United States District Court, D. Maryland
PAUL W. GRIMM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
December 18, 2017, Ramon Jesus Dorado filed a Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 2254. The
Petition challenges Doradoss 1984 conviction for two counts
of murder pursuant to a guilty plea he entered in the Circuit
Court for Montgomery County, and for which he is serving a
life sentence. Pet. 1, ECF No.1; see also State Ct.
Docket 31640C, Entry No. 246. Respondents filed an Answer,
seeking dismissal of the Petition under 28 U.S.C. S
2244(b)(3)(A) as unauthorized and successive.
Resp't's Answer, ECF N0.4. Dorado has filed a Reply.
Pet's Reply, ECF N0.6.
evidentiary hearing is unnecessary. See Rule 8(a),
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts; Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016); see
also Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000)
(holding that Petitioner was not entitled to hearing under 28
U.S.C. S 2254(e)(2)). For reasons that follow, the petition
for writ of habeas corpus IS DENIED AND DISMISSED.
previously sought federal habeas relief premised on the same
state conviction. See Dorado v. Galley, No.
HAR-92-3569 (D. Md. 1993). In his earlier petition, Dorado
claimed that: 1) he was "denied due process of law for
the reason that he was denied the genuine and effective
assistance of trial counsel"; 2) his "guilty plea
was not knowingly, voluntarily, or intelligently made based
on a clear lack of understanding;; 3) his "guilty plea
and sentencing were invalid due the guilty plea hearing
judges actions"; 4) he "was denied his
constitutional and statutory right to effective assistance of
counsel for post conviction proceedings"; and 5)
"there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction
of attempt to perpetrate a robbery." Respt's 1992
Answer, ECF No.4-1, at 8-9; see also Pet. 3, ECF No. 1.
Respondents filed an Answer seeking denial of the Petition on
its merits. Id., ECF No. 4-1, at 4-18. On April 1,
1993, the Honorable John H. Hargrove dismissed the Petition
"[f]or the reasons set forth in the Respondent's
Answer . . . ." Order, ECF No. 4-1, at
appealed the district court's Order dismissing the
Petition. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit affirmed the dismissal for the reasons provided by
the district court. Dorado v. Galley, et al., CA4
93-6566 (December 2, 1993) (per curiam); ECF No. 4-1, at 2.
summarily asserts his current petition is not successive.
Pet.'s Reply 3, ECF No. 6. He alleges the district court
Order that dismissed his S 2254 Petition was issued two days
after Respondents filed their answer, and he was not given a
chance to reply. Id. ¶¶ 3-4. Dorado
observes that a memorandum opinion did not accompany the
Order that dismissed his Petition, and appears to believe
that the district court's dismissal was without reason.
Id. Further, he questions the appellate court's
ruling that based on the district court's reasoning, his
appeal was without merit. Id. Dorado requests
permission to proceed with his current Petition "due to
procedural default and or any other reasons the Court deems
acceptable" since he "did not have a fair and full
review under the law in 1993." Id. ¶ 5.
R. Civ. P. 60(b)
extent Dorado, a pro se petitioner, is asserting his 1992
federal habeas corpus process was deficient, his allegation
raises as a threshold question whether his current Petition
is successive or more appropriately treated as a Motion for
Relief from a judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). Generally,
"a motion directly attacking the prisoner's
conviction or sentence will usually amount to a successive
application, while a motion seeking a remedy for some defect
in the collateral review process will generally be deemed a
proper motion to reconsider." United States v.
Winestock, 340 F.3d 200, 207 (4th. Cir. 2003); see
also Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 511-33 (2005)
(concluding that a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment
that directly challenges the underlying conviction
constitutes a successive S 2254 petition).
60(b) is an "extraordinary remedy" used only upon a
"showing of exceptional circumstances." Compton
v. Alton Steamship Co., Inc., 608 F.2d 96, 102 (4th Cir.
1979) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). A
movant must first show that he has moved in a timely fashion,
that he has a meritorious defense to the judgment, that the
opposing party would not be unfairly prejudiced by having the
judgment set aside, and that exceptional circumstances exist.
See Athens v. Ingram, 652 F.3d 496, 501 (4th Cir.
2011); Werner v. Carbo, 731 F.2d 204, 206-07 (4th
Cir. 1984) (citing Compton, 608 F.2d at 102).
"Once the movant has made such a showing, he must
proceed to satisfy one or more of [Rule 60(b)'s] six
grounds for relief from judgment.) Werner, 731 F.2d at
207. The party moving for relief from judgment under Rule
60(b) "bears the burden of showing timeliness."
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. AMH Roman Two NC, LLC, 859
F.3d 295, 300 (4th Cir. 2017).
Dorado's federal habeas petition was denied, he waited
twenty-four years to file the present S 2254 petition. Dorado
asserts that he has limited understanding of the law and has
been requesting legal assistance since his first state
post-conviction petition was filed and denied in 1989. Pet.
3, 5; Pet.'s Reply 2. Doradoss numerous motions and
correspondence filed in state court since 1992 vitiate this
assertion. His state filings since 1992 include a motion for
appropriate relief, a motion to amend, notices of appeal, a
motion to appoint counsel, a petition for coram
nobis, a petition for post-conviction relief, a motion
for a panel attorney and request for a hearing, a motion for
medication of sentence, motions to waive filing fees, and a
2016 petition for writ of certiorari. See, e.g.,
State Ct. Docket Nos. 313, 355, 316, 326, 329, 35;, 375;
see also Pet. 2 (noting the 2017 denial of
certiorari review). Thus, Dorado fails to show his claim was
filed in a timely fashion. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
60(c); Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 859 F.3d at 300.
Dorado claims the indictment did not charge him with a crime
under Maryland Law. Pet. 3. Dorado does not claim, nor does
the record show, that he raised this claim in state
court. "Using Rule 60(b) to present new
claims for relief from a state court's judgment of
conviction-even claims couched in the language of a true Rule
60(b) motion-circumvents [the habeas statute's]
requirement that a new claim be dismissed unless it relies on
either a new rule of constitutional law or newly discovered
facts." Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 531 (2005)
(citing 28 U.S.C. 9 2244(b)(2)). Otherwise, Rule 60(b) could
be used to "impermissibly circumvent the requirement
that a successive habeas petition be precertified by the
court of appeals." Id.
fails to satisfy the requirement that his motion be timely,
and the record does not suggest exceptional circumstances to
warrant the extraordinary relief provided under Rule 60(b).
Thus, there are no ...