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Valentine v. Foxwell

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 8, 2018

DESHAWN VALENTINE, Petitioner
v.
RICKY FOXWELL, Warden, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On April 29, 2018, [1] Deshawn Valentine filed this 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus Petition attacking his 2015 conviction for theft. ECF No. 1. On June 15, 2018, Respondent filed a limited answer arguing that the Petition should be dismissed as untimely. ECF No. 4. Pursuant to Hill v. Braxton, 277 F.3d 701 (4th Cir. 2002), the Court afforded Valentine an opportunity to explain why his Petition should not be dismissed as time-barred. ECF No. 5. Valentine failed to file such an explanation and the time for doing so has expired.

         This matter has been fully briefed. Upon review, the Court finds no need for an evidentiary hearing. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016); see also Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000) (petitioner not entitled to hearing under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2)). For the reasons set forth herein, the Court DENIES a Certificate of Appealability, and DENIES and DISMISSES this action with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         On September 30, 2015, Valentine pled guilty to theft in the Baltimore City Circuit Court. ECF No. 1 at 1; ECF No. 4 at 3; ECF No. 4-1 at 3. On December 18, 2015, he was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment, with 3 years' suspended. ECF No. 4 at 3. Valentine did not file a direct appeal. ECF No. 1 at 2; ECF No. 4 at 3.

         On August 2, 2017, Valentine filed a Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence, which was denied two weeks later. ECF No. 4-1 at 5. On September 11, 2017, Valentine filed a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief, which he voluntarily withdrew on March 8, 2018. Id. at 5, 8. Valentine filed a Motion for Diminution of Sentence for Good Behavior on April 26, 2018, and a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief on May 11, 2018. Id. at 8. Both of those filings were pending at the time this Court received and docketed the instant Petition.

         Valentine filed the instant Petition for Habeas Corpus Relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on April 29, 2018. ECF No. 1. As his single ground for relief, Valentine argues that the Baltimore City Circuit Court lacked jurisdiction over his case, explaining that “the grave man [sic] for theft in Md is the exchange of property. The state said we exchange property in P.G. [Prince George's] County Md. and said I never cam[e] back to Baltimore. They the state [sic] did not say w[h]ere I drop her off at.” Id. at 5 (some capitalization altered). In response to the § 2254 form's statement “[i]f this petition is being filed more than one year after your conviction became final, explain why it is late and/or why you believe the one year limitations period does not apply, ” Valentine states “just saved enough money to buy records of plea did not know the cost was going to be $240.00.” Id. (some capitalization altered).

         Respondent filed a limited answer asserting that Valentine's § 2254 Petition should be dismissed as untimely under § 2244(d). ECF No. 4 at 4-5. The Court afforded Valentine an opportunity to explain why his petition should not be dismissed as time-barred, and explained the possible consequence of failing to do so, ECF No. 5, but Valentine has not responded.

         DISCUSSION

         A Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus may be granted only for violations of the Constitution or laws of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). However, timeliness is a threshold consideration when examining a petitioner's claims. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d),

(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of-
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or (D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims ...

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