You're viewing Docket Item 2 from the case Hamilton. View the full docket and case details.

Download this document:




4:13-mc-51136-TGB-MJH Doc # 2 Filed 07/30/13 Pg 1 of 3 Pg ID 3

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN



Case No. 13-51136
HON. TERRENCE G. BERG









In re MONICA HAMILTON,



Movant.


________________________________/




ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR EXPUNGEMENT

Before the Court is a request to have a federal criminal conviction expunged.

On July 26, 2013, the Clerk of the Court received a letter from Monica Hamilton,

addressed to United States District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith (Dkt. 1). The Clerk of

the Court interpreted Hamilton’s letter as a request for relief, assigned it a case

number, and randomly assigned it to this Court.

According to the request, Monica Hamilton was convicted in 1992, by guilty

plea, of being in possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.1

Hamilton states that her Probation Officer told her that her criminal record would

be “sealed/expunged.” Consequently, Hamilton contends, she believed that her

conviction had been expunged. In April 2013, Hamilton applied for a Concealed

Pistol License (“CPL”) from the state of Michigan.2 In June 2013 Hamilton received


1 Although the letter does not provide specific details regarding the nature of Hamilton’s conviction,
the knowing possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number is prohibited by 18 U.S.C. §
922(k).
2 Given the possibility that Hamilton may have purchased or obtained a firearm prior to applying for
a CPL, the Court notes that federal law makes it illegal for a person who has previously been
convicted of a felony to possess a firearm, if that firearm was manufactured outside the State of
Michigan. There are no firearms manufacturers located in Michigan. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (“It
shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by
imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce,
or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or
ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”)




1

4:13-mc-51136-TGB-MJH Doc # 2 Filed 07/30/13 Pg 2 of 3 Pg ID 4

notice that her CPL application was denied because of her prior felony conviction.

Hamilton now asks this Court to expunge or seal her record, so that she may have

her civil rights restored.3



Although the Court appreciates Ms. Hamilton’s well-meaning goal of seeking

to have her civil rights restored so that she may lawfully possess a firearm and

obtain a CPL, this Court has no power to expunge her conviction or restore her civil

rights. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and the Sixth Circuit

Court of Appeals has previously found, in light of Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.

Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375 (1994), that after a final judgment, unless there is a

specific, statutory grant of authority, the federal courts do not have jurisdiction to

entertain motions for expungement. See United States v. Lucido, 612 F.3d 871,

873-77 (6th Cir. 2010). Here, Hamilton does not appear to be disputing that her

conviction is final. Likewise, although a few statutes permit expungement motions,

none of them apply to Hamilton’s case. See 18 U.S.C. § 3607(c), 21 U.S.C. § 844a(j)

(authorizing expungement for convictions of certain violations of the Controlled

Substances Act); 5 U.S.C. § 552a(g) (authorizing expungement to correct inaccurate

government records); 42 U.S.C. § 14132(d), 10 U.S.C. § 1565(e) (authorizing

expungement of DNA records); see also United States v. Carey, 602 F.3d 738, 740


3 It is possible that certain civil rights may have already been restored to Hamilton by operation of
state law. See Rights & Privileges Lost Upon a Felony Conviction, UNITED STATES PROBATION
OFFICE -- EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN,
http://www.miep.uscourts.gov/pages/supervision/rights_restoration.cfm (last visited July 26, 2013).
However, certain other rights, including the rights provided by the Second Amendment, may only be
restored by a Presidential pardon. See Frequency Asked Questions Concerning Executive Clemency,
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, http://www.justice.gov/pardon/faq.htm#2 (last visited
July 26, 2013).



2

4:13-mc-51136-TGB-MJH Doc # 2 Filed 07/30/13 Pg 3 of 3 Pg ID 5

(6th Cir. 2010) (holding Federal Gun Control Act does not authorize expungement

remedy), reh’g denied (May 17, 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 322 (U.S. 2010).

In this case, the Sixth Circuit’s holding in Lucido controls: this Court has no

authority to entertain a request for expungement.

Therefore, Hamilton’s Motion for Expungement (Dkt. 1) must be DENIED

for want of jurisdiction, and the case DISMISSED.

I hereby certify that this Order was electronically submitted on July 30,

2013, using the CM/ECF system; a copy of this Order was also mailed to Monica
Hamilton at 17372 Michigan Hts. Dr., Brownstown, Michigan, 48174.












s/A. Chubb
Case Manager



SO ORDERED.

Dated: July 30, 2013





































s/Terrence G. Berg
TERRENCE G. BERG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE







Certificate of Service







3