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Gates v. Kitchens

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

February 28, 2019

CHRISTOPHER GATES PETITIONER
v.
JUDGE JAMES KITCHENS, ET AL. RESPONDENTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          SHARION AYCOCK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the court on the pro se petition of Christopher Gates for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The State has moved to dismiss the petition as untimely filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). The State has moved to dismiss the petition; the petitioner has not responded, and the deadline to do so has expired. The matter is ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the State's motion to dismiss will be granted and the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus dismissed as untimely filed.

         Facts and Procedural Posture

         When Christopher Gates filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus, he was in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and housed at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville, Mississippi.[1] He was originally indicted on charges of possession of cocaine (Count I), possession of “MDMA” (Count II), possession of codeine (Count III), and possession of a stolen firearm (Count IV) in Clay County Circuit Court Cause Number 8839. See Exhibit B.[2] On October 13, 2006, he pled guilty to the charge of possession of codeine in Count III, and the Clay County Circuit Court sentenced him to serve a term of ten (10) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”). See Exhibit C. The circuit court further sentenced Gates to serve five (5) years of reporting post-release supervision. See Exhibit C. In exchange for his guilty plea to Count III, the Clay County Circuit Court entered an order retiring the remaining three (3) counts of the indictment to the files (Counts I, II, and IV). See Exhibit D. On January 11, 2008, the MDOC Records Department issued a notice to the Clay County Circuit Court that Gates would be released under the Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) on January 22, 2008, “in accordance with House Bill #565 to amend 47-7-17 of the Mississippi Code, 1972.” See Exhibit E.

         On May 13, 2015, an Assistant District Attorney for the Sixteenth Circuit Court District filed a Petition to Revoke Post-Release Supervision explaining that Mr. Gates had violated the terms of such supervision in multiple instances.[3] See Exhibit F. On January 22, 2016, the Clay County Circuit Court entered an order revoking Gates' parole and ordered him to serve five (5) years in the custody of the MDOC. See Exhibit G.

         Gates signed a motion for post-conviction relief dated October 28, 2016; however, the motion was not stamped as “filed” until January 17, 2017, in Clay County Circuit Court Cause Number 2017-0007K. See Exhibit H. On March 20, 2017, Gates signed a letter seeking to include additional grounds for relief in his post-conviction motion. See Exhibit I. On July 19, 2017, the Clay County Circuit Court entered an order dismissing Gates' motion for post-conviction relief finding that “it appear[ed] as though the Petitioner ha[d] been released from the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections since the filing of this post-conviction motion and therefore said filing [wa]s moot.” See Exhibit J. Mr. Gates did not appeal the order dismissing his motion for post-conviction relief.[4] In addition, he concedes in his federal habeas corpus petition that he has not filed any documents in the Mississippi Supreme Court challenging his original conviction and sentence imposed for possession of codeine or subsequent revocation. See ECF Doc. 1.

         On March 22, 2017, Mr. Gates signed the instant federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, which challenges both Gates' original conviction and sentence and later revocation. Mr. Gates was paroled on May 3, 2017. See Exhibit A.

         One-Year Limitations Period

         Decision in this case is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), 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 ...

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