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United States of America v. Raheem Louis
Case Number: 20-2942
Judge: Before: AMBRO, SHWARTZ and PORTER, Circuit Judges
Court: UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
On appeal from a Writ of Mandamus from the
District Court of the Virgin Islands
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
New York, NY - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant with filing a petition for a writ of mandamus.
Louis was convicted of carjacking, robbery, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and
possession of stolen property in the District Court of the Virgin Islands. In 2013, he was
* This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not
constitute binding precedent.
sentenced to 140 months in prison. We affirmed his conviction and sentence on appeal.
See United States v. Louis, 596 F. App’x 167 (2015). In July 2018, Louis filed a motion
to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Two weeks later, a Magistrate
Judge recommended that the § 2255 motion be dismissed as untimely. Louis then filed
objections. The District Court has not yet acted on the § 2255 motion but has acted on
other motions filed by Louis.
In September 2020, Louis filed a “Motion under Federal Question Jurisdiction”
which we construe as a petition for a writ of mandamus. He noted that he had filed a
§ 2255 motion in July 2018 and that it was still pending. We infer that Louis seeks an
order directing the District Court to act on his § 2255 motion.
The writ of mandamus will issue only in extraordinary circumstances. See Sporck
v. Peil, 759 F.2d 312, 314 (3d Cir. 1985). As a general rule, the manner in which a court
disposes of cases on its docket is within its discretion. See In re Fine Paper Antitrust
Litig., 685 F.2d 810, 817 (3d Cir. 1982). Nonetheless, mandamus may be warranted
where a District Court’s delay is tantamount to a failure to exercise jurisdiction. See
Madden v. Myers, 102 F.3d 74, 79 (3d Cir. 1996)
Outcome: Since the filing of his § 2255 motion, Louis has inundated the District Court with
numerous motions, petitions for writs, and notices to the District Court, including four motions to prove that he was “legally dead.” While we are concerned about the delay in addressing the § 2255 motion, we are confident that the District Court will decide the motion within a reasonable time.
For the above reasons, we will deny the petition without prejudice to refiling if no action is taken on the § 2255 motion by the District Court within ninety days.