In Telcy v. United States, No. 19-13029 (Dec. 10, 2021) (Wilson, Lagoa, Brasher), the Court affirmed the dismissal of a 2255 motion as an unauthorized second or successive motion.
The issue on appeal was whether a sentence reduction under Section 404 of the First Step Act qualifies as a “new judgment” for purposes of the bar on second or successive habeas 2255 motions, and thus resets the clock. The Court held that it does not. The Court emphasized that Section 404 did not authorize courts to conduct a plenary, de novo resentencing or impose a new judgment. Rather, as a matter of legislative grace, Section 404 only authorizes a sentence reduction for certain covered offenses, and it does not require the court to consider the 3553(a) factors or hold a hearing with the defendant. For those reasons, and applying the Court’s precedents, it held that a sentence reduction under Section 404 did not give rise to a “new judgment” for purposes of the bar on second or successive 2255 motions.