Maize v. Warden
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge J. Frederick Motz on 8/10/2017. (c/m 8/10/2017 bas, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
LESLIE MAIZE, #431-507,
Civil Action No. JFM-16-4070
Leslie Maize, a self-represented Maryland prisoner, seeks habeas corpus relief pursuant
to 28 U.S.c. ~ 2254 attacking his 2010 conviction in the Circuit Court for Worcester County,
Maryland for first- and second-degree rape, assault with intent to rape, and first-degree burglary.
ECF 1. Respondents have responded and offered the docket sheet outlining proceedings relating
to Maize's criminal case as well as the unreported opinion of the Court of Special Appeals of
Maryland denying Maize's direct appeal.
See ECF 9. Maize has replied.
ECF 11. After
reviewing the petition, answer and reply, the court finds no need for an evidentiary hearing. See
Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; see also 28
For the reasons set forth below, the petition shall be denied as time-barred
and a certificate of appealability shall not issue.
I. Factual and Procedural History
On January 5, 2010, a Worcester County Circuit Court judge found Maize guilty of first-
degree rape and related charges and sentenced him to life plus a concurrent 20-year term of
ECF 91 -1, pp. 5-6. The convictions and sentence were upheld on direct appeal
in an unreported decision rendered on July 27,2011, by the Court of Special Appeals. ECF 9-2;
Maize v. State of Maryland, No. 185 (C.S.A. Sept. Term 2010). The mandate issued on August
26, 2011. Id., p. 1. Maize's request for further review by the Maryland Court of Appeals was
denied on January 23, 2012. See Maize v. State, 424 Md. 292 (2012).
17, 2012, Maize filed a petition
supplemented. ECF 9-1, p. 11. On July 2, 2015, the Circuit Court for Worcester County granted
post-conviction relief by vacating Maize's sentences and ordering a new sentencing proceeding.
Id., p. 18. Maize was resentenced on October 20, 2015, to a life sentence.
seek review of this new judgment in the Court of Special Appeals;
final for direct appeal purposes on Thursday, November
Id. Maize did not
thus, his judgment became
See Md. Rule 8-204
(application for leave to appeal to be filed within 30 days of judgment from which appeal is
On Monday, November
16, 2015, Maize filed a motion for modification of sentence
which was denied on December 8, 2015 ECF 9-1, p. 20. On that same date, November 16,
2015, Maize filed an application for review of sentence pursuant to Maryland Rule 4-344/ which
was denied on December 22, 2015. Id., p. 21.
On December 22, 2016, Maize filed a "memorandum to the court" expressing his desire
to initiate federal habeas corpus proceedings.
ECF 1. Because the pleading did not provide
sufficient information to proceed as a habeas petition, Maize was granted additional time to
provide the grounds requesting relief, using court-approved
supplemental pleadings dated January 10, 2017, alleging a multitude of errors ranging from a
1 Md. Rule 4-344 requires any application for review of sentence under the Review of Criminal Sentences Act, Md.
Code. Ann., Crim. Proc. Art., ~~ 8-102 et seq. be filed within 30 days after the imposition of sentence.
violation of the Interstate Act on Detainers to violation of Maryland's
180-day "speedy trial"
ECF 11 at p. 11; ECF 3.
In a limited answer to the petition, respondents assert that the merit of Maize's claims
cannot be examined because the petition is untimely pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 2244(d) and Maize
has provided no basis for applying the doctrine of equitable tolling. ECF 9 at 2-6.
In reply, Maize claims, without specificity, that he has proof that the "prosecutor
misuse[d] ... exculpatory evidence." ECF 11.
A. Applicable Statutory Standards
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDP A") was enacted and signed
into law on April 24, 1996. Prior to AEDP A, there was no time limitation on when a prisoner
could file an original action for habeas corpus relief in federal court. AEDP A introduced a oneyear limitations period for state prisoners filing under 28 U.S. C.
2254. The one-year period
which applies to habeas petitions begins to run on the date on which the judgment became final
by the conclusion of direct review or (if no appeal is taken) upon the expiration of the time for
seeking such review. See 28 U.S.C.
see also Wall v. Khali, 562 U.S. 545, 549
For purposes of assessing the timeliness of the instant petition under 28 U .S.C. ~2244( d)(1 )-(2), this court treats it
as filed on the date it was signed. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988); United States v. Dorsey, 988 F. Supp.
917,919-20 (D. Md. 1998); Rule 3(d) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts. (applying the "mailbox rule").
This section provides:
A I-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of
habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court.
The limitation period shall run from the latest of(A)
the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking
(2011). The one-year period is tolled while properly filed post-conviction proceedings are pending
and may otherwise be equitably tolled. See 28 U.S.c. S2244(d)(2); Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d
325,328 (4th Cir. 2000).
In Maryland, a state motion to reduce sentence does not toll the statute of limitations
under 28 U.S.C. S2244(d). See Tasker v. Maryland, No. AW 11-CV-1869, 2013 WL 425040, at
*7 (D. Md. Jan. 31,2013).4
Here, the limitations period began to run, at the latest, on November 19, 2015, when
Maize's time for seeking leave to appeal following resentencing expired.
19, 2015 and January 10, 2017, when Maize actually presented his federal habeas corpus
grounds to this court by way of a supplemental petition, there were no proceedings in state court
that would serve to toll the limitations period of 28 U.S.C. S 2244(d).5
Maize presents no
the date on which the impediment to filing an application
created by State action in violation of the constitution or laws of the
United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by
such State action;
the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially
recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly
recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to
cases on collateral review; or
the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims
presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due
the time during which a properly filed application for State postconviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or
claim is pending shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under this
Tasker characterized a Maryland state motion to reduce sentence as a motion for leniency, and distinguished it
from the Rhode Island state motion to reduce sentence which was held in Wall v. Khali, 562 U.S. at 1286-87, to toll
the statute oflimitations under S2244(d).
This analysis holds true even if the court were to accept December 22, 2016, as the date on which the habeas
corpus proceeding was deemed filed.
grounds to support an argument that the limitations period should be statutorily tolled in his
In order to be entitled to equitable tolling of the limitations period, Maize must establish
that either some wrongful conduct by the State contributed to the delay in filing his federal
habeas corpus petition, or that circumstances beyond his control caused the delay. See Rouse v.
Lee, 339 F. 3d 238, 246 (4th Cir. 2003); Harris, 209 F. 3d at 328. U(A]ny resort to equity must
be reserved for those rare instances where . . . it would be unconscionable
limitation period against the party and gross injustice would result."
to enforce the
Id.; see also Pace v.
DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005) (recognizing that equitable tolling requires a showing
that the petitioner "has been pursuing his rights diligently, and ...
that some extraordinary
circumstance stood in his way."); Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 648 (2010) (equitable tolling
limited to extraordinary circumstance).
To the extent the delay might be attributed to Maize's lack of understanding of the law,
unfamiliarity with the law may not be used to justify equitable tolling. See United States v. Sosa,
364 F.3d 507, 512 (4th Cir. 2004).
Maize has failed to satisfy his burden to demonstrate that
equitable tolling is warranted, and his claims for habeas corpus relief are time-barred.
The instant petition for habeas corpus relief will be denied and this case dismissed by
separate order. When a district court dismisses a habeas petition, a certificate of appealability
may issue "only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
When a district court dismisses a habeas petition solely on
procedural grounds, a petitioner satisfies this standard by demonstrating "that jurists of reason
would find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional
right' and (2) 'that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court was correct
in its procedural ruling.'''
Rouse v. Lee, 252 F.3d 676, 684 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Slack v.
Daniel, 529 U.S. 473,484 (2000)). Maize does not satisfy this standard. See Buck v. Davis, _
137 S.Ct. 759, 773 (Feb. 22, 2017). Therefore, the court declines to issue a certificate
Denial of a certificate of appealability in the district court does not preclude Maize from requesting a certificate of
appealability from the appellate court.
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