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Kares v. Horton

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

June 25, 2019

STEPHEN JOHN KARES, Petitioner,
v.
CONNIE HORTON, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Honorable Robert J. Jonker, 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 Stephen John Kares is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections at the Chippewa Correctional Facility (URF) in Chippewa County, Michigan. Following a jury trial in the Shiawassee County Circuit Court, Petitioner was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, in violation of Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520d(1)(b). On September 28, 2012, the court sentenced Petitioner as a fourth-offense habitual offender, Mich. Comp. Laws § 769.12, to a prison term of 25 years to 58 years and 4 months.

         Petitioner appealed his conviction and sentence to both the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. Those courts denied leave to appeal on March 21, 2014, and September 5, 2014, respectively.

         Petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment in the Shiawassee Circuit Court on September 26, 2015.[1] The court denied Petitioner's motion on November 2, 2015. Petitioner appealed that decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court, which denied leave to appeal on September 27, 2016, and December 27, 2017, respectively.

         Petitioner filed his habeas corpus petition in this Court on or around December 21, 2018. 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 December 21, 2018. (Pet., ECF No. 1, PageID.9.) The petition was received by the Court on January 9, 2019. 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 Fed.Appx. 497, 498 n.1 (6th Cir. 2006)).

         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 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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