Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Washington v. Dowling

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

May 22, 2019

LAWRENCE WASHINGTON, Petitioner,
v.
JANET DOWLING, Respondent.

          ORDER

          TIMOTHY D. DeGIUSTI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Lawrence Ray Washington, appearing pro se, [1] filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [Doc. No. 5] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging several state court convictions. See Oklahoma Supreme Court Network, Nos. CF-2015-297 and CF-2015-492.[2] The matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Gary M. Purcell for proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C). Respondent moved for dismissal of the action. On March 25, 2019, Judge Purcell issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R” or “Report”) [Doc. No. 19] in which he recommended that the Court grant Respondent's motion and the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 [Doc. No. 1] be dismissed with prejudice as untimely because the statute of limitations period prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) expired prior to its filing.

         Petitioner has filed a timely written objection [Doc. No. 20]. The Court must make a de novo determination of any part of the Report to which a specific objection is made, and may accept, reject, or modify the recommended decision, in whole or in part. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). Petitioner objects to the Report on the following grounds: (1) the statute of limitations was tolled until the expiration of the period with in which he could file a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court for review of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals' (“OCCA”) denial of his application to file appeal out of time; and, (2) ineffective assistance of counsel denied him the appellate process.

         As stated more fully below, the Court, upon de novo review, overrules Petitioner's Objection and adopts the Report and Recommendation in its entirety.

         DISCUSSION

         Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, Judge Purcell was required to review the Petition upon filing and to recommend dismissal if it appeared from the face of the Petition that Petitioner was not entitled to relief. See Kiser v. Johnson, 163 F.3d 326, 328-29 (5th Cir. 1999). The expiration of the statute of limitations is properly considered upon such review. Id.

         As amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2244 provides a statute of limitations for the filing of a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court of one year. The statute of limitations begins to run on whichever is later-"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). Where Petitioner has timely filed a proper request for post-conviction relief, the statute of limitations is tolled during the time in which that request is pending in the state courts. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); see also Hoggro v. Boone, 150 F.3d 1223, 1226 (10th Cir. 1998). In his objection, Petitioner does not dispute Judge Purcell's historical account of the state court proceedings; thus, the Court accepts this portion of the Report.

         A. Statutory Tolling

         Plaintiff objects to the manner in which Judge Purcell applied statutory tolling to the statute of limitations. Petitioner asserts that the statute of limitations was tolled until “the time for filing a certiorari petition” to the United States Supreme Court expired. Objection at 5. Based on this assertion, Petitioner contends his Petition was timely filed by twenty-four (24) days. Id. However, the Court concurs with Judge Purcell's interpretation of allowable tolling of the statute of limitation with respect to the facts of this case.

         In support of his position, Petitioner relies on Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 527, 123 S.Ct. 1072, 1076, 155 L.Ed.2d 88 (2003), in which the Supreme Court holds that:

for federal criminal defendants who do not file a petition for certiorari with this Court on direct review, § 2255's one-year limitation period starts to run when the time for seeking such review expires.

Clay, 537 U.S. at 532 (emphasis added). Clay is inapposite because: (1) it deals with the calculation of the statute of limitation period set forth in § 2255; and, (2) the federal prisoner in Clay timely engaged in the process of direct review of his convictions. Id. at 524. Petitioner did not timely initiate the direct review process, nor does his application to file appeal out of time constitute initiation of the direct review process.

         Petitioner admits that he failed to timely file an application to withdraw his guilty plea. Objection at 3. In order “to appeal from any conviction on a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, ” a defendant must file “in the trial court clerk's office an application to withdraw the plea within ten (10) days from the date of the pronouncement of the Judgment and Sentence.” Rule 4.2, Rules of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, Okla. Stat. tit. 22, Ch. 18, App. Failure to timely file such an application renders the judgment final. Fisher v. Gibson, 262 F.3d 1135, 1142 (10th Cir. 2001) (finding that Petitioner's unappealed guilty pleas became “final ten days after entry of Judgment and Sentence”). Because an application to withdraw guilty plea begins the direct review process, the deadline to file the application is the “expiration of the time for seeking such review.” Therefore, the expiration of the time for seeking direct review of Petitioner's convictions was May 25, 2017, ten days after he entered his plea of guilty.

         Petitioner filed his motion to withdraw his guilty plea and to appeal out of time in the district court on March 19, 2018. Report at 2. Petitioner filed an appeal of the denial of that motion on June 6, 2018, which was denied on August 9, 2018. Report at 3-4; Petition at 3; See also, Oklahoma Supreme Court Network, No. PC-2018-574. Because the Court cannot add significantly to Judge Purcell's thorough analysis of the application of statutory tolling ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.