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Davis v. Dovey

United States District Court, D. Maryland

January 18, 2017

RANDY T. DAVIS, SR., #366-577 Petitioner,


          Paul W. Grimm, United States District Judge

         Randy T. Davis, a self-represented Maryland prisoner, seeks habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. ECF No. 1. He attacks his convictions from 2010 in the Circuit Court for Somerset County for robbery, handgun, theft, assault, and related gun charges. The Warden of the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown ("MCI-H")[1] and the Maryland Attorney General (collectively, "Respondents") filed a Limited Answer and offered exhibits outlining proceedings relating to Davis's criminal case. Limited Ans., ECF No.;; State Ct. Docket, ECF No.7-1; Davis v. State, No. 2548 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Sept. 28, 2022), ECF No. 7-2; Mandate (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Dec. 31, 2015), ECF No. 7-3. Although afforded the opportuntty to do so, ECF No.3, Davis has not replied. The Court has reviewed the Petition and Limited Answer. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; see also 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2). For the reasons set forth below, the Petition shall be denied and a certificate of appealability shall not issue.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         A. State Proceedings

         Davis was charged in the Circuit Court for Somerset County, tried by a jury, and convicted of armed robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, armed robbery, and related offenses. State Ct. Docket; Davis, slip op. at 1. On December 8, 2010, Circuit Court Judge Daniel M. Long sentenced Davis to a 30-year term of incarceration. State Ct. Docket 15; Davis, slip op. at 1. The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed the judgment on September 28, 2012. State Ct. Docket 18; Davis, slip op. at 1. The mandate was issued on October 31, 2012. State Ct. Docket 18; Mandate, ECF No. 7-2, at 11. Davis did not seek further review in the Court of Appeals of Maryland. State Ct. Docket.

         On December 19, 2012, Davis filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court for Somerset County. Id. at 18. He moved to withdraw the petition, and the court granted the motion on April 3, 2013. Id. at 19. On August 13, 2013, Davis filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, which Judge Long denied on September 11, 2013. Id. at 20. Davis appealed that ruling on September 26, 2013. Id. On October 9, 2013, Davis filed another petition for post-conviction relief, which was stayed pending his appeal of the motion to correct an illegal sentence. Id. at 20-21. He then asked the court to dismiss his appeal, which the court did on July 31, 2014, id. at 21. The appellate court's mandate was issued on September 10, 2014. Id.

         After the appeal of the motion to correct was dismissed, the stay was lifted as to the postconviction proceedings. A hearing was held on July 28, 2015, and post-conviction relief was denied on August 11, 2015. Id. at 22-23. Davis filed an application for leave to appeal, which was dismissed as untimely by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on November 25, 205. Id. at 23. Davis then moved for reconsideraiion on December 11, 2015, and the Court of Special Appeals denied the motion and issued its mandate on December 31, 2015. Id.

         B. Federal Proceedings

         Davis's petition, deemed filed on July 29, 2016, [2]asserts that (1) officers made several misrepresentations to obtain a search warrant application; (2) detectives took him from his vehicle without probable cause and allowed false information to be utilized in all reports; (3) officers searched his home without a warrant; (4) officials' reports and an affidavit were replete with falsehoods; (5) officials used false information in an affidavit to obtain a search warrant; (6) the State's Attorney presented false evidence and information to the court and withheld information; and (7) the State's Attorney allowed fabricated evidence to be used in court. Pet. 6-19. In their Limited Answer, Respondenss assert that this Court cannot reach the merits of Davis's claims because the Petition is untimely, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 9 2244(d), and Davis has provided no basis for applying the doctrine of equitable tolling. Limited Ans. 2, 5-7.

         II. Applicable Statutory Standards

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") was enacted and signed into law on April 24, 1996. Prior to AEDPA, there was no time limitation on when a prisoner could file an original action for habeas corpus relief in federal court. AEDPA introduced a one-year limitations period for state prisoners filing under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The one-year period that applies to habeas petitions begins to run on "the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review" or, if no appeal is taken, upon "the expiration of the time for seeking such review." See 28 U.S.C. S 2244(d)(1)(A);[3] see also Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S. 545, 549 (2011). The one-year period is tolled while properly filed post-conviction or collateral review proceedings are pending, and it may otherwise be equitably tolled. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d 325, 327 (4th Cir. 2000).

         III. Discussion

         Here, the limitations period began to run on November 15, 2012, the date when Davis's criminal judgment became fina1.[4] Between November 15, 2012, and July 29, 2016, when Davis filed this federal Petition, more than 365 days (one year) passed during which there were no proceedings pending in state court that would serve to toll the limitations period of 28 U.S.C. S 2244(d).[5] Davis does not present any grounds to support an argument that the limitations period should be statutorily tolled in his favor.

         To be entitled to equitable tolling of the limitations period, Davis must establish that either some wrongful conduct by the State contributed to the delay in filing his federal habeas corpus petition, or that circumstances beyond his control caused the delay. See Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d 325, 330 (4th Cir. 2000); see also Rouse v. Lee, 339 F.3d 238, 246 (4th Cir. 2003). "(A]ny resort to equity must be reserved for those rare instances where - due to circumstances external to the party's own conduct - it would be unconscionabee to enforce the limitation period against the party and gross injustice would result." Rouse, 339 F.3d at 246 (quoting Harris, 209 F.3d at 330); see also Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005) (recognizing that equitable tolling requires a showing ...

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