Jewell #153955 v. Harry

Filing 7

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that the habeas corpus petition be denied as time-barred; objections to R&R due within 10 days ; signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph G. Scoville (Magistrate Judge Joseph G. Scoville, mmh)

Download PDF
Jewell #153955 v. Harry Doc. 7 Case 1:06-cv-00223-RHB-JGS Document 7 Filed 04/06/2006 Page 1 of 7 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION BOBBY JEWELL, ) ) Petitioner, ) ) v. ) ) SHIRLEE HARRY, ) ) Respondent. ) ____________________________________) Case No. 1:06-cv-223 Honorable Robert Holmes Bell REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION This is a habeas corpus action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254. Promptly after the filing of a petition for habeas corpus, the Court must undertake a preliminary review of the petition to determine whether "it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court." Rule 4, RULES GOVERNING 2254 CASES; see 28 U.S.C. 2243. If so, the petition must be summarily dismissed. Rule 4; see Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (district court has the duty to "screen out" petitions that lack merit on their face). A dismissal under Rule 4 includes those petitions which raise legally frivolous claims, as well as those containing factual allegations that are palpably incredible or false. Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436-37 (6th Cir. 1999). The Court may sua sponte dismiss a habeas action as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. 2244(d) prior to ordering the respondent to answer. Scott v. Collins, 286 F.3d 923, 929-30 (6th Cir. 2002). After undertaking the review required by Rule 4, I conclude that the petition is barred by the one-year statute of limitations. Dockets.Justia.com Case 1:06-cv-00223-RHB-JGS Document 7 Filed 04/06/2006 Page 2 of 7 Discussion I. Factual Allegations Petitioner is incarcerated in the Muskegon Correctional Facility. Petitioner was convicted in the Muskegon County Circuit Court of armed robbery, MICH. COMP. LAWS 750.529; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, MICH. COMP. LAWS 750.227b. Petitioner subsequently pleaded guilty to being a fourth habitual offender, MICH. COMP. LAWS 769.12. On February 25, 1992, the trial court imposed an enhanced prison sentence of twenty to forty-five years for the armed robbery conviction and consecutive two year term for the felonyfirearm conviction. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction on February 25, 1994. Petitioner did not apply for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court. On April 10, 2003, Petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment in the Muskegon County Circuit Court raising the same claim now presented in his habeas petition. He asserted that his sentence was defective because the trial court erroneously sentenced him as a third habitual offender when Petitioner never pleaded guilty to being a third habitual offender. The circuit court denied Petitioner's motion on August 6, 2003, and his motion for reconsideration on August 28, 2003. The Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court denied Petitioner's applications for leave to appeal on August 20, 2004 and May 31, 2005, respectively. II. Statute of Limitations Petitioner's application is barred by the one-year statute of limitations provided in 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(1), which became effective on April 24, 1996, as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, PUB. L. NO. 104-132, 110 STAT. 1214 (AEDPA). Prior to enactment -2- Case 1:06-cv-00223-RHB-JGS Document 7 Filed 04/06/2006 Page 3 of 7 of the AEDPA, there was no defined period of limitation for habeas actions.1 Section 2244(d)(1) provides: (1) 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 such review; (B) 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; (C) 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 (D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence. 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(1). The running of the statute of limitations is tolled when "a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending." 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(2); see also Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167 (2001) (limiting the tolling provision to only state, and not federal, processes); Artuz v. Bennett, 531 U.S. 4, 8 (2000) (defining "properly filed"). In this case, 2244(d)(1)(A) provides the period of limitation. The other subsections do not apply to the grounds that Petitioner has raised. Under 2244(d)(1)(A), the one-year limitation period runs from "the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review." According to Petitioner, the Michigan P r e v i o u s l y , the only time limit was provide d in Rule 9 of the Rules Governing 2254 Cases, which allows d i s m i s s a l of a petition only under circumstances where the state has been prejudiced by the delay in filing. 1 -3- Case 1:06-cv-00223-RHB-JGS Document 7 Filed 04/06/2006 Page 4 of 7 Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction on February 25, 1994. He did not seek leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court. Where a petitioner has failed to pursue an avenue of appellate review available to him, the time for seeking review at that level is counted under 2244(d)(1)(A). See 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(1)(A) (time for filing a petition pursuant to 2254 runs from "the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of time for seeking such review." ) (emphasis added). However, such a petitioner is not entitled to also count the ninety-day period during which he could have filed a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. See United States v. Cottage, 307 F.3d 494, 499 (6th Cir. 2002) (holding that, in the context of a motion under 28 U.S.C. 2255, where a petitioner has failed to file a direct appeal to the court of appeals, the time for filing a petition does not include the ninety-day period for seeking certiorari in the United States Supreme Court because no judgment exists from which he could seek further review in the United States Supreme Court); United States v. Clay, 537 U.S. 522 (2003) (holding that finality is analyzed the same under 2244(d)(1)(A) and 2255). Here, since the Supreme Court will review only final judgments of the "highest court of a state in which a decision could be had . . . ," 28 U.S.C. 1257(a), the decision must be considered final at the expiration of the 56-day period for seeking review in the Michigan Supreme Court. Roberts v. Cockrell, 319 F.3d 690, 694-95 (5th Cir. 2003); Kapral v. U.S., 166 F.3d 365, 577 (3rd Cir. 1999); Ovalle v. United States, No. 02-1270, 2002 WL 31379876 at *2 (6th Cir. Oct. 21, 2002) (citing Wims v. United States, 225 F.3d 186, 188 (2d Cir. 2000)). Petitioner's conviction therefore became final on April 22, 1994. A petitioner whose conviction became final prior to the effective date of the AEDPA, April 24, 1996, has one year from the effective date in which to file his petition. Payton v. Brigano, -4- Case 1:06-cv-00223-RHB-JGS Document 7 Filed 04/06/2006 Page 5 of 7 256 F.3d 405, 407 (6th Cir. 2001); Searcy v. Carter, 246 F.3d 515, 517 (6th Cir. 2001). Accordin gly, the statute of limitations expired on April 24, 1997. Petitioner filed the instant petition in the Eastern District on or about March 8, 2006, almost nine years after the statute of limitations expired. While 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(2) provides that the one-year statute of limitations is tolled while a duly filed petition for state collateral review is pending, the tolling provision does not revive the limitations period or restart the clock; it can only serve to pause a clock that has not yet fully run. Once the limitations period is expired, collateral petitions can no longer serve to avoid a statute of limitations. Because Petitioner's one-year period expired on April 24, 1997, his motion for relief from judgment filed in 2003 does not serve to revive the limitations period. See Vroman v. Brigano, 346 F.3d 598, 602 (6th Cir. 2003); Thomas v. Johnson, No. 99-3628, 2000 WL 553948, at *2 (6th Cir. April 28, 2000). The one-year limitation period applicable to 2254 is a statute of limitations subject to equitable tolling. Dunlap v. United States, 250 F.3d 1001, 1007 (6th Cir. 2001). A petitioner bears the burden of showing that he is entitled to equitable tolling. See Allen v. Yukins, 366 F.3d 396, 401 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 200 (2004); Jurado v. Burt, 337 F.3d 638, 642 (6th Cir. 2003); Griffin v. Rogers, 308 F.3d 647, 653 (6th Cir. 2002). The Sixth Circuit has repeatedly cautioned that equitable tolling should be applied "sparingly" by this Court. See Jurado, 337 F.3d at 642; Cook v. Stegall, 295 F.3d 517, 521 (6th Cir. 2002); Dunlap, 250 F.3d at 1008-09. In Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 125 S. Ct. 1807, 1814-15 (2005), the Supreme Court held that a petitioner seeking equitable tolling of the habeas statute of limitations has the burden of establishing two elements: "(1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance -5- Case 1:06-cv-00223-RHB-JGS Document 7 Filed 04/06/2006 Page 6 of 7 stood in his way." Id. at 1814 (applying standard set forth in Irwin v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 498 U.S. 89, 96 (1990)). Petitioner has failed to raise equitable tolling or allege any facts or circumstances that would warrant its application in this case. The fact that Petitioner is untrained in the law, was proceeding without a lawyer, or may have been unaware of the statute of limitations for a certain period does not warrant tolling. See Allen, 366 F.3d at 403; Brown v. United States, No. 01-1481, 2001 WL 1136000, at *3 (6th Cir. Sept. 21, 2001) (citing United States v. Baker, 197 F.3d 211, 218-19 (6th Cir. 1999)); Fisher v. Johnson, 174 F.3d 710, 714-15 (5th Cir. 1999) ("ignorance of the law, even for an incarcerated pro se petitioner, generally does not excuse [late] filing."). Accordingly, Petitioner is not entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. The Court of Appeals has suggested that a habeas petitioner is entitled to notice and an adequate opportunity to be heard before dismissal of a petition on statute of limitations grounds. See Scott, 286 F.3d at 930. This report and recommendation shall serve as notice that the District Court may dismiss Petitioner's application for habeas corpus relief as time-barred. The opportunity to file objections to this report and recommendation constitutes Petitioner's opportunity to be heard by the District Judge. Recommended Disposition For the foregoing reasons, I recommend that the habeas corpus petition be denied because it is barred by the one-year statute of limitations. Dated: April 6, 2006 /s/ Joseph G. Scoville United States Magistrate Judge -6- Case 1:06-cv-00223-RHB-JGS Document 7 Filed 04/06/2006 Page 7 of 7 NOTICE TO PARTIES Any objections to this Report and Recommendation must be filed and served within ten days of service of this notice on you. 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b). All objections and responses to objections are governed by W.D. Mich. LCivR 72.3(b). Failure to file timely objections may constitute a waiver of any further right of appeal. United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981); see Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). -7-

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.


Why Is My Information Online?