Appellate Clinic Secures Another Win (Its Sixth) in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Posted 2023-02-21 4:26pm

Teddy Norris is a federal prisoner. In 2016 he filed, and won, a motion to vacate his sentence under Section 2255. Last year, representing himself, he wanted to file again. Believing that his subsequent motion was “second or successive,” he filed it first with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking permission to do so.

The Court appointed the Appellate Practice Clinic to answer the question of whether this subsequent motion was, indeed, “second or successive.” The Clinic argued it was not. 

Three students — Oluwatoni Kolawole, Jeffrey Andrews, and Mickey Isakoff — wrote an exceptional brief. The students exhaustively researched every case ever decided in this area, and they developed a novel theory regarding the Court’s jurisdiction on the issue. The students argued that this subsequent motion was not “second or successive,” and therefore that Norris could — and should — refile it in District Court without a need to ask leave from the Court of Appeals. 

The Government, in its response, agreed with every word. 

Thus, without a real “case or controversy,” the Sixth Circuit agreed with the Clinic in full. The Court held that the motion was not “second or successive,” and thus did not require authorization. The Court then transferred the case to the District Court. 

Professor Doron Kalir supervised the work and served as Counsel of Record.

  • Share