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Darnall v. MacKie

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 5, 2015

TAZ MORRIS DARNALL, Petitioner,
v.
THOMAS MACKIE, Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DISMISSAL OF PETITION (Dkt. #17), DISMISSING THE AMENDED HABEAS PETITION (Dkt. #12), DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY BUT GRANTING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

PAUL D. BORMAN, District Judge.

This is a pro se habeas corpus action under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner Taz Morris Darnall is challenging a 2007 Macomb County conviction for second-degree murder. He commenced this action on June 20, 2011. Respondent Thomas Mackie argues in a motion for summary judgment and dismissal of the petition that the habeas petition is barred by the one-year statute of limitations. The Court agrees. Consequently, the Court will grant Respondent's motion and dismiss the habeas petition with prejudice.

I. Background

Petitioner was tried before a jury in Macomb County Circuit Court. The trial court instructed the jury on involuntary manslaughter as a lesser offense, but, on September 21, 2007, the jury found Petitioner guilty, as charged, of second-degree murder. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.317. On October 31, 2007, the trial court sentenced Petitioner as a habitual offender to imprisonment for thirty to seventy years with credit for 251 days. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction and sentence in an unpublished decision, see People v. Darnall, No. 281999 (Mich. Ct. App. Aug. 25, 2009), and on January 29, 2010, the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal. See People v. Darnall, 485 Mich. 1080 (2010) (table). Petitioner did not file a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, and on April 29, 2010, the deadline for doing so expired.

On May 16, 2011, Petitioner signed and dated a motion for relief from judgment. On June 14, 2011, the state trial court denied his motion, and on June 20, 2011, Petitioner filed his habeas corpus petition in this Court, along with a motion for the Court to hold his habeas petition in abeyance while he continued to pursue post-conviction remedies in state court. On June 30, 2011, the Court granted Petitioner's request for a stay and closed this case for administrative purposes.

Petitioner then asked the state trial court to reconsider its denial of his motion for relief from judgment. The trial court denied Petitioner's request, and on December 14, 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied Petitioner's application for leave to appeal the trial court's decision. See People v. Darnall, No. 311000 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 14, 2012). Petitioner applied for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, but, on March 19, 2013, the state Supreme Court rejected his application without filing it because it was untimely.

On March 11, 2014, Petitioner submitted an amended habeas corpus petition to this Court and a motion to reinstate his case on the Court's docket. On April 18, 2014, the Court re-opened this case, and on October 14, 2014, Respondent filed his motion for summary judgment and dismissal of the petition.

II. Analysis

A. The Statute of Limitations

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) established a one-year period of limitation for state prisoners to file their federal habeas corpus petitions. Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S. 545, __, 131 S.Ct. 1278, 1283 (2011) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)). The period of limitation runs from the latest of the following four dates:

(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 ...

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