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Gonzalez v. Jackson

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

June 6, 2018

Joshua Matthew Gonzalez, Petitioner,
v.
Shane Jackson, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          PHILLIP J. GREEN 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.

         Discussion

         I. Factual Allegations

         Petitioner Joshua Matthew Gonzalez is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility (LRF), in Muskegon Heights, Muskegon County, Michigan. On April 21, 2010, Petitioner pleaded guilty in the Ingham County Circuit Court to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a person under 13 years, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520b(2)(b). On May 26, 2010, the court imposed a sentence of 25 to 50 years.

         Petitioner did not file a direct appeal to either the Michigan Court of Appeals or the Michigan Supreme Court.

         On October 19, 2016, Petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment in the Ingham County Circuit Court, claiming that his trial attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel, rendering Petitioner's plea unintelligent, unknowing and involuntary. In an order issued on December 1, 2016, the trial court denied the motion. The court held that Petitioner could have raised his claim on direct appeal and that Petitioner had failed to show good cause and actual prejudice for failing to do so, as required by Mich. Ct. R. 6.508(D).

         Petitioner sought leave to appeal the trial court's order to both the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. Those courts denied leave to appeal on April 20, 2017, and March 5, 2018, respectively.

         On May 18, 2018, 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 placed his petition in the prison mailing system on May 18, 2018. (Pet., ECF No. 1, PageID.14.)

         II. Statute of Limitations

         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 ...

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