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Rogers v. Haas

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

January 20, 2015

HAROLD GLENN ROGERS, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN RANDALL HAAS, Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DISMISSAL OF THE HABEAS PETITION (Dkt. 8), DENYING PETITIONER'S COUNTER MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Dkt. 13), DISMISSING THE HABEAS PETITIONS WITH PREJUDICE, DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

TERRENCE G. BERG, District Judge.

Petitioner Harold Glenn Rogers, pro se, has petitioned the Court under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a writ of habeas corpus. The matter is now before the Court on Respondent Randall Haas's Motion for Summary Judgment and Dismissal of the Habeas Petition and Petitioner's Counter Motion for Summary Judgment. Petitioner is attempting to challenge his 1984 conviction for first-degree murder on grounds that his trial and appellate attorneys were ineffective. Respondent Randall Haas maintains that the habeas petition is barred by the one-year statute of limitations. Petitioner counters that Respondent's motion is not a proper response to his habeas petition.

As stated further below, the habeas petition is clearly time-barred, and Respondent's motion was a proper response to the habeas petition. Therefore, Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment and Dismissal of the Habeas Petition (Dkt. 8) is GRANTED, Petitioner's Counter Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 13) is DENIED, and the two habeas petitions (Dkt. 1 and Dkt. 11) are DISMISSED.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner was charged in Wayne County, Michigan with one count of first-degree (premeditated) murder. The charge arose from allegations that Petitioner intentionally stabbed the victim to death. Petitioner's defense was that he acted in self defense. Following a jury trial in the former Recorder's Court for the city of Detroit, Petitioner was found guilty, as charged, of first-degree murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.316. On March 28, 1984, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

On appeal from his conviction, Petitioner argued that: (1) the trial court erred by allowing the prosecution to present testimony from two res gestae witnesses that were not endorsed; (2) the prosecutor's failure to exercise due diligence in locating and endorsing the two res gestae witnesses precluded Petitioner from engaging in meaningful plea negotiations; and (3) the trial court's failure to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter was reversible error. The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected these claims and affirmed Petitioner's conviction. See People v. Rogers, No. 79569 (Mich. Ct. App. Sept. 18, 1985). The Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal because it was not persuaded to review the issues. See People v. Rogers, No. 77735 (Mich. Sup. Ct. Apr. 28, 1986).

Petitioner made no further attempts to challenge his conviction until April 28, 2008, when he submitted a motion for relief from judgment to the state trial court. He alleged in his motion that (1) his trial attorney was ineffective for raising a defense of self defense and for not defending the case on the ground that the crime was voluntary manslaughter and (2) appellate counsel was ineffective for not raising a claim about trial counsel. The trial court stated in a written decision that trial counsel was not ineffective and that Petitioner was not prejudiced by appellate counsel's decisions. The trial court then denied the motion on the basis that Petitioner had not shown "good cause" for failing to raise his claims on direct appeal and "actual prejudice." See Op. and Order Den. Def.'s Mot. for Relief from J., No. 83-05502 (3d Jud. Cir. Ct., June 19, 2008).

Petitioner apparently did not receive the trial court's order denying his motion. Consequently, he filed a similar motion for relief from judgment in January of 2009. The trial court denied the motion on the basis that Petitioner was prohibited from filing a second motion for relief from judgment in the absence of a retroactive change in the law or a claim of new evidence. See Op. and Order Den. Def.'s Second Mot. for Relief from J., No. 83-05502 (3d Jud. Cir. Ct., May 19, 2009).

Petitioner appealed the trial court's decisions without success. The Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed his application as untimely, see People v. Rogers, No. 306248 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2011), and the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal because it was not persuaded to review the issues. See People v. Rogers, 493 Mich. 868; 821 N.W.2d 561 (2012). Petitioner moved for reconsideration, but on January 25, 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court denied his motion. See People v. Rogers, 493 Mich. 931; 825 N.W.2d 81 (2013).

On January 22, 2014, Petitioner signed and dated his habeas corpus petition, and on January 27, 2014, the Clerk of the Court filed the petition.[1] Petitioner's grounds for relief are: (1) trial counsel was ineffective was relying on a theory of self defense and for not requesting a jury instruction on voluntary manslaughter; (2) appellate counsel was ineffective for not raising a claim about trial counsel's ineffectiveness; and (3) appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to file a timely appeal of right.[2]

Respondent asserts in a motion for summary judgment that Petitioner's claims are untimely and thus barred from substantive review. Petitioner argues in a counter motion for summary judgment that Respondent waived his statute-of-limitations defense by failing to timely address the merits of the habeas claims and by not supporting his motion with an affidavit.

II. ANALYSIS

A. AEDPA'S One-Year Period of ...


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