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Ellis v. State

United States District Court, D. Maryland

May 5, 2015

DOMINIK CHAVIS ELLIS, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND, et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM

J. FREDERICK MOTZ, District Judge.

Respondents assert in answer to the above-captioned petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254 that the petition is untimely filed and subject to dismissal. ECF 11. Petitioner has filed a reply. ECF 12 and 15. The court finds no need for an evidentiary hearing to resolve the matter. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011); see also Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000) (petitioner not entitled to a hearing under 28 U.S.C. §2254(e)(2)).

Background

Petitioner Dominik Chavis Ellis ("Ellis") entered a guilty plea on February 5, 2009, to one count of attempted robbery. The Circuit Court for Baltimore County imposed a sentence of five years, all but 18 months suspended with three years of probation on the same date Ellis's plea was accepted. ECF 1 at p. 5; ECF 11 at Ex. 1. Although he was entitled to do so, Ellis did not file an application for leave to appeal[1] his guilty plea. ECF 1 at p. 6. For purposes of federal habeas relief his conviction became final on March 9, 2009, the date the time for filing an application for leave to appeal expired.[2]

On February 27, 2012, Ellis was found guilty of violating the terms of his probation. The Circuit Court for Baltimore County sentenced Ellis to serve the suspended portion of his original sentence, 3 years and six months. ECF 11 at Ex. 1. Ellis did not file an application for leave to appeal the revocation of his probation. Id.

On March 27, 2013, Ellis filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. The court denied post-conviction relief on August 26, 2013, and Ellis's application for leave to appeal the denial of post-conviction relief was summarily denied by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on March 25, 2014. The mandate was issued by the appellate court on April 24, 2014. ECF 11 at Ex. 2.

On September 28, 2012, Ellis filed a motion to correct illegal sentence which was denied by the circuit court on October 18, 2012. ECF 11 at Ex. 1. Ellis filed a second motion to correct illegal sentence on June 21, 2013, which was denied on October 2, 2013. Id.

In his petition for writ of habeas corpus Ellis alleges that missing trial transcripts from his 2009 hearing prevented him from filing a meaningful appeal; he was denied the effective assistance of counsel when counsel failed to obtain witnesses or follow the correct leads Ellis gave him; and the guilty plea was involuntary. ECF 1 at pp. 5-6.

Standard of Review

A one-year statute of limitations applies to habeas petitions in non-capital cases for a person convicted in a state court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) which provides that:

(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 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 ...

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