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Stegall v. Jackson

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

November 30, 2017

RALPH STEGALL, Petitioner,
v.
SHANE JACKSON, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND GRANTING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS

          Arthur J. Tarnow Senior United States District Judge

         Ralph Stegall, (“petitioner”), confined at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, M.C.L.A. 750.520b; and felony-firearm, M.C.L.A. 750.227b. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the ground that petitioner failed to comply 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 filed a direct appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed petitioner's conviction on May 18, 2010. People v. Stegall, No. 290029 (Mich. App. May 18, 2010).

         Petitioner did not file a timely application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court. Letters attached to the original petition indicated that Petitioner's court-appointed appellate attorney missed the deadline for filing an application for leave to appeal. On August 26, 2011, petitioner attempted to file a pro se application for leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, but the Clerk of the Court deemed the papers untimely and returned them unfiled.[1]

         On October 12, 2011, petitioner filed with a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment with the trial court.[2]

         While the motion was pending in the trial court, petitioner filed a habeas petition with this Court, which was signed and dated May 30, 2012. This Court held the petition in abeyance to permit petitioner to finish exhausting his claims in the state courts on post-conviction review. Stegall v. Rapelje, No. 12-CV-12415, 2012 WL 4009174 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 12, 2012).

         The trial court denied petitioner's motion for relief from judgment. People v. Stegall, No. 08-012105-01-FC (Wayne Cty.Cir.Ct., Mar. 25, 2015). The Michigan appellate courts denied petitioner leave to appeal. People v. Stegall, No. 329479 (Mich.Ct.App. Mar. 24, 2016); lv. den. 500 Mich. 922, 888 N.W.2d 70 (2016); reconsideration den. 500 Mich. 963, 892 N.W.2d 355 (2017).[3]

         On May 22, 2017, petitioner filed an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus and a motion to lift the stay, which was signed and dated May 18, 2017. The Court granted the motions and the case was reopened.

         II. Discussion

         Respondent 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 (2d Cir.1999); See also Cooey v. Strickland, 479 F.3d 412, 415-16 (6th Cir. 2007).

         Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), a one year statute of limitations shall apply to an application for writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to a judgment of a state court. The one year statute of limitation 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 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 ...

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