United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO
DISMISS (ECF NO. 7), DISMISSING THE HABEAS PETITION (ECF NO.
1), AND DECLINING TO GRANT A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY OR
LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter has come before the Court on Petitioner Randy Steven
Gardner's pro se habeas corpus petition under 28
U.S.C. § 2254. Respondent Willis Chapman has moved to
dismiss the petition due to Petitioner's failure to
comply with the applicable statute of limitations. The Court
agrees that the petition is time-barred. Accordingly, the
Court is granting Respondent's motion to dismiss and
dismissing the petition with prejudice.
was charged in Wayne County, Michigan with first-degree,
premeditated murder, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.316(1)(a),
first-degree felony murder, Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.316(1)(b), torture, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.85, and
first-degree child abuse, Mich. Comp. Laws §
769.136b(2). On February 27, 2012, he pleaded guilty in Wayne
County Circuit Court to second-degree murder, torture, and
first-degree child abuse. In return, the prosecutor dismissed
the two first-degree murder charges. The plea agreement, as
amended, also called for a sentence of thirty to sixty years
in prison for the murder and ten to fifteen years in prison
for the torture and child-abuse. On April 4, 2012, the trial
court sentenced Petitioner pursuant to the plea and
sentencing agreement and ordered all the sentences to run
appealed the scoring of the sentencing guidelines, but the
Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal for lack of
merit in the grounds presented to it. See People v.
Gardner, No. 311351 (Mich. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2013).
Petitioner did not appeal the Court of Appeals decision to
the Michigan Supreme Court. See Affidavit of Larry
Royster, Clerk for the Michigan Supreme Court, ECF No.
March 30, 2015, Petitioner raised several issues in a motion
for relief from judgment. The trial court found no merit in
Petitioner's arguments and denied his motion. See
People v. Gardner, No. 11-005770-01 FC (Wayne Cty. Cir.
Ct. Nov. 12, 2015). Petitioner appealed the trial court's
decision without success. The Michigan Court of Appeals
denied leave to appeal because Petitioner had failed to
establish that the trial court erred in denying his motion
for relief from judgment. See People v. Gardner, No.
332986 (Mich. Ct. App. Aug. 22, 2016). On July 25, 2017, the
Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal because
Petitioner had failed to establish entitlement to relief
under Michigan Court Rule 6.508(D). See People v.
Gardner, 500 Mich. 1057; 898 N.W.2d 596 (2017).
Clerk of this Court received and filed Petitioner's
habeas corpus petition on May 30, 2018. The petition is
unsigned and undated, but it was postmarked on May 29, 2018.
The Court understands Petitioner to be alleging as grounds
for relief that: his trial attorney's ineffectiveness
rendered his plea invalid; the prosecutor concealed
exculpatory evidence and relied on perjured testimony; he is
actually innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted;
his right of confrontation was violated at the preliminary
examination; the police department lacked probable cause to
arrest him; and his right to be free from unreasonable
searches and seizures was violated by the lead
investigator's omission of exculpatory evidence from the
request for a warrant. As noted above, Respondent asserts
that these claims are barred from substantive review by the
one-year statute of limitations applicable to habeas
petitions filed by state prisoners.
Applicable Law and Analysis
application for the writ of habeas corpus is subject to the
provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”) because Petitioner filed
his petition after AEDPA became effective in 1996. Davis
v. Bradshaw, 900 F.3d 315, 323 (6th Cir. 2018),
petition for cert. filed, No. 18-7188 (U.S. Dec. 20,
2018). AEDPA established a one-year period of limitations for
state prisoners to file their federal habeas corpus
petitions. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1); see
also Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S. 545, 550 (2011);
Davis, 900 F.3d at 323; Holbrook v. Curtin,
833 F.3d 612, 615 (6th Cir. 2016), cert. denied
sub nom Woods v. Holbrook, 137 S.Ct. 1436 (2017). The
limitations period runs from the latest of the following four
(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.
U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). “AEDPA also contains a
tolling provision, which specifies that ‘[t]he time
during which a properly filed application for State
post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to
the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be
counted toward any period of limitation under ...