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Stewart v. MaClaren

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

November 30, 2016

CHANCHEZ D. STEWART, Petitioner,
v.
DUNCAN MACLAREN, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY OR LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Chanchez D. Stewart, (“Petitioner”), confined at the Alger Correctional Facility in Munising, Michigan, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In his pro se application, petitioner challenges his convictions for first-degree murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.316(1)(a); and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony (felony-firearm), Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.227b. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition, on the ground that it was not timely filed in accordance with the statute of limitations contained in 28 U.S.C. § 2244 (d)(1). For the reasons stated below, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is summarily dismissed.

         I. Background

         Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court. Petitioner's conviction was affirmed on appeal. People v. Stewart, No. 300476, 2012 WL 75352 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 10, 2012). The Michigan Court of Appeals granted petitioner's motion for reconsideration on February 28, 2012 and remanded the matter to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing on several ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims. After the trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing and denied petitioner's motion for a new trial, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a final order denying petitioner's appeal on November 20, 2012. People v. Stewart, No. 300476 (Mich. Ct. App. Nov. 20, 2012). Petitioner's application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court was denied as being untimely filed on January 28, 2013.[1]

         On February 18, 2014, petitioner filed a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment, which was denied. People v. Stewart, No. 10-003925-01 (Wayne County Circuit Court, May 28, 2014). The Michigan Court of Appeals denied petitioner leave to appeal. People v. Stewart, No. 324437 (Mich.Ct.App. February 25, 2015).

         Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court. While his application for leave to appeal the denial of his post-conviction motion was pending before that court, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus on May 19, 2015, which was held in abeyance pending the completion of his post-conviction appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court. Stewart v. Woods, No. 2:15-CV-11919, 2015 WL 4935110 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 18, 2015).

         On December 22, 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court denied petitioner leave to appeal the denial of his post-conviction motion. People v. Stewart, 498 Mich. 948, 872 N.W.2d 447 (2015).

         On February 27, 2016, this Court granted petitioner's motion to reopen the petition to the Court's active docket and granted his motion to amend the petition.

         Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition on statute of limitations grounds on August 9, 2016.

         II. Discussion

         Respondent has filed a motion to dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus on the ground that the petition was not filed in compliance with the statute of limitations. In the statute of limitations context, “dismissal is appropriate only if a complaint clearly shows the claim is out of time.” Harris v. New York, 186 F.3d 243, 250 (2nd Cir.1999); See also Cooey v. Strickland, 479 F.3d 412, 415-16 (6th Cir. 2007).

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”), which was signed into law on April 24, 1996, amended the habeas corpus statute in several respects, one of which was to mandate a statute of limitations for habeas actions. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) imposes a one-year statute of limitations upon petitions for habeas relief:

(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 ...

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