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Holmes v. Lee

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

November 13, 2013

JAMES L. HOLMES, Petitioner,
v.
ERNEST LEE, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SHARION AYCOCK, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the pro se petition of James L. Holmes, a Mississippi inmate housed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Respondent has moved to dismiss the petition as time-barred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244, and Petitioner has responded. For the reasons set forth below, Respondent's motion is granted, and the instant petition will be dismissed with prejudice.

Facts and Procedural History

On August 22, 2008, Petitioner James L. Holmes pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Circuit Court of Lee County, Mississippi, and was sentenced as an habitual offender to serve a term of twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. ( See Respt's Mot., Ex. A). On or about August 11, 2009, Petitioner filed a pro se motion for post-conviction relief in the circuit court, which he later supplemented with a motion to amend and additional post-conviction pleadings. ( See id., Ex. B). By Order filed July 29, 2010, the Lee County Circuit Court denied Petitioner's motion for post-conviction relief. ( See id., Ex. C). Petitioner appealed, and the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's ruling. ( See id., Ex. D); see also Holmes v. State, 97 So.3d 704 (Miss. Ct. App. 2011), reh'g denied, May 15, 2012, cert. denied, September 13, 2012. The mandate issued on October 4, 2012. ( See id., Ex. E). Petitioner subsequently sought federal habeas relief. Petitioner signed the instant federal habeas petition on August 27, 2013, and it was stamped "filed" in this Court on August 29, 2013.

On October 24, 2013, Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the instant action, arguing that the petition is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). In response to Respondent's motion, Petitioner states that he believed that the one-year limitations deadline began to run against him only when the Mississippi Supreme Court rendered its final decision. Accordingly, he asks the Court to grant his "Motion to Extend Time" (doc. no. 9) and consider the merits of his petition.

Legal Standard

The instant petition for writ of habeas corpus is subject to the statute of limitations of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Egerton v. Cockrell, 334 F.3d 433, 436 (5th Cir. 2003). The issue of whether Respondent's motion should be granted turns on the statue's limitation period, which provides:

(d)(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 the 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). The federal limitations period is tolled while a "properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review" is pending. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). In "rare and exceptional circumstances, " the limitations period may be equitably tolled. ...


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