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Fritz v. Barrett

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

August 28, 2017

COREY D. FRITZ, Petitioner,
v.
JOSEPH BARRETT Respondent.

          Stephanie Dawkins Davis, Magistrate Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS [4], DISMISSING PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS [1], AND DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          LAURIE J. MICHELSON, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Corey Fritz is currently serving five concurrent terms of ten-to-fifteen years in state prison for third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Fritz petitions this Court for a writ of habeas corpus. Respondent Joseph Barrett (the warden of the facility where Fritz is incarcerated) has filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Fritz did not file his petition within the applicable statute of limitations. The Court agrees. And the Court finds that Fritz has not met the “actual innocence” standard such that this Court can look past his failure to file a timely habeas corpus petition. For these reasons and those set forth below, Respondent's motion will be GRANTED and Fritz's petition will be DISMISSED.

         I.

         A.

         In 2009, Fritz was charged in connection with a sexual relationship he had with A.N., a 14-year-old whom he coached on a high school softball team. (R. 5-6, PID 158-161.)

         At Fritz's trial, A.N. testified that she and Fritz began a dating relationship over the summer of 2005, and first had sexual intercourse in October 2005, when A.N. was 14. (R. 5-6, PID 331.) In February 2006, A.N. learned she was pregnant. (R. 5-6, PID 369.) The pregnancy ended in June 2006. (R. 5-6, PID 370.) Outside the presence of the jury, a detective testified that A.N. had told him that she and Fritz had induced an abortion. (R. 5-6, PID 405.)

         Fritz testified in his own defense. He admitted to having a sexual relationship with A.N. and that she became pregnant. (R. 5-8, PID 604.) But he claimed that the sexual relationship did not begin until November 2006, when A.N. was 16. (R. 5-8, PID 603.)

         After hearing this and other testimony from A.N.'s classmates, school administrators, and detectives, a jury found Fritz guilty of five counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. (R. 5-10, PID 771.)

         B.

         Fritz appealed. In December 2011, after his counsel had filed Fritz's appeal brief, Fritz's mother obtained a copy of a November 2005 police report that, according to Fritz's counsel, had not been produced by the prosecution prior to trial. (R. 1-11, PID 84-85; R. 5-13, PID 821.) The report includes a summary of a police interview with A.N. about an incident with Fritz in October 2005. (R. 1-11, PID 79.) In her interview, A.N. told police that nothing sexual happened during the October 2005 incident and that she had not been and was not sexually active. (See R. 1-11, PID 79.) Fritz's counsel did not file a supplemental brief in the Michigan Court of Appeals or make any attempt to assert claims based on this police report. On June 28, 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Fritz's convictions and sentence. People v. Fritz, No. 301411, 2012 Mich.App. LEXIS 1285, at *1 (Mich. Ct. App. June 28, 2012).

         Fritz then filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court, which the Court denied on March 4, 2013. People v. Fritz, 826 N.W.2d 720, 721 (2013). The time for Fritz to file a petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court expired 90 days later, on June 2, 2013.

         C.

         Almost six months later, on November 21, 2013, Fritz filed a motion for relief from judgment with the state trial court. (R. 5-15.) Fritz asserted that the November 2005 police report would have resolved the “credibility contest” between him and A.N. because it supported his testimony that the sexual relationship did not begin until late 2006, and rebutted A.N.'s testimony that the sexual relationship began in October 2005. (R. 5-15, PID 1012.) In other words, ...


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