Argued: April 24, 2018
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 3-11-cr-00036-002)
District Judge: Hon. Edwin M. Kosik
J. Baer [ARGUED] [*] J. Nicholas Ranjan Lucas J. Tanglen
K&L Gates Pro Bono Counsel for Appellant
A. Camoni [ARGUED] Michelle L. Olshefski Kate L. Mershimer
Counsel for Appellee
Before: McKEE, AMBRO, and RESTREPO, Circuit Judges.
RESTREPO, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Santarelli appeals the District Court's denial of her
motion to amend ("Motion to Amend") her initial
habeas petition. We also consider whether the petition
("Subsequent Petition") that Santarelli seeks to
file in the District Court, which she annexed to the motion
("Motion to File Subsequent Petition") that she
filed in this Court during the pendency of this appeal,
constitutes a "second or successive" habeas
petition under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2244 and 2255(h). For
the reasons that follow, we hold that the allegations
contained in Santarelli's Motion to Amend "relate
back" to the date of her initial habeas petition
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c) and that
her Subsequent Petition is not a "second or
successive" habeas petition within the meaning of 28
U.S.C. §§ 2244 and 2255(h). We therefore will
reverse the order of the District Court denying
Santarelli's Motion to Amend; remand for the District
Court to consider the merits of her initial habeas petition
as amended by the allegations contained in the Motion to
Amend; and, construing Santarelli's Motion to File
Subsequent Petition as a motion to amend her initial habeas
petition, transfer the Motion to File Subsequent Petition to
the District Court to determine, in the first instance,
whether Santarelli should be permitted to amend her initial
habeas petition to incorporate the allegations contained in
the Subsequent Petition.
October 2011, a jury convicted Santarelli of multiple crimes
in connection with a scheme that allegedly began in 2006,
including (a) mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1341-1342; (b) wire fraud, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1343; and (c) conspiracy to commit mail fraud
and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
The District Court held a sentencing hearing in October 2013
and, applying the applicable sentencing range contained in
the 2012 version of the United States Sentencing
Commission's Guidelines Manual ("Sentencing
Guidelines" or "Guidelines"), sentenced
Santarelli to a seventy-month term of imprisonment and a
three-year term of supervised release. Santarelli timely
filed a notice of appeal, and, on August 21, 2014, our Court
affirmed her conviction. See United States v.
Santarelli, 577 Fed.Appx. 131 (3d Cir. 2014).
Santarelli's conviction became final on December 12,
November 30, 2015, within the applicable one-year statute of
limitations, Santarelli timely filed a petition for habeas
relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In her initial
habeas petition, Santarelli alleged, among other things, that
her trial and appellate counsel provided ineffective
assistance in a combined 130 ways, including:
• "failure to appeal sentence as requested by
[Santarelli]," App. 97a, no. 26;
• "failure to argue [presentence investigation
report ("]PSR[")] errors at sentencing,"
id. no. 30;
• "failure to appeal PSR errors," id.
• "failure to discuss PSR with [Santarelli],"
id. no. 32;
• "failure to discuss [and] advise [Santarelli of]
the [S]entencing [G]uidelines, laws, rules[, ] or
otherwise," id. no. 33;
• "failure to prepare . . . before sentencing other
than [to] read the PSR," id. at 98a, no. 35;
• "failure to argue [in opposition to] the number
of victims enhancement of two (2) points [and]/or failure to
argue effectively [in opposition thereto, ] which increased
[Santarelli]'s sentence [by] around ...