United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE MOTION TO DISMISS AND
DIRECTING RESPONDENT TO FILE RULE 5 MATERIALS AND ANSWER
ADDRESSING PETITION'S MERITS
V. PARKER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Respondent's motion to
dismiss the petition on the ground that Petitioner's
application for writ of habeas corpus is barred by the
statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).
Petitioner filed a motion for equitable tolling and response
to the motion to dismiss. Having reviewed the parties'
filings, including Petitioner's habeas application and
the issues raised therein, his motion for equitable tolling,
and response to the motion to dismiss, the Court is denying
the motion to dismiss and ordering Respondent to file an
answer addressing the merits of the petition and the Rule 5
materials within sixty days of this decision.
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).
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), a
one-year statute of limitations applies to an application for
the writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to
a judgment of a state court. The limitations period runs 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
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
exercise of due diligence.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).
Michigan Supreme Court denied Petitioner leave to appeal on
June 25, 2012, following the Michigan Court of Appeals'
affirmance of his conviction on direct review.
Petitioner's conviction became final for purposes of
AEDPA's limitations period, when the ninety-day period
for seeking certiorari with the United States Supreme Court
expired. See Jimenez v. Quarterman, 555 U.S. 113,
119 (2009). Petitioner's judgment therefore became final
on September 23, 2012, when he failed to file a petition for
writ of certiorari. Petitioner had until the end of the day
on September 23, 2013, to file his habeas petition in
compliance with the one-year limitations period.
signed and dated his habeas application on December 20, 2016,
and the application was filed with this Court on December 27,
2016. Under the prison mailbox rule, Petitioner is considered
to have filed his habeas petition on the date it was signed
and dated. See Towns v. U.S., 190 F.3d 468, 469 (6th
Cir. 1999). Because Petitioner filed the petition well after
the limitations period expired, the petition is untimely.
concedes that his petition is untimely. Nevertheless, he
contends that the limitations period should be equitably
tolled because he suffers from a longstanding mental illness,
which was compounded by a long history of substance abuse.
Petitioner claims he was involuntarily medicated by the
Michigan Department of Corrections, which left him
disoriented as to time and place. Petitioner further claims
that he is illiterate and was ignorant of the fact that he
could seek habeas relief on his state conviction until he
enrolled in the Legal Writers Program in prison. Petitioner
indicates that he needed the assistance of a prison paralegal
to assist him with the preparation of his petition.
Petitioner further alleges that while the limitations period
was running, he suffered from a rare eye disease which was
not properly treated and which left him temporarily blind.
statute of limitations “is subject to equitable tolling
in appropriate cases.” Holland v. Florida, 560
U.S. 631, 645 (2010). A habeas petitioner is entitled to
equitable tolling “only if he shows ‘(1) that he
has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some
extraordinary circumstance stood in his way'” and
prevented the timely filing of the habeas petition.
Id. at 649 (quoting Pace v. DiGuglielmo,
544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005)).
present case, Petitioner's filings raise a genuine issue
of material fact as to whether this Court should equitably
toll the one-year limitations period in this case. See,
e.g. Stiltner v. Hart, 657 F. App'x. 513, 524-26
(6th Cir. 2016) (equitably tolling AEDPA's limitations
period, finding that the petitioner diligently pursued his
claims to the extent he could understand them, barely
understood his claims (if he understood them at all), had an
extremely short attention span and poor memory, and finding
it unlikely that ...