Cochran appealed the denial (DE # 369), but a certificate of appealability was denied by both this court (DE # 372) and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (DE # 384). However, Cochran persisted, filing a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(5) (DE # 386)-which the court construed as a new § 2255 motion (DE # 387)-as well as two additional motions to vacate under § 2255 (DE ## 388, 393), all over a span of 17 days in September and October of 2010. The court promptly denied each of these motions for want of jurisdiction, as successive collateral attacks. (DE ## 387, 389, 394.) The court later dismissed two more motions for relief. (DE ## 417, 434.)

         On January 13, 2015, the court reduced Cochran's sentence, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). (DE # 456.) Cochran's term of imprisonment was reduced from 405 months to 327 months. (Id.) Eight days after his sentence was reduced, Cochran filed another motion to reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. (DE # 457.) This motion was denied. (DE # 458.) Cochran then began to file a series of motions to correct clerical errors in his Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”), pursuant to Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (DE ## 457, 459, 470.) The court denied two of these motions, and the second denial was affirmed on appeal. (DE ## 458, 460, 473.) However, the court granted the third motion to correct clerical errors, after the Probation Officer agreed with Cochran's assertion of a clerical error and the Government stated it had no objection to the motion. (DE # 475.) As a result, a revised final PSR was prepared for Larry Cochran. (DE # 476.)

         The original PSR contained the following statement under relevant conduct: “The defendant made a post-Miranda statement that he was due to receive 19 Kilograms of Cocaine on April 26, 2006.” (See DE # 470 at 1.) The revised final PSR now reads “The defendant made a post-Miranda statement that he had about 19-kilograms of cocaine to deliver on April 26, 2006.” (DE # 476 at 4.) The drug quantity section of the PSR was not changed. It says:

13. 20.55 Grams of Cocaine Base, to wit: crack cocaine.
14. 19-kilograms of powder cocaine.

(Id.) This revised final PSR was filed on March 17, 2016. (DE # 476.) However, despite these changes, Cochran filed a new motion to correct clerical errors (DE # 477) which was denied (DE # 483.)

         Throughout this course of events, Cochran filed numerous appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Ultimately, the Seventh Circuit sanctioned him “for continuing to file frivolous appeals.” (DE # 481.) Cochran was fined $ 500 and was barred from filing further papers until the fine was paid. (Id.) Following his sanctioning, Cochran attempted to file multiple documents which were returned unfiled. Later, Cochran paid his fine, which allowed him to file the documents that are at issue now. (See DE # 491.)


         A. Request for Postage (DE # 491)

         Cochran requests seven dollars for postage costs. (DE # 491.) He claims these costs covered the mailing of documents which were wrongfully rejected by the court, even after he had paid his $ 500 fine. (See id.)

         The court ordered the Government to respond to this request; however, the Government did not address the postage fees in its response. Nevertheless, Cochran has provided no legal basis for the relief he seeks. In essence, Cochran is attempting to recover damages from the court, through a motion in his criminal case, rather than through the filing of a separate suit. This type of relief is not available through this procedural pathway. Therefore, the request for postage is denied.

         B. Objections to the Amended/Revised PSR (DE # 493)

         Rule 32(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allows a party to object to a presentence investigation report within 14 days of receiving it. Cochran claims he was first allowed to review the revised final PSR on April 13, 2016. (DE # 492 at 2.) Cochran then sent his objections, which were originally received by the Clerk of this court (but not docketed) on April 21, 2016. (See id. at 1.)

         Cochran asserts three objections to the PSR. First, Cochran argues that the PSR, once again, mischaracterizes his post-arrest statement. (DE # 493 at 2.) The court previously overruled this first objection and concluded that the characterization of Cochran's ...

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