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Collins v. Wolfe

United States District Court, D. Maryland

October 10, 2018

CRAIG COLLINS, Petitioner
v.
JOHN S. WOLFE, et al., Respondents

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GEORGE J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Craig Collins, an inmate confined at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland, seeks to attack his 2001 convictions for second degree rape and reckless endangerment. ECF No. 1. In a limited answer, respondents argue that the petition is time-barred under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"). ECF No. 5. Collins argues that "there are no time limits on Constitutional Rights" and reiterates his claims that he was denied a fair trial. ECF No. 11. After reviewing these papers, I find no need for an evidentiary hearing. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; see also 28 U.S.C. §2254(e)(2). For reasons set forth herein, the Petition is DENIED and DISMISSED.

         Procedural History

         In January of 2001, after a jury trial in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Collins was convicted of attempted second degree rape and reckless endangerment. ECF No. 5-1, pp. 2-3. Collins was sentenced on February 27, 2001 to a 20 year term of confinement. Id., p. 18. He did not seek further review in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. As such, his judgment became final for direct review purposes on March 29, 2001. See Md. Rule 8-202 (requiring notice of appeal to be filed within 30 days of the judgment). Collins has not sought post-conviction review. ECF No. 5-1.

         On April 5, 2010, Collins filed a "letter" with the state court which caused his case to be reopened. On April 29, 2010, an Order was entered denying the "Motion/Request." Id., p. 4, 21 On March 11, 2014, he filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence. Id., pp. 5, 19. Collins filed a second motion[1] on April 1, 2014, and a motion to revise sentence on April 22, 2014. Id., pp. 5, 22. The motions were denied on May 12, 2014. Id., pp. 5, 22.

         Collins filed the instant petition on September 19, 2016.[2] ECF No. 1. On December 8, 2016, pursuant to the Court's Order, respondents filed a limited answer, arguing that the petition is time-barred and should be dismissed on that basis. ECF No. 5. The Court issued an Order on July 19, 2017, granting Collins twenty-eight days from that date to file a response addressing the timeliness issue. ECF No. 9. Collins' response was received on August 24, 2017. ECF No. 11.

         Timeliness

         The threshold issue in this case is the timeliness of the petition. Only if the Petition is timely may the Court reach the merits of Collins' claims.

         A one-year statute of limitations applies to habeas petitions in non-capital cases for persons convicted in state court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1); Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S. 545, 550 (2011). Section 2244(d)(1) provides that:

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 I' 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 presented could have been discovered through the ...

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