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Wood v. Lowndes County

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

January 2, 2014

RITA WOOD, Petitioner,
v.
LOWNDES COUNTY and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

GLEN H. DAVIDSON, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the pro se petition of Rita Wood, a Mississippi inmate housed at the Washington County Regional Correctional Facility, for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Respondents have moved to dismiss the petition as time-barred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244. Petitioner has failed to respond. For the reasons set forth below, Respondents' motion will be granted, and the instant petition will be dismissed with prejudice.

Facts and Procedural History

On May 13, 2010, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of possession of precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine (Count I) and one count of sale of methamphetamine (Count II) in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Mississippi. She was sentenced to serve twelve years for each count in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. ( See Respt's Mot, Ex. A). Petitioner did not tile a motion for post-conviction relief. The instant motion for federal habeas relief was received by the Court on September 23, 2013. ( See doc. no. 1).

On November 27, 2013, Respondents filed a motion to dismiss the instant action, arguing that the petition is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) and otherwise procedurally defaulted. To date, Petitioner has not responded to the motion.

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 Respondents' 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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