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Battle v. Superintendent, Charleston Correctional Facility

United States District Court, D. Maine

August 30, 2017

JOSEPH M. BATTLE, JR., Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, CHARLESTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Respondent

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON 28 U.S.C. § 2254 PETITION

          JOHN C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         In this action, Petitioner Joseph M. Battle, Jr., seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.[1] (Petition, ECF No. 3.) In the first ground of the petition, Petitioner evidently challenges the judgment and conviction based on the evidence at trial, and in the second ground, he alleges he did not have an impartial jury. (Id. at 5, 7.) He also alleges ineffective assistance of counsel. (Id. at 6.)

         Petitioner was tried and convicted in 2014 in state court of aggravated assault. (Judgment and Conviction, Amended State Court Record, ECF No. 11-1 at 18.) Petitioner did not appeal from the conviction, he did not seek leave to review the sentence, and he did not seek post-conviction review. The State has moved to dismiss the section 2254 petition because it was not filed timely, and because Petitioner failed to exhaust his state court remedies. (Response, ECF No. 10 at 4-5.)

         Following a review of the record, the petition, and the State’s response, I recommend the Court grant the State’s request, and dismiss the petition.

         Discussion

         Petitioner was convicted by a jury in March 2014, and sentenced by the state court on April 16, 2014. Petitioner filed this action on May 23, 2017. The petition was not filed timely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).[2]

         Petitioner’s one-year limitation period for filing the section 2254 petition started when the judgment became final, pursuant to section 2244(d)(1)(A). A conviction is final when the “availability of direct appeal to the state courts and to [the United States Supreme Court] has been exhausted.” Jiminez v. Quarterman, 555 U.S. 113, 119 (2009) (citations and quotation marks omitted). The time to appeal from Petitioner’s 2014 judgment expired 21 days after the judgment, pursuant to Rule 2(b)(2)(A) of the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure. Because Petitioner did not appeal from his conviction and sentence, Petitioner’s judgment of conviction became final on or about May 8, 2014. Petitioner’s section 2254 petition, therefore, was not filed within one year of the date on which the judgment became final.

         The petition was thus not filed timely under section 2244(d)(1)(A), and Petitioner alleges no facts that would invoke any of the other subsections of section 2244(d)(1).[3]Furthermore, neither Petitioner’s allegations nor the record suggests any issue involving equitable tolling of the limitations period. See Ramos-Martínez v. United States, 638 F.3d 315, 324 (1st Cir. 2011) (concluding the record was “too underdeveloped” to permit a “reasoned analysis” of equitable tolling, but noting “that the petitioner made some efforts both to file a petition and to keep tabs as to what progress was being made”).[4] Because Petitioner did not file the petition within the applicable limitations period, dismissal of the petition is warranted.

         Conclusion

         Based on the foregoing analysis, an evidentiary hearing is not warranted under Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. I recommend the Court dismiss Petitioner’s petition for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, and that the Court deny a certificate of appealability pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases because there is no substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).

         Notice

         A party may file objections to those specified portions of a magistrate judge’s report or proposed findings or recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the district court is sought, together with a supporting memorandum, within fourteen (14) days of being served with a copy thereof. A responsive memorandum shall be filed within fourteen (14) days after the filing of the objection.

         Failure to file a timely objection shall constitute a waiver of the right to de novo review by the district court and ...


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