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Long v. Crow

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

September 19, 2019

ROBERT LAWRENCE LONG, Petitioner,
v.
SCOTT CROW, Respondent.[1]

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SHON T. ERWIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner, a state prisoner appearing pro se, brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking habeas relief from a state court conviction. Chief United States District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti has referred this matter to the undersigned magistrate judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, the Petition has been promptly examined, and for the reasons set forth herein, it is recommended that the action be DISMISSED on filing as untimely.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On October 17, 2016, a jury convicted Petitioner of felony murder, attempted robbery, and possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction. (ECF No. 1:1). On April 3, 2018, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) affirmed the conviction. (ECF No. 1:2). On April 23, 2018, Petitioner filed an Application for Post-Conviction Relief in the district court. (ECF No. 1:3). The district court denied the application on July 3, 2018. (ECF No. 1:3). Petitioner did not appeal the district court's denial. (ECF No. 1:6). Mr. Long filed the instant habeas petition on August 12, 2019. (ECF No. 1).

         II. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         District courts must review habeas petitions promptly and summarily dismiss a petition “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. Additionally, “district courts are permitted, but not obliged, to consider, sua sponte, the timeliness of a state prisoner's habeas petition.” Day v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 198, 209 (2006). However, “before acting on its own initiative, a court must accord the parties fair notice and an opportunity to present their positions.” Day, 547 U.S. at 210. Petitioner has such notice by this Report and Recommendation, and he has an opportunity to present his position by filing an objection to the Report and Recommendation. Further, when raising the issue sua sponte, the district court must “assure itself that the petitioner is not significantly prejudiced . . . and determine whether the interests of justice would be better served by addressing the merits or by dismissing the petition as time barred.” Day, 547 U.S. at 210 (internal quotation marks omitted); Thomas v. Ulibarri, No. 06-2195, 214 Fed.Appx. 860, 861 n.1 (10th Cir. 2007). Finally, a Court may dismiss a § 2254 habeas petition sua sponte only if the petition is clearly untimely on its face. Kilgore v. Attorney General of Colorado, 519 F.3d 1084, 1085 (10th Cir. 2008).

         III. AEDPA LIMITATIONS PERIOD

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) establishes a one-year limitations period for claims of a habeas petitioner in state custody. Rhine v. Boone, 182 F.3d 1153, 1154 (10th Cir. 1999). The one-year limitations period runs 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 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.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A)-(D). Unless a petitioner alleges facts implicating subsection (B), (C), or (D), the limitations period generally begins to run from the date on which the conviction becomes final. See Preston v. Gibson, 234 F.3d 1118, 1120 (10th Cir. 2000).

         Because Petitioner did not seek review in the United States Supreme Court, his conviction became final on July 2, 2018-90 days following the OCCA's April 3, 2018 affirmance of Mr. Long's conviction. See Locke v. Saffle, 237 F.3d 1269, 1273 (10th Cir. 2001). Thus, without tolling, Petitioner's statute of limitations to file a habeas petition expired on July 2, 2019. But Mr. Long filed the Petition on August 12, 2019, approximately five weeks after the ...


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