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Reynolds v. Bergh

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

January 5, 2017

MAURICE REYNOLDS, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID BERGH, Warden, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [6]

          LAURIE J. MICHELSON, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         A Michigan jury convicted Maurice Reynolds of two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of armed robbery-in 1987. Reynolds appealed and the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed-in 1993. Reynolds would again challenge his conviction and sentence-but not until 2002.

         Reynolds now asks this Court to issue a writ of habeas corpus. (R. 1.) Warden David Bergh moves to dismiss Reynolds' petition on the grounds that it comes too late. (R. 6.) As explained below, the Court agrees with Bergh that Reynolds' claims for a writ of habeas corpus are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. As such, Reynolds' petition will be dismissed.

         I.

         In 1987, following the jury's conviction, the state trial court sentenced Reynolds to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole for each of Reynolds' second-degree murder convictions and to 30 to 60 years in prison for each of Reynolds' armed robbery convictions. (See R. 1, PID 102-03.)

         Reynolds challenged his convictions and sentences in various ways. He directly appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals and that court affirmed in 1993. (See R. 6, PID 81.) It appears that Reynolds did not seek further relief until 2002, which was denied in 2003. (See R. 6, PID 85-86; R. 1, PID 2.) Reynolds then sought further post-conviction relief beginning in 2013. (See R. 6, PID 122-27.)

         In February 2016, Reynolds filed the petition for habeas corpus now before this Court. (See R. 1.) Reynolds claims that, as a first-time offender, being sentenced to life, as opposed to an indeterminate time, violates his rights under the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. (See R. 1, PID 19; R. 8, PID 1346.)

         In August 2016, Warden Bergh moved to dismiss Reynolds' petition on statute of limitations grounds. (R. 6.)

         II.

         As Reynolds' petition was filed after the April 24, 1996 effective date of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, AEDPA governs Reynolds' petition. See Muniz v. Smith, 647 F.3d 619, 622 (6th Cir. 2011). And under AEDPA, a petition for habeas corpus is time barred unless it is filed within one year of the latest of 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 the ...

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