Reed v. Foxwell et al
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 10/17/2017. (c/m 10/17/17 bas, Deputy Clerk)
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
COREY M. REED, #289-903,
RICKY FOXWELL and
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE
STATE OF MARYLAND,
CIVIL ACTION NO. CCB-17-2499
Corey M. Reed, a self-represented Maryland prisoner, seeks habeas corpus relief pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF 1, as supplemented by ECF 3.) He attacks his 1999 conviction in the
Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland for first-degree murder. He also submitted exhibits
in support of the petition. Respondents have answered and offered the docket sheet outlining
proceedings relating to Reed’s criminal case. (ECF 8.) Reed has replied. (ECF 11, 12.) 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,” 28 U.S.C.
folio § 2254; see also 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2). For the reasons set forth below, the petition shall
be denied and a certificate of appealability shall not issue.
I. Factual and Procedural History
On December 15, 1999, Reed pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree murder in
the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. (ECF 8-1, p. 4.) On that same day, December 15, 1999,
Reed was sentenced to life imprisonment, with all but 25 years suspended. (Id.) Reed did not
file an application for leave to appeal the entry of his plea and sentence; thus, his judgment
became final under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A) on January 14, 2000. See Md. Rule 8-204
(application for leave to appeal to be filed within 30 days of judgment from which appeal is
On February 26, 2001, Reed filed a post-conviction petition in the Baltimore City Circuit
Court. (ECF 8-1 at 1.) His motion to withdraw the petition was granted without prejudice on
May 16, 2001. (Id.) Reed re-filed his post-conviction petition on August 10, 2001, and moved
to withdraw it on April 30, 2002. (Id.) The motion to withdraw was granted without prejudice
on May 15, 2002. (Id.)
On March 31, 2004, Reed again sought post-conviction relief. (Id.) His post-conviction
petition was denied on October 26, 2004. (Id.) Leave to appeal the denial of post-conviction
relief was denied by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on April 28, 2015. (ECF 8-1 at
Between August 24, 2005 and June 3, 2016, Reed moved to reopen post-conviction
proceedings on four separate occasions. (Id.). Reed’s application for leave to appeal the
dismissal of his fourth motion to reopen was denied by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
on January 9, 2017. (ECF 8-1 at 3).
In his petition, as supplemented, Reed asserts that his plea was involuntary. He also
asserts that counsel provided ineffective assistance and that the prosecutor relied on “false
evidence” to support the plea and “illegal sentence.” (ECF 3, p. 5.) In a limited answer to the
petition, respondents assert that the merit of Reed’s claims cannot be examined because the
petition is untimely pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) and Reed has provided no basis for applying
the doctrine of equitable tolling. (ECF 8 at 2-5.)
In reply, Reed argues that the one-year limitations period did not run while he attempted
to fully exhaust all of his claims by pursuing post-conviction remedies. (ECF 11 at 4-10.) Reed
also argues that the limitations period should tolled because court-appointed counsel failed to
advise him of his right to direct appeal and his right for review of sentence. (ECF 12 at 2-3).
A. Applicable Statutory Standards
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) was enacted and signed
into law on April 24, 1996. Prior to AEDPA, there was no time limitation on when a prisoner
could file an original action for habeas corpus relief in federal court. AEDPA introduced a oneyear limitations period for state prisoners filing under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The one-year limitations
period 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. § 2244(d)(1)(A)1; see also Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S. 545, 549 (2011). The one-year period
This section provides:
A 1-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
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
is tolled while properly filed post-conviction proceedings are pending and may otherwise be
equitably tolled. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d 325, 328 (4th Cir.
Here, the limitations period began to run, at the latest, on January 4, 2000, when the time
for seeking leave to appeal his guilty plea expired. Between January 4, 2000 and February 26,
2001, when Reed first filed a post-conviction petition, there were no proceedings in state court
that would serve to toll the limitations period of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Thus, the one-year
limitations period expired more than a month before Reed first sought post-conviction relief in
the Circuit Court. Reed presents no grounds to overcome this finding, or to support an argument
that the limitations period should be statutorily tolled in his favor.
In order to be entitled to equitable tolling of the limitations period, Reed 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 330 (“[A]ny resort to equity must be
reserved for those rare instances where . . . it would be unconscionable to enforce the limitation
period against the party and gross injustice would result.”).; see also Holland v. Florida, 560
U.S. 631, 649 (2010) (equitable tolling limited to extraordinary circumstance); 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
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
circumstance stood in his way.”).
To the extent the delay might be attributed to Reed’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).
Reed 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
right. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). When a district court dismisses a habeas petition solely on
procedural grounds, a petitioner satisfies this standard by demonstrating “(1) ‘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.’” Rose v. Lee, 252 F.3d 676, 684 (4th Cir. 2001)
(quoting Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)). Reed does not satisfy this standard. See
Buck v. Davis, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 759, 773 (Feb. 22, 2017). Therefore, the court declines to
issue a certificate of appealability.2
October 17, 2017
Catherine C. Blake
United States District Judge
Denial of a certificate of appealability in the district court does not preclude Reed from requesting a certificate of
appealability from the appellate court.
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