Andrews v. United States
In Andrews v. United States, 373 U.S. 334, 83 S.Ct. 1236, 10 L.Ed.2d 383 (1963), two prisoners filed Rule 35 motions to vacate their sentences, alleging that they were denied their allocution rights. See Fed.R.Crim.P. 35 (1963); Andrews, 373 U.S. at 336-37, 83 S.Ct. at 1238.
The district court granted the Rule 35 motions and ordered that the prisoners be resentenced. Andrews, 373 U.S. at 336, 83 S.Ct. at 1238. The government filed a notice of appeal, and the resentencings were stayed. Id.
The Second Circuit treated the Rule 35 motions as 2255 civil actions instead of motions filed in the prisoners' original criminal cases.
The Second Circuit concluded it had jurisdiction over the appeals and reversed on the grounds that the prisoners' allocution claims were no basis for collateral relief. Id. at 336-38, 83 S.Ct. at 1238-39.
While the Supreme Court in Andrews noted that the Second Circuit was correct in treating the Rule 35 motions as 2255 civil motions, it concluded that the Second Circuit did not have appellate jurisdiction because the district court's orders "were interlocutory, not final." Id. at 338-39, 83 S.Ct. at 1239.
The prisoners had asked only that their sentences be vacated so they could be resentenced with their rights of allocution. Id. The Supreme Court noted that 2255 authorizes a district court to "discharge the prisoner or resentence him or grant a new trial or correct the sentence as may appear appropriate." Id. at 339, 83 S.Ct. at 1239 (quoting 28 U.S.C. 2255 (now 28 U.S.C. 2255(b))).
Therefore, the Supreme Court concluded that "where, as here, what was appropriately asked and appropriately granted was the resentencing of the petitioners, it is obvious that there could be no final disposition of the 2255 proceedings until the petitioners were resentenced." Id. at 340, 83 S.Ct. at 1239-40.
In reaching this conclusion, the Supreme Court in Andrews noted the "long-established rule against piecemeal appeals in federal cases" and "the overriding policy considerations upon which that rule is founded." Id. at 340, 83 S.Ct. at 1240.
"The rule as to finality `requires that the judgment to be appealable should be final not only as to all the parties, but as to the whole subject-matter and as to all the causes of action involved.'" Id. (quoting Collins v. Miller, 252 U.S. 364, 370, 40 S.Ct. 347, 349, 64 L.Ed. 616 (1920)).
In Andrews, the Supreme Court also stated that "until the petitioners are resentenced, it is impossible to know whether the Government will be able to show any colorable claim of prejudicial error." Id.
Thus, "until the court acts, none of the parties to this controversy will have had a final adjudication of his claims by the trial court in these 2255 proceedings." Id.