United States District Court, D. Maryland
TAVON P. SINGLETARY, Petitioner,
STATE OF MARYLAND, et al., Respondents.
Frederick Motz United States District Judge.
October 24, 2016, Tavon P. Singletary, filed the instant 28
U.S.CS. § 2254 habeas corpus petition attacking his
revocation of probation entered in the Circuit Court for
Baltimore City. ECF 1. Respondents filed an Answer which
solely addresses the timeliness the petition. ECF 5.
Petitioner was advised of his opportunity to file a reply.
ECF 6, This he has done. ECF 7. The court finds no need for
an evidentiary hearing. See Rule 8(a), Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts and Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016); 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)). For the reasons to follow, the petition
will be denied and dismissed with prejudice.
April 12, 2011, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City revoked
petitioner's probation in Case Number 19005007 and
sentenced him to a ten year term of confinement. ECF 5-1, p.
7. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration or
modification of sentence which was denied on May 13, 2011.
Id. 7. Petitioner's timely application for leave
to appeal the judgment of the circuit court was summarily
denied by the Court of Special Appeals. The court's
mandate issued on April 9, 2012. Id., p. 8; ECF 5-2.
Petitioner did not seek further review in the Supreme Court.
As such, his judgment became final for direct appeal purposes
on July 9, 2012. See Sup. Ct. Rule 13.1. (requiring
petition for writ of certiorari be filed within 90 days of
the judgment from which review is sought).
January 20, 2012, petitioner submitted a collateral attack on
his conviction by filing a petition for post conviction
relief. ECF 5-1, p. 8. Petitioner's motion to withdraw
the petition for post-conviction relief was granted on June
13, 2012. Id., pp. 9-10.
filed a motion for reconsideration of sentence on October 4,
2012, which was denied on October 11, 2012. Id., p.
27, 2014, petitioner refiled a petition or post conviction
relief which was denied on July 28, 2015. Id., pp.
11-12 Petitioner's application for leave to appeal the
denial of postconviction relief was denied by the Court of
Special Appeals of Maryland on with the court's mandate
issuing on February 4, 2016. Id., p. 15, ECF 5-3.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) provides a one-year statute of
limitations in non-capital cases for those convicted in a
state case. This one-year period is, however, tolled while
properly filed post-conviction proceedings are pending and
may otherwise be equitably tolled. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(2); Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d
325, 328 (4th Cir. 2000); Gray v. Waters, 26 F.Supp.
771, 771-72 (D. Md. 1998).
statute of limitations began to run in petitioner's case
on July 9, 2012, when his direct appeal concluded. Petitioner
had no properly filed collateral proceedings until May 27,
2014, when he reinstituted state post-conviction proceedings.
Accordingly, the statute of limitations for his federal
habeas petition expired before petitioner re-instituted his
state postconviction proceedings and the instant petition is
time barred under 28 U.S.C.§ 2244(d).
Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631 (2010), the Supreme
Court concluded that equitable tolling applies to the
AEDPA's statute of limitations. Id. at 633. The
Court found that in order to be entitled to equitable
tolling, the movant must show (1) that he has diligently
pursued his rights and (2) that some extraordinary
circumstance prevented the timely filing. Id. at
649. The question of whether equitable tolling applies hinges
on the facts and circumstances of each particular case.
See Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d 325, 329-30 (4th
offers no arguments in support of equitable tolling.
Petitioners pro se status and any attendant lack of knowledge
of the law is not the type of extraordinary circumstance
which would justify equitable tolling. See Barrow v. New
Orleans S.S. Ass'n, 932 F.2d 473, 478 (5th Cir.
1991) (refusing to apply equitable tolling where the delay in
filing was the result of petitioner-s unfamiliarity with the
legal process or his lack of legal representation); Rouse
v. Lee, 339 F.3d 238, 248-249 (4th Cir. 2003) (negligent
mistake by party's counsel in interpreting AEDPA statute
of limitations does not present extraordinary circumstances
warranting equitable tolling); Smith v. McGinnis,
208 F.3d 13, 18 (2d Cir. 2000) (pro se status does
not establish sufficient ground for equitable tolling);
Felder v. Johnson, 204 F.3d 168, 171-173 (5th Cir.
2000) (lack of notice of AEDPA amendments and ignorance of
the law are not rare and exceptional circumstances that
warrant equitable tolling); Francis v. Miller, 198
F.Supp.2d 232, 235 (E.D. N.Y.2002) (ignorance of the law and
legal procedure is not so exceptional as to merit equitable
tolling). The court does not find petitioner entitled to
equitable tolling. Therefore, the petition shall be dismissed
as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
the amendments to Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing
Proceedings under Section 2254 "the district court must
issue or deny a certificate of appealability when it enters a
final order adverse to the applicant...If the court issues a
certificate, the court must state the specific issue or
issues that satisfy the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(2)." In Slack v. McDaniel,529 U.S. 473
(2000), the Supreme Court held that "[w]hen the district
court denies a habeas petition on procedural grounds without
reaching the prisoner's underlying constitutional claim,
a COA [certificate of appealability] should issue when the
prisoner shows, at least, that... jurists of reason would
find it debatable whether the district court was correct in
its procedural ruling." Slack, 529 U.S. at 484.
Petitioner does not satisfy ...