United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
is Daryl Kevin Stokes' Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his 2003
judgment of conviction for armed robbery and related
offenses. (ECF 1). Respondents Warden Richard Dovey and the
Attorney General of the State of Maryland filed a limited
Answer seeking dismissal of the Petition as time-barred. (ECF
5). Stokes has filed a Response. (ECF 7). Respondents
subsequently provided additional information at direction of
this Court, and Stokes filed a Reply. (ECF 8, 11,
case is briefed and ready for disposition. After considering
the pleadings, exhibits, and applicable law, this Court finds
a hearing unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.
2016); Rule 8, Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings
in the United States District Courts; see also
Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000)
(stating a petitioner is not entitled to a hearing under 28
U.S.C. §2254(e)(2)). The Court will DENY AND DISMISS the
Petition as time-barred.
February 12, 2003, Stokes was convicted by a jury sitting in
the Circuit Court for Harford County of three counts each of
armed robbery, robbery, first degree assault, second degree
assault, one count of use of a handgun in the commission of a
felony and crime of violence, and other related offenses.
(ECF 5-1). On April 28, 2003, the Circuit Court sentenced
Stokes to three concurrent twenty-year sentences for the
armed robbery convictions and a ten-year consecutive sentence
for the use of a handgun in a crime of violence conviction.
All other sentences were merged. Id.
10, 2003, Stokes filed a Motion for Modification or Reduction
of Sentence that was held sub curia. (ECF 5-1 at 8).
February 17, 2005, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
affirmed Stokes' judgment of conviction. Id; see
also ECF 5-1 at 9; Memorandum Opinion, Stokes v.
Bishop, ECF No. RDB-12-840 (D. Md. 2014); ECF
The Court of Appeals of Maryland denied Stokes' request
for further review on June 10, 2005. (ECF 5-2).
August 27, 2008, Stokes filed a Petition for Post-Conviction
relief in the Circuit Court for Harford County. (ECF 5-2).
The Circuit Court conducted a hearing on Stokes'
Post-Conviction Petition on February 6, 2009. Id. On
April 17, 2009, the state post-conviction court denied
April 28, 2011, a “Letter of Defendant to Judge Eaves
requesting a modification of his sentence” was denied.
Id. at 11.
unreported opinion filed on August 10, 2011, the Court of
Special Appeals of Maryland summarily denied Stokes'
Application for Leave to Appeal. Id. The mandate
issued on September 12, 2011. (ECF 5-2).
28, 2014, Stokes' submitted a filing that the Circuit
Court treated as a Motion to Reopen Post-Conviction
proceedings and denied. (ECF 5-1). On September 17, 2015, the
Court of Special Appeals denied Stokes' Application for
Leave to Appeal. (ECF 5-3).
Court treats the Petition as filed on the date it was signed,
April 23, 2015. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266
(1988); United States v. Dorsey, 988 F.Supp. 917,
919-20 (D. Md. 1998); Rule 3(d) of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts
(applying the “mailbox rule”).
September 6, 2016, this Court ordered Respondents to clarify
whether the 2003 Motion for Modification remained pending.
(ECF 8 at 2).
October 11, 2016, Respondents filed a Response asserting that
because Stokes' April 20, 2011, Petition for Modification
of Sentence was filed well more than 90 days after his April
28, 2003 sentencing, the pleading was a nullity under
Maryland Rule 4-345(e),  unless construed by the sentencing
court as a request for a ruling on the pending year 2003
petition for reduction or modification of sentence.
Respondents assert that the Circuit Court's actions on
Stokes' April 20, 2011 filing indicate that the court
treated the filing as a request for a ruling on the year
2003, Motion for Reduction or Modification of Sentence. The
Circuit Court then denied the 2003 Motion. (ECF No. 11).