UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Kenneth Scott GORDON, Defendant-Appellant.
Decided: December 13, 2019
Before: WALLACE, CANBY, and TASHIMA, Circuit Judges.
Thomas J. Brady, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Marion Percell, Esquire, Assistant U.S. Attorney, DOJ - Office of the US Attorney, Honolulu, HI, for Plaintiff-Appellee Verna Jean Wefald, Esquire, Attorney, Attorney at Law, Pasadena, CA, for Defendant-Appellant
Federal prisoner Kenneth Scott Gordon appeals pro se from the district court's order denying his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2253, and we vacate and remand.
Gordon contends that counsel was constitutionally ineffective on direct appeal. As the government concedes, the district court erred by concluding that it lacked jurisdiction to consider this constitutional claim in a section 2255 proceeding. Our decision in Williams v. United States, 307 F.2d 366 (9th Cir. 1962), overruled on other grounds by Kaufman v. United States, 394 U.S. 217, 89 S.Ct. 1068, 22 L.Ed.2d 227 (1969), did not hold to the contrary. Williams held that a section 2255 motion cannot be used to review this court's action in dismissing an appeal; rather, relief from the dismissal must be obtained from this court. See id. at 368. Gordon's section 2255 motion does not seek relief that only this court can provide. Should Gordon's claim have merit, the district court can grant relief by vacating Gordon's judgment of conviction. See 28 U.S.C. § 2555. We, accordingly, remand to the district court to consider the merits of Gordon's claim in the first instance.
We express no opinion as to Gordon's claim that an evidentiary hearing is warranted on remand.
In light of this disposition, we do not reach the parties’ remaining arguments.
VACATED and REMANDED.
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