Michuda v. Minnesota, State of et al
ORDER denying 2 Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis in District Court; Adopting 6 Report and Recommendation; the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus 1 is DENIED; all claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; and a Certificate of Appealability shall not issue (Written Opinion). Signed by Judge Ann D. Montgomery on 06/17/2011. (TLU)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Stephen Michael Michuda,
State of Minnesota and Lori Swanson,
Attorney General of the State of
Civil No. 11-1028 ADM/JJK
Civil No. 11-1029 ADM/JJK
Civil No. 11-1030 ADM/JJK
Stephen Michael Michuda, pro se.
Nicole E. Nee, Esq., Dakota County Attorney’s Office, Hastings, MN and Matthew Frank, Esq.,
Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, St. Paul, MN, on behalf of Defendant State of Minnesota.
Matthew Frank, Esq., Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, St. Paul, MN, on behalf of
Defendant Lori Swanson.
This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge for consideration of
Plaintiff Stephen Michael Michuda’s (“Michuda”) Objections [Docket No. 7]1 to Magistrate
Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes’ May 17, 2011 Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) [Docket No. 6].
Judge Keyes’ R&R recommends (1) denying Michuda’s applications for a writ of habeas corpus,
Michuda seeks relief from his several state court convictions in three separate actions,
captioned above. Magistrate Judge Keyes consolidated the three actions for the purpose of his
Report and Recommendation. The docket entries in the three cases relevant to this Order all
bear the same numbers, and therefore the court will simply refer to “Docket No.” to reference the
docket in each case. Michuda brought a fourth action, Civil No. 11-1031, that was not subject to
the Report and Recommendation because it is an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, not a petition
for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Because Michuda captioned his Objections
with the number for the fourth case, his Objections were docketed in that case as well. Because
there is no ruling to object to in that case, to the extent that a ruling is required, the Objections in
that case, Civil No. 11-1031, are overruled.
(2) denying Michuda’s applications for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, (3) dismissing all
actions in the captioned cases, and (4) not granting a Certificate of Appealability in the captioned
cases. Based on a de novo review of the record, Michuda’s Objections are overruled and the
R&R is adopted.
The factual and procedural history of these cases is fully recited in the R&R and will not
be repeated here, but rather are incorporated by reference. After a de novo review of the records
in these cases, the Court adopts Judge Keyes’ R&R because Michuda’s petitions for habeas
corpus are time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), even when the pleadings are liberally
construed in his favor.
In his Objections, Michuda raises several arguments directed at the tolling of the statute
of limitations. First, he argues that he was unaware of the one-year statute of limitations for his
Petitions because he is not an attorney, is not represented by an attorney, and is unskilled in legal
practice. These excuses cannot provide the basis for tolling the statute of limitations here. See
Kreutzer v. Bowersox, 231 F.3d 460, 463 (8th Cir. 2000) (noting that Eighth Circuit precedent
has refused to allow tolling of statute of limitations in habeas corpus cases where unrepresented
parties allege a lack of legal knowledge or legal resources).
Michuda further argues that the state lulled him into inaction because his public
defenders did not timely provide him with records he sought. Michuda was not lulled into
inaction. He could have filed his petition without those records, and in fact eventually did so
here. Indeed, if Michuda’s allegedly ineffective defense attorneys were evading his
correspondence, he should have heightened his level of diligence, not been lulled into inaction.
Michuda also argues that he “may” have Asperger’s syndrome and that possibility
constitutes an extraordinary circumstance that warrants tolling of the statute of limitations.
Michuda’s undiagnosed mental illness is no such circumstance. See United States v. Sykes, No.
97-CR-178-GKF, 2009 WL 3075352, *2-3 (N.D. Okla. Sept. 22, 2009) (declining to toll statute
of limitations for prisoner with “schizoaffective disorder” and “antisocial personality disorder”
where prisoner was not incapable of pursuing legal remedies); Williams v. Phillips, No. 02 CV
5885(SJ), 2005 WL 1072711, *2 (E.D.N.Y. April 29, 2005) (denying to toll statute of limitations
on basis of prisoner’s undiagnosed illness without particularized description of how such
condition prevented him from filing claims).
Based upon the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that:
Michuda’s Objections [Docket No. 7] are OVERRULED;
Judge Keyes’ May 17, 2011 Report and Recommendation [Docket No. 6] is
Michuda’s Applications to Proceed In Forma Pauperis [Docket No. 2] are
Michuda’s Petitions for Writ of Habeas Corpus [Docket No. 1] are DENIED;
All claims in the captioned cases are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; and
A Certificate of Appealability shall not issue in any of the captioned cases.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
BY THE COURT:
s/Ann D. Montgomery
ANN D. MONTGOMERY
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: June 17, 2011.