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Patrick v. Miller

United States District Court, D. Maryland

May 23, 2018

JOSEPH THOMAS PATRICK, Prisoner Identification No. 273986, Petitioner,
v.
RICHARD MILLER, Warden, and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND. Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          THEODORE D. CHUANG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Joseph Thomas Patrick, an inmate confined at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland, has filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his 1998 convictions in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland for armed carjacking, kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon, and related offenses. In response to an order from the Court, Respondents filed a Limited Answer to the Petition, seeking dismissal of the Petition as time-barred. Patrick has filed a Reply to the Limited Answer. For the reasons set forth below, the Petition is denied and dismissed as time-barred.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 23, 1998, a jury sitting in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County found Patrick guilty of armed carjacking, kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon, robbery, and use of a handgun during a crime of violence. On April 17, 1998, the court sentenced Patrick to a total of 80 years of imprisonment. Patrick filed a motion for modification of sentence and an application for review of sentence, which were denied on July 28, 1998 and September 10, 1998, respectively.

         On March 10, 1999, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed Patrick's conviction. Patrick's petition for a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals of Maryland was denied on June 9, 1999. See Patrick v. State, 354 Md. 331 (1999). His petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court was denied on October 4, 1999. See Patrick v. Maryland, 528 U.S. 903 (1999).

         For over four years after the conclusion of his direct appeal, Patrick took no action in his case. Then, on January 12, 2004, Patrick filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence. The motion was denied on April 16, 2004. On April 14, 2005, Patrick filed a petition for postconviction relief in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. After a hearing, the court denied the petition on March 7, 2006 but granted Patrick leave to file a motion for reconsideration of the sentence and an application for review of the sentence. On June 21, 2006, the Court of Special Appeals denied Patrick's application for leave to appeal the denial of his post-conviction petition.

         On January 10, 2011, Patrick filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence. The motion was denied on June 13, 2011. The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed the decision on May 9, 2014.

         On January 11, 2012, Patrick filed a petition for writ of actual innocence. The petition was denied on October 19, 2012. The ruling was affirmed by the Court of Special Appeals on May 9, 2014.

         On November 24, 2014, Patrick filed a motion to reopen his post-conviction petition. The motion was denied on January 13, 2015. On February 9, 2015, Patrick filed another motion to reopen his post-conviction proceedings, which was denied on May 31, 2016. Patrick's application for leave to appeal was denied by the Court of Special Appeals on October 26, 2016.

         On January 20, 2017, Patrick filed the present Petition in this Court. The petition is dated January 2, 2017 and will therefore be deemed filed as of that date. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 275-76 (1988) (holding that a petition is deemed to have been filed on the date it was deposited with prison authorities for mailing under the "mailbox" rule.); United States v. Dorsey, 988 F.Supp. 917, 919-920 (D. Md. 1998) (citing Houston).

         DISCUSSION

         In the Petition, Patrick claims that the trial judge erred by giving misleading instructions to the jury, that there was prosecutorial misconduct as a result of the introduction into evidence of a handgun that belonged to his co-defendant, and that he was subjected to ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel failed to object to the handgun's entry into evidence. Respondents, however, argue that the Petition is time-barred.

         I. Statute of Limitations

         A one-year statute of limitations applies to federal habeas petitions in non-capital cases filed by a person convicted in state court. See 28 ...


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