United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT
OF HABEAS CORPUS, DENYING MOTION FOR CAUSE AND ENTITLEMENT TO
EQUITABLE TOLLING, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY,
AND DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS ON
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a habeas case brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Michigan prisoner Willard Jeremy Noble
(“Petitioner”) pleaded guilty to four counts of
first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the Washtenaw County
Circuit Court and was sentenced to concurrent terms of 17
½ to 40 years imprisonment pursuant to a plea
agreement in 2001. In his pleadings, Petitioner raises claims
concerning the effectiveness of appellate counsel and the
validity of his plea.
January 26, 2016, the Court ordered Petitioner to show cause
why this case should not be dismissed as untimely under the
one-year statute of limitations applicable to federal habeas
actions. In response, Petitioner filed a Motion for Cause and
Entitlement to Equitable Tolling with a supporting brief
asserting that he is entitled to equitable tolling of the
one-year period due to a lack of legal representation, mental
health issues, and actual innocence.
further review, the Court concludes that the Petition is
untimely and must be dismissed, and that Petitioner's
Motion must be denied. The Court also concludes that a
Certificate of Appealability and leave to proceed in forma
pauperis on appeal must be denied.
states that he tendered his guilty plea on July 25, 2001. He
moved to withdraw his plea at the time of sentencing, but the
trial court denied the motion and sentenced him on September
27, 2001. Petitioner then filed an application for leave to
appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals, which was denied.
People v. Noble, No. 243237 (Mich. Ct. App. Sept.
24, 2002). Petitioner also filed an application for leave to
appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, which was denied.
People v. Noble, 468 Mich. 857, 658 N.W.2d 488 (Feb.
filed a motion for relief from judgment with the state trial
court on July 31, 2014. See Register of Actions,
Nos. 01-592-FC, 01-689-FC (Washtenaw Co. Cir. Ct.). The trial
court denied the motion, stating that “it is plainly
apparent that Defendant is not entitled to the relief
sought.” People v. Noble, Nos. 01-592-FC,
01-689-FC (Washtenaw Co. Cir. Ct. Sept. 29, 2014) (opinion
attached to Petition). Petitioner filed a delayed application
for leave to appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals, which
was denied for failing “to meet the burden of
establishing entitlement to relief under MCR 6.508(D).”
People v. Noble, No. 324738 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 21,
2015). Petitioner filed an application for leave to appeal
with the Michigan Supreme Court, which was similarly denied.
People v. Noble, 499 Mich. 854, 873 N.W.2d 561 (Feb.
Petition before the Court is dated October 6, 2016. The Court
ordered Petitioner to show cause regarding the timeliness of
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2241
et seq., became effective on April 24, 1996. The
AEDPA includes a one-year period of limitations for habeas
petitions brought by prisoners challenging state court
judgments. The statute provides:
(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 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