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Carrothers v. State

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

May 14, 2019

ANTONIO CARROTHERS PETITIONER
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI RESPONDENTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          MICHAEL P. MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the court on the pro se petition of Antonio Carrothers 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 petitioner has responded to the motion, and 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 will be dismissed as untimely filed.

         Facts and Procedural Posture

         Antonio Carrothers is in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) and is currently housed at the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He was charged with burglary of an automobile (Count I), armed robbery (Count II), and felon in possession of a firearm (Count III), as a habitual offender under Miss. Code Ann § 99-19-81. See Exhibit A (Docket in Lafayette County Circuit Court Cause No. LK07-349); see also Exhibit B (Indictment). On January 8, 2008, he pled guilty in Lafayette County Circuit Court Cause Number LK07-349 to armed robbery (Count II). See Exhibit C (Petition to Enter Plea of Guilty); see also State Court Record (“SCR”) Cause No. LK07-349, Documents Received from Lafayette County Circuit Court, Guilty Plea Transcript. On the same day, the Lafayette County Circuit Court sentenced Carrothers to serve a term of twenty-five (25) years in the custody of the MDOC, with five years suspended, twenty (20) years to serve as a habitual offender, and five years of supervised probation. See Exhibit D.[1] On January 8, 2008, the Lafayette County Circuit Court granted the State's motion to retire Carrothers' charges of burglary of an automobile (Count I) and felon in possession of a firearm (Count III) to the file. See Exhibit F.

         On January 5, 2009, Antonio Carrothers signed a motion for post-conviction collateral relief, which was stamped as “filed” on January 9, 2009, in Lafayette County Circuit Court Cause No. L09-013. See Exhibit G (Docket in Lafayette County Circuit Court Cause No. L09-013). By Order filed on July 28, 2010, the Lafayette County Circuit Court initially entered an “Order of Dismissal-Stale Case, ” finding “that no step has been taken to prosecute or pursue this action for one year[, ]” and dismissed Carrothers' post-conviction action without prejudice. See Exhibit H. The Lafayette County Circuit Court further ordered that:

this ORDER OF DISMISSAL shall become effective (30) days from the []date of the Clerk's certificate of service, UNLESS prior to expiration thereof, this action is reinstated upon the docket upon proper Motion filed in this action and an ORDER is entered granting same. If after the expiration date there will b[e] a[n] $85.00 reinstatement fee.

See id.[2]

         On August 26, 2010, Carrothers filed a “Notice of Motion, ” explaining that he had filed his post-conviction action in the circuit court and was waiting for a response or a ruling from the court.[3] See SCR, Cause No. L09-013, Documents Received from Lafayette County Circuit Court. On September 17, 2010, Carrothers filed a “Motion to Amend, ” requesting that the Lafayette County Circuit Court reconsider its order of dismissal of his post-conviction action. See id. On October 25, 2010, Carrothers filed a “Notice of Change of Address.” See id. On January 5, 2011, Carrothers submitted documents to the Lafayette County Circuit Court, which were docketed as “PCR” in his post-conviction action on January 11, 2011. See id. Over a year later, on February 14, 2012, Carrothers filed a letter, docketed as “PCR, ” in his post-conviction action, explaining that he had re-filed his post-conviction motion in the circuit court after his original post-conviction motion was dismissed for failure to prosecute, but that he had not received any further information related to his filing. See id. On August 28, 2012, Carrothers filed another “Motion for Post-Conviction Collateral Relief, ” which was also docketed in his post-conviction action. See id.

         On September 5, 2012, the Lafayette County Circuit Court entered three orders in Carrothers' post-conviction case.[4] See id. The Lafayette County Circuit Court entered an Order docketed as “Order Denying Relief Requested July 28, 2010, ” explaining that Carrothers' original motion for post-conviction collateral relief filed on January 9, 2009, was before the court. See Exhibit I. The circuit court further explained as follows:

This motion was dismissed as stale by this Court on July 28, 2010. Finding this dismissal to have been entered in error, this Court hereby reinstates this motion.
This Court has now considered the relief requested in the motion pursuant to the Mississippi Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act, Mississippi Code Annotated Sec. 99-39-1, et seq. and finds as follows:
After reviewing the documents filed by the Petitioner, as well as the court file in this case, the Court finds it plainly appears from the face of the motions, exhibits, and prior proceedings that the Petitioner is not entitled to any relief. Therefore, the Court is of the opinion the requested relief is not well taken and hereby DENIED.

See Exhibit I.

         The Lafayette County Circuit Court entered another Order docketed as “Order Denying Relief Requested Filed October 25, 2010, ” explaining that “[t]his cause is before the Court on Petitioner's ‘Petition for Post Conviction Relief' that appears to have been filed on October 25, 2010.”[5] See Exhibit J. The circuit court further explained as follows:

This Court has considered the relief requested in the motion pursuant to the Mississippi Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act, Mississippi Code Annotated Sec. 99-39-1, et seq.
The Court finds this petition to be barred as successive. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-23(6). Notwithstanding the procedural bar, after reviewing the documents filed by the Petitioner, as well as the court file in this case, the Court finds it plainly appears from the face of the motions, exhibits, and prior proceedings that the Petitioner is not entitled to any relief. Therefore, the Court is of the opinion the requested relief is not well taken and hereby DENIED.

See Exhibit J.

         The Lafayette County Circuit Court entered a third order docketed as “Order Denying Relief Requested, ” explaining that “[t]his cause is before the Court on Petitioner's ‘Petition for Post Conviction Relief.”[6] See Exhibit K. The circuit court further explained:

This Court has considered the relief requested in the motion pursuant to the Mississippi Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act, Mississippi Code ...

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