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Grayson v. Martin

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

April 24, 2008

WILLIAM GRAYSON, Petitioner,
v.
JIMMY MARTIN, [1] Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          TERENCE C. KERN United Slates District Judge

         Petitioner William Grayson, a state prisoner appearing pro se, [2] brings this action under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking a writ of habeas corpus. He challenges the constitutional validity of the judgments and sentences entered against him in the District Court of Tulsa County, Nos. CF-2007-4688 and CF-2007-4878. Respondent moves to dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)'s one-year statute of limitations. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Respondent's motion and dismisses the petition, with prejudice, as time-barred.

         I. Background

         On April 3, 2008, Petitioner, represented by counsel, pleaded guilty in the District Court of Tulsa County, to two counts of robbery with a firearm, in violation of Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 801 (2001) (No. CF-2007-4688), and one count of first-degree robbery, in violation of Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 798 (2001) (No. CF-2007-4878). Dkt. 1, at 1; Dkt. 12-1 (Plea of Guilty Summary of Facts); Dkt. 12-2, at 1, 5, 9 (Judgment and Sentence). After accepting his guilty plea, the trial court imposed three 20-year prison sentences, ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, and advised Petitioner of his appeal rights. Dkt. 12-1, at 4-6, 11-13. Petitioner did not move to withdraw his guilty plea within 10 days of sentencing or appeal his convictions. Dkt. 1, at 2; Dkt. 12, at 3.

         On March 12, 2009, Petitioner filed a motion for judicial review in each of his cases. Dkt. 12, at 15; Dkt. 12-17, at 17. The state district court denied Petitioner's motions on March 13, 2009, and on March 16, 2009. Dkt. 12-7, at 18; see also Docket Sheets, State v. Grayson, District Court of Tulsa County, Nos. CF-2007-4688 & CF-2007-4878, http://www.oscn.net/dockets (last visited May 21, 2019).

         Petitioner filed an application for post-conviction relief in state district court on September 10, 2010, seeking an appeal out of time and alleging plea counsel provided ineffective assistance before, during, and after Petitioner entered his guilty plea. Dkt. 12-3. Petitioner specifically alleged that he “confronted” counsel “on or about the 14th day of April 2008, ” regarding counsel's deficient performance and “begged” counsel to withdraw his plea, but counsel refused. Id. at 6. On November 8, 2010, the state district court denied Petitioner's application and his request for an appeal out of time. Dkt. 12-4. Petitioner did not file a post-conviction appeal.

         On March 3, 2015, Petitioner filed several motions, including a “motion to withdraw plea out of time or motion for permission to appeal out of time, ” and second application for post-conviction relief. Dkts. 12-5 & 12-6. Petitioner alleged, inter alia, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Dkt. 12-6, at 3. The state district court denied Petitioner's motion to appeal out of time on August 16, 2015, and denied Petitioner's second application for post-conviction relief on September 21, 2015. Dkt. 12-7; Docket Sheet, State v. Grayson, District Court of Tulsa County, No. CF-2007-4688, http://www.oscn.net/dockets (last visited May 21, 2019). Petitioner did not file a post-conviction appeal.

         Over one year later, on November 4, 2016, Petitioner filed a third application for post-conviction relief. Dkt. 12-8. Again, Petitioner sought an appeal out of time, alleging plea counsel's ineffectiveness rendered his plea invalid and deprived him of a direct appeal. Id. The state district court denied Petitioner's third application on February 6, 2017. Dkt. 12-10. Petitioner filed a post-conviction appeal. Dkt. 12-11, at 4. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) declined jurisdiction and dismissed the appeal on April 10, 2017, citing Petitioner's failure to comply with court rules for perfecting the appeal. Id.

         Petitioner filed a fourth application for post-conviction relief on June 2, 2017. Dkt. 12-12. Petitioner once again requested leave to appeal out of time, alleging plea counsel deprived him of his right to appeal by failing to consult with him about withdrawing his guilty plea and filing an appeal. Id. The state district court denied Petitioner's fourth application on November 7, 2017. Dkt. 12-13. Petitioner properly perfected a post- conviction appeal from the denial of his fourth application, and the OCCA affirmed that denial by order filed April 3, 2018. Dkt. 12-14.

         Petitioner filed the instant federal habeas petition (Dkt. 1), a supporting brief (Dkt. 2), and several exhibits (Dkt. 3) on July 25, 2018. Though not entirely clear, Petitioner appears to identify three habeas claims: (1) the OCCA “committed fundamental error in failing to find that because of counsel's ineffectiveness, Petitioner was denied his right to timely withdraw his plea of guilt within the ten day allotment through no fault of his” own, (2) the OCCA “committed fundamental error when it failed to uphold its own rules of the court and remand Petitioner's case back to district court for an evidentiary hearing, ” and (3) the OCCA “committed fundamental error when they failed to uphold their own mandates.” Dkt. 2, at 6, 10, 15. Petitioner seeks an evidentiary hearing on these issues. Dkt. 1, at 15; Dkt. 2, at 18.

         In response to the habeas petition, Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition as time-barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)'s one-year statute of limitations (Dkt. 11) and a brief in support of the motion (Dkt. 12). Petitioner did not file a response to the motion to dismiss.

         II. Analysis

         A. The petition is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A).

         Generally, the one-year period for filing a federal habeas petition commences on the date a state prisoner's convictions became final at the conclusion of direct review. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). Because Petitioner's convictions rest on guilty pleas, his only path to direct review was through a certiorari appeal. Clayton v. Jones, 700 F.3d 435, 441 (10th Cir. 2012). Petitioner had 10 days from the date of his sentencing hearing to file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and request an evidentiary hearing if he intended to pursue a certiorari appeal. See Id. (noting that, under Oklahoma law, an “application to withdraw guilty plea and the evidentiary hearing are both necessary and critical steps in securing [a certiorari] appeal” (quoting Randall v. State, 861 P.2d 314, 316 (Okla. Crim. App. 1993)); Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 1051; Rule 4.2(A), Rules of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, Title 22, Ch. 18, App. (2019) (providing criminal defendant convicted on guilty plea must move to withdraw guilty plea within 10 days of sentencing if defendant intends to appeal).[3] Because Petitioner did not move to withdraw his guilty plea before the 10-day period expired, his convictions became final on April 13, 2008. Clayton, 700 ...


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