Williams v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, et al.
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry) re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Mark-Alonzo Williams. Signed by Honorable Sylvia H. Rambo on December 29, 2016. (kjn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
MARK ALONZO WILLIAMS,
OF CORRECTIONS, et al.,
CIVIL NO. 1:16-CV-02479
On December 16, 2016, Petitioner, Mark Alonzo
Williams, an inmate at the State Correctional
Institution at Forrest, Marienville, Pennsylvania, filed
a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 1.)
Williams paid the $5.00
The petition will now be given preliminary
consideration pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing
§ 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254.1 For the reasons
set forth below Williams’ petition will be dismissed as
1. Rule 4 states in pertinent part that “[t]he clerk
must promptly forward the petition to a judge under the
court’s assignment procedure, and the judge must
promptly examine it. If it plainly appears from the
petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner
is not entitled to relief in the district court, the
judge must dismiss the petition . . . .”
In the petition Williams alleges that he was
sentenced on May 2, 2003, by the Court of Common Pleas
of Centre County, Pennsylvania, for rape and involuntary
deviate sexual intercourse, and received an aggregate
sentence of imprisonment of 8 to 20 years. (Doc. 1, at
Williams’s petition is vague regarding the appeals
and post-conviction proceedings he filed in state court.
(Id.) However a review of the dockets of the Centre
County Court of Common Pleas, the Pennsylvania Superior
Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reveals that
Williams filed a direct appeal which concluded on July
14, 2005, when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied his
petition for allowance of appeal. Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, Respondent v. Mark Alonzo Williams,
Petitioner, 1013 MAL 2004.2
The court utilized the Unified Judicial System of
Pennsylvania Web Portal to review the trial and
appellate court dockets of Williams’ criminal case. A
district court may take judicial notice of proceedings
in another court. See United States v. Wilson, 631 F.2d
118 (9th Cir. 1980); Hayes v. Woodford, 444 F.Supp.2d
1127, (S.D. Cal. 2006)(“[F]ederal courts may take
judicial notice of other courts’ proceedings, within
the federal judiciary and without, if the proceedings
judgment of sentence became final on July 14, 2005.
No other proceedings in state court were filed by
Williams until October 19, 2005, when he filed in the
Court of Common Pleas of Centre County a petition under
Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A.
§§ 9541, et seq. (“PCRA”).
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
v. Mark A. Williams, CP-14-CR-0001773-2002.
6, 2005, the Court of Common Pleas denied Williams’ PCRA
Williams filed a Notice of Appeal on January
3, 2006, and on September 12, 2006, the Superior Court
reversed and remanded the case to the Court of Common
Pleas for further proceedings and relinquished
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mark
Alonzo Williams, Appellant, 124 MDA 2006.
19, 2006, the Court of Common Pleas appointed counsel
for Williams and authorized counsel to file an amended
PCRA petition which was filed by counsel on January 18,
2007. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mark A. Williams,
An answer to the amended
petition was filed by the Centre County District
directly relate to the matter before the court.”).
Attorney on February 20, 2007, and after holding a
hearing and receiving briefs the Court of Common Pleas
on March 7, 2008, denied Williams’ amended PCRA
After that denial Williams did not file any
further proceedings in state court until December 12,
2016, when he filed in the Court of Common Pleas a
second PCRA petition.
There is a one-year statute of limitations for
filing a § 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).
For our purposes, that period
starts to run from the date the conviction becomes
final, defined in section 2244(d)(1)(A) as “the date on
which the judgment became final by the conclusion of
direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking
However, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2) also
provides that “[t]he time during which a properly filed
application for State post-conviction or other
collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment
or claim is pending shall not be counted toward any
period of limitation[.]”
We will first address the
question of when Williams’ conviction became final for
purposes of the commencement of the 1-year statute of
limitations and then address whether there is any other
time excluded under §2244(d)(2).
As stated above, Williams was sentence on May 2,
Williams took a direct appeal and his sentence
became final on July 14, 2005. The period of time which
elapsed from the date his sentence became final until
Williams filed his first PCRA petition is 91 days.
That time is counted towards the 1-year statute of
From October 19, 2005, until 30 days after
the trial court denied the amended PCRA petition, there
were properly filed post-conviction proceedings pending
in state court and that time is excluded from the
calculation of the 1-year statute of limitations.
Consequently, the statute of limitation recommenced
running on April 7, 2008, and because the time from
April 7, 2008, until December 12, 2016, the date
Williams filed the a second PCRA petition, is well in
excess of 1-year statute of limitations, the petition
for writ of habeas corpus is untimely filed.
An appropriate order will be entered.
SYLVIA H. RAMBO
United States District Judge
Dated: December 29, 2016
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