Reid v. Forniss et al (INMATE 3)
ORDERED as follows: 1. The Magistrate Judge's Recommendation (Doc. # 16 ) is ADOPTED; 2. Petitioner's objection (Doc. # 18 ) is OVERRULED; and 3. This action is DISMISSED with prejudice because the petition was filed after expiration of the one-year limitation period in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). A final judgment will be entered separately. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 7/5/2017. (kh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
RANDY LEE IRIVIN REID,
LEON FORNISS and LUTHER
CASE NO. 3:15-CV-641-WKW
On May 18, 2017, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation (Doc. # 16)
to which Petitioner timely objected (Doc. # 18). Upon an independent and de novo
review of the record and consideration of the Recommendation, Petitioner’s
objection is due to be overruled, the Recommendation adopted, and this case
dismissed as time-barred.
Reid does not challenge the Magistrate Judge’s finding that he filed his habeas
petition after the time allowed by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). The only question is whether
the court should equitably toll the one-year limitations period and allow Reid to
proceed with his petition.
As the Magistrate Judge explained in his Recommendation, “[e]quitable
tolling is an extraordinary remedy which is typically applied sparingly.” Steed v.
Head, 219 F.3d 1298, 1300 (11th Cir. 2000). Courts will equitably toll a habeas
petitioner’s limitations period “only if he shows (1) that he has been pursuing his
rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance stood in his way and
prevented timely filing.” Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 649 (2010) (quoting
Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005)).
Assuming arguendo that Reid pursued his rights diligently, the only
“extraordinary circumstance” he suggests will not justify the tolling necessary to
save his petition. Reid pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking charge on April 5, 2013,
and was sentenced to life in prison that same day. After the time for direct appeal
expired on May 17, 2013, Reid had one year to file a federal habeas action. 28
U.S.C. § 2244(d). 318 days passed before Reid filed a state court petition for postconviction relief on March 31, 2014. The court assumes the time during which the
state court petition was pending did not count toward the limitations period for
Reid’s subsequent habeas action. 1 See 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(2). The state proceedings,
in essence, paused the federal habeas clock. Thus, Reid proceeded in state court
with 47 days left to file a federal petition, and he kept those 47 days until the
conclusion of that litigation.
Reid nevertheless blames the state court for his failure to file a timely federal
action. On April 16, 2014, the state trial court denied his application to proceed in
The court thus assumes, without deciding, that Reid’s Rule 32 petition was “properly
filed” within the definition of § 2244(d)(2), although the Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation
casts doubt on this assumption. (Doc. # 16, at 6.)
forma pauperis on the state petition, but Reid says he did not learn about the denial
until October, when the court dismissed his case. The state court’s alleged failure to
notify him of the denial is the “extraordinary circumstance” for which Reid argues
the court should toll the statute of limitations.
But even under Petitioner’s version of the facts, tolling would be
inappropriate. After Reid learned of the dismissal of his state action and exhausted
his appeals, he still waited another 174 days to file his habeas petition. 2 Thus, even
if the court tolls the entire period during which Reid’s state petition was pending,
the 47 days he pocketed when he initiated his state case would not be enough to keep
him inside the limitations window. Reid offers no explanation for how the state
court’s alleged failure to notify affected his ability to file a federal habeas action.
Consequently, neither can the alleged blunder justify tolling any period after the
conclusion of the state litigation.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
The Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation (Doc. # 16) is ADOPTED;
Petitioner’s objection (Doc. # 18) is OVERRULED; and
This action is DISMISSED with prejudice because the petition was
filed after expiration of the one-year limitation period in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
The Alabama Supreme Court denied Reid’s petition for a writ of certiorari on March 12,
2015, and issued a certificate of judgment in the case on March 13, 2015. He did not file his
federal petition until September 3, 2015.
A final judgment will be entered separately.
DONE this 5th day of July, 2017.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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