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Stone v. Naples

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division

February 23, 2018

RUBIN LAMONT STONE, Petitioner,
v.
ROBERT NAPLES, Respondent.

          Honorable Gordon J. Quist

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          TIMOTHY P. GREELEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a habeas corpus action brought by a state prisoner under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Promptly after the filing of a petition for habeas corpus, the Court must undertake a preliminary review of the petition to determine whether “it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.” Rule 4, Rules Governing § 2254 Cases; see 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If so, the petition must be summarily dismissed. Rule 4; see Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (district court has the duty to “screen out” petitions that lack merit on their face). A dismissal under Rule 4 includes those petitions which raise legally frivolous claims, as well as those containing factual allegations that are palpably incredible or false. Carson v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436-37 (6th Cir. 1999). The Court may sua sponte dismiss a habeas action as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Day v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 198, 209 (2006). After undertaking the review required by Rule 4, I conclude that the petition is barred by the one-year statute of limitations.

         Petitioner Rubin Lamont Stone is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections at Alger Correctional Facility (LMF) in Munising, Alger County, Michigan. On February 25, 2004, a St. Joseph County Circuit Court jury, found Petitioner guilty of first-degree home invasion, larceny of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The court imposed sentences of 18 to 40 years for home invasion, 3 to 10 years for larceny of a firearm, 3 to 10 years for felon in possession of a firearm, and 2 years for felony firearm, all to be served consecutively.

         Petitioner filed an appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals, which was denied on December 15, 2005. Petitioner's subsequent application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court was denied on April 28, 2006. Petitioner took no further action until June 11, 2011, when he filed an unsuccessful motion for relief from judgment in the state trial court. Petitioner states that his motion for relief from judgment was denied on August 30, 2011, and that his delayed application for leave to appeal was denied by the Michigan Court of Appeals on March 29, 2013.

         On August 25, 2017, Petitioner filed his habeas corpus petition. Under Sixth Circuit precedent, the application is deemed filed when handed to prison authorities for mailing to the federal court. Cook v. Stegall, 295 F.3d 517, 521 (6th Cir. 2002). Petitioner signed his application on August 21, 2017. (Pet., ECF No. 1, PageID.20.) The petition was received by the Court on August 25, 2017. For purposes of this Report and Recommendation, I have given Petitioner the benefit of the earliest possible filing date. See Brand v. Motley, 526 F.3d 921, 925 (6th Cir. 2008) (holding that the date the prisoner signs the document is deemed under Sixth Circuit law to be the date of handing to officials) (citing Goins v. Saunders, 206 F. App'x 497, 498 n.1 (6th Cir. 2006)).

         Petitioner's application is barred by the one-year statute of limitations provided in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), which became effective on April 24, 1996, as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (AEDPA). Section 2244(d)(1) 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 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). The running of the statute of limitations is tolled when “a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); see also Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 181-82 (2001) (limiting the tolling provision to only State, and not Federal, processes); Artuz v. Bennett, 531 U.S. 4, 8 (2000) (defining “properly filed”).

         In most cases, § 2244(d)(1)(A) provides the operative date from which the one-year limitations period is measured. Under that provision, the one-year limitations period runs from “the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). Petitioner appealed the judgment of conviction to the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. The Michigan Supreme Court denied his application on April 28, 2006. Petitioner did not petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The one-year limitations period, however, did not begin to run until the ninety-day period in which Petitioner could have sought review in ...


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