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Lafayette v. Mdoc

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division

September 23, 2014

LEAH LAFAYETTE, Petitioner,
v.
MDOC, et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SHARION AYCOCK, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the pro se petition of Leah Lafayette, Mississippi inmate number 120744, 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, and Lafayette has failed to respond to the motion. For the reasons set forth below, Respondents' motion is granted, and the instant petition will be dismissed with prejudice.

Facts and Procedural History

On May 11, 2006, Leah Lafayette, Petitioner, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and aggravated assault in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Mississippi, and was sentenced to serve consecutive terms of imprisonment of thirty years for armed robbery and ten years for aggravated assault. On or about December 30, 2010, Lafayette filed a motion for postconviction relief in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County in Cause No. 2011-0005-CV-1. That motion was denied on March 1, 2011. Lafayette subsequently sought federal habeas relief. Her federal habeas petition was stamped "filed" in this Court on June 2, 2014.

On August 5, 2014, Respondents filed a motion to dismiss the instant action, arguing that the petition is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). While Lafayette has not filed a response to Respondents' motion, she argues in her petition that she was never advised by her attorney of the applicable statute of limitations.

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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