Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, November 13, 2020

Senter: Vacating Denial of 2255 For Failure To Address Johnson/ACCA Claim

In Senter v. United States, No. 18-11627 (Nov. 13, 2020) (Baker (S.D. Ga.), Newsom, Branch), the Court vacated the denial of a 2255 motion based on Johnson.

In his 2255 motion, the movant argued that his 1988 Alabama attempted robbery offense was a non-existent offense under state law, and it therefore did not satisfy the ACCA’s elements clause because it did not have any elements at all.  The district court, however, mischaracterized that claim as a collateral attack on the validity of the state conviction.  Because the district court failed to address the movant’s ACCA/Johnson claim, the Eleventh Circuit vacated and remanded for the district court to do so in the first instance.

Judge Branch dissented, opining that the district court adequately addressed the movant’s claim.