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Chaney v. Hood

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

March 3, 2015

RAY ANTHONY CHANEY, Petitioner,
v.
JIM HOOD, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OVERRULING PETITIONER'S [22] OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING [20] PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND RECOMMENDATION, GRANTING RESPONDENT'S [15] MOTION TO DISMISS, AND DISMISSING WITH PREJUDICE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

HALIL SULEYMAN OZERDEN, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Ray Anthony Chaney's Objections [22] to the Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendation [20] of United States Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker, which recommended that Respondent's [15] Motion to Dismiss be granted and that Petitioner's Petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 be dismissed with prejudice. After thoroughly reviewing the Motion to Dismiss, the Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendation, the Objections, the record, and relevant law, the Court finds that Petitioner's Objections [22] should be overruled and that the Magistrate Judge's Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendation [20] should be adopted as the finding of the Court. Respondent's Motion to Dismiss [15] should be granted, and Petitioner's 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus should be denied. This case will be dismissed with prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

A. State Court Conviction

On December 18, 1981, Petitioner Ray Anthony Chaney ("Petitioner") pled guilty to five counts of burglary and larceny of a dwelling in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mississippi. Sentencing Order [15-1] at 1. Petitioner, who was represented by legal counsel, received a ten-year sentence. Id. The Circuit Court placed Petitioner under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and suspended the execution of Petitioner's sentence for a period of five years, "the suspension of this sentence to commence after the [Petitioner] has successfully completed the terms of [the] probation order." Id. The Circuit Court subsequently revoked Petitioner's probation on March 11, 1983. Order of Revocation [15-2] at 1. The Mississippi Department of Corrections ultimately released Petitioner from custody on February 24, 1997. Discharge Certificate [15-3] at 1. Petitioner now apparently challenges the 1981 conviction because he maintains that it was used to later enhance a federal sentence he received. Mem. Br. [1] at 1.

B. Federal Court Conviction

On February 22, 2007, a federal grand jury returned a three-count Indictment against Petitioner for violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(u), 922(j), and 922(g). United States v. Ray Anthony Chaney, 1:07cr12-LG-JMR, Indictment [3] at 1-3 (S.D.Miss. Feb. 22, 2007). Following a jury trial, Petitioner was found guilty on all three counts. On October 26, 2007, this Court sentenced Petitioner to imprisonment for terms of "120 months as to Counts 1 and 2 and 235 months as to Count 3, to run concurrently and also to run concurrently with any sentence received from the State of Mississippi on these offenses." United States v. Ray Anthony Chaney, 1:07cr12-LG-JMR, J. [28] at 2 (S.D.Miss. Oct. 29, 2007). The Court also sentenced Petitioner to terms of "three years' supervised release as to Counts 1 and 2, and five years' supervised release as to Count 3, all to run concurrently." Id. at 3. Petitioner appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which affirmed Petitioner's conviction but declined to consider his ineffective assistance of counsel claim. United States v. Ray Anthony Chaney, No. 07-60884 (5th Cir. Nov. 13, 2008).

Petitioner filed a Motion to Vacate his federal conviction and sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on June 16, 2009, which this Court denied by Order entered on August 17, 2010. United States v. Ray Anthony Chaney, 1:07cr12-LG-JMR, Order [52] at 12 (S.D.Miss. Aug. 17, 2010). On March 1, 2011, the Fifth Circuit denied Petitioner's Motion for a Certificate of Appealability. United States v. Chaney, No. 10-60757 (5th Cir. Mar. 1, 2011).

C. State Court Application for Post-Conviction Relief

On June 13, 2011, Petitioner filed a Petition for Post Conviction Collateral Relief in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mississippi. Petition [15-5] at 1. The Circuit Court summarily denied the Petition on August 18, 2011, finding that it was untimely and contained "no facts or supporting affidavits that would warrant the Court looking past the face of the Petition to determine that the plaintiff is not entitled to any relief." Order [15-6] at 1. The Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal on September 10, 2013, holding that the Petition was beyond the State's three-year time limit for filing a state court motion for post-conviction relief and that Petitioner's bare assertions in support of his ineffective assistance of counsel claims were insufficient. Op. [15-7] at 2-3. Petitioner did not file a petition for writ of certiorari with the Mississippi Supreme Court.

D. The Present Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

On December 9, 2013, Petitioner signed a Memorandum Brief in Support of Petitioner [sic] for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Mem. Br. [1] at 1. The Clerk of Court filed the Memorandum Brief [1] as a § 2254 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on December 12, 2013. Petitioner filed an Amended Petition [5] on January 27, 2014.

Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on July 17, 2014. Mot. [15] at 1. According to Respondent, assuming the "in custody" requirement of § 2254 is satisfied here, Petitioner cannot "attack his expired state court conviction because those prior convictions are conclusively valid.'" Id. at 3 (citations omitted). Respondent also maintains that the Petition is "untimely filed in violation of the one-year statute of limitations provision of the" Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"), and that Petitioner's claims have never been presented to the State's highest court in a procedurally proper manner. ...


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