United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Joseph Hillman, an inmate at FCI Petersburg Low. filed a
Motion to Vacate. Set Aside, or Correct Sentence. ECF No.
challenging his 2016 guilty plea and sentencing for
distribution of child pornography. Respondent United States
of America argues that the Motion is time-barred, as it was
not filed within a year of his conviction. ECF No. 51 at
Hillman argues that his claim is not time-barred because he
is entitled to equitable tolling of his time limitation.
FCF No. 52 at 2. No hearing is necessary to
resolve this case. Loc. Rule 1 05.6. (D. Md. 2016); see
also Rule 8 of the Rules Governing §2255
Proceedings. For the reasons set forth herein, the Motion
will be denied as time-barred, and a certificate of
appealability will not issue.
January 4. 2016. Hillman pleaded guilty to one count of
distribution of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2252A(a)(2). ECF No. 25. On April 20. 2016. the Court
sentenced Hillman to 114 months of imprisonment followed by
lifetime supervised release. ECF No. 43. Hillman did not
14, 2017. Hillman filed the pending Motion to Vacate pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2255,  received by the Clerk on July 19. 2017.
ECF No. 49. On July 21. 2017. this Court ordered Respondent
to respond, and provided Hillman an opportunity to reply to
that response. ECF No. 50. In their Response, the United
States argues that Hillman's Motion to Vacate was filed
outside the one-year limitations period and thus is
time-barred. ECF No. 51 at 2. In his Reply. Hillman argues
that his Motion is subject to statutory and equitable
tolling. Specifically, he argues that the one-year limitation
should be tolled because for part of that year he was placed
in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU") following the
death of his cell mate. ECF No. 52 at 1. he experienced the
death of his grandfather, id, and he had limited
access to the law library for two months following his
sentencing, id. at 2.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
one-year statute of limitations applies to § 2255
petitions. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). The
limitations period runs from the latest of:
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion
created by governmental action in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the
movant was prevented from making a motion by such
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially
recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly
recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively
applicable to cases on collateral review: or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or
claims presented could have been discovered through the
exercise of due diligence.
Id. The one-year period may be equitably tolled.
See Whiteside v. United Slates. 775 F.3d 180. 184
(4th Cir. 2014) (en banc) (applying equitable tolling to the
one-year limitation period in 28 U.S.C. §2255) (quoting
Rouse v. Lee, 339 F.3d 238. 246 (4th Cir. 2003) (en