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Dicks v. Campbell

United States District Court, D. Maryland

February 27, 2019

ANDREW JOSEPH DICKS, #336-138, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN CASEY CAMPBELL, et al. Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GEORGE L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner Andrew Joseph Dicks' Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1). The Petition is ripe, and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2018). Having reviewed the Petition and the Respondents' responses thereto, the Court also finds no need for an evidentiary hearing. See R. Govern. § 2254 Cases U.S. Dist. Ct. 8(a); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2) (2018). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the Petition as time-barred and decline to issue a Certificate of Appealability.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 10, 2006, Dicks pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County to one count of robbery[1] and one count of armed robbery.[2] (Pet. Writ Habeas Corpus [“Pet.”] Ex. J at 1, ECF No. 1-10). On August 31, 2006, Dicks was sentenced to thirty years of incarceration. (Id.). Dicks did not file an application for leave to appeal the judgment, which became final on October 2, 2006. See Md. Rule 8-204(b)(2)(A) (requiring application for leave to appeal to be filed within thirty days of judgment from which appeal is sought). Dicks filed a motion for reconsideration of sentence, (State Court Dockets at 7, 31), that was held in abeyance until it expired by operation of law on September 4, 2011.[3]See Md. Rule 4-345(e) (sentence may not be revised more than five years after the date the sentence was imposed).

         On April 28, 2014, Dicks filed a state petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. (State Court Dockets at 10, 34). After holding a hearing on October 7, 2014, the Circuit Court denied post-conviction relief in an order filed on January 20, 2015. (Pet. Ex. J). Dicks did not file his application for leave to appeal the denial of post-conviction relief within thirty days. (State Court Dockets at 12). See Md. Rule 8-204(b)(2). He filed several other court papers in the months thereafter, culminating in the Court of Appeals' denial of Dicks' motion to reconsider dismissal of his petition for writ of certiorari on December 15, 2016.[4]

         Dicks filed his undated Petition in this Court on March 22, 2017. In the Petition, Dicks asserts that (1) he recently discovered evidence that the police tampered with his Miranda[5] forms; (2) his confession was involuntary; (3) plea counsel was ineffective for failing to (a) prepare for trial and (b) prepare mitigation evidence for sentencing; (4) post-conviction counsel was ineffective for failing to adequately question plea counsel; and (5) his guilty plea was involuntary. (Pet. 5-9).

         In their Limited Answer, Respondents assert that the Petition should be dismissed as untimely pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) and that Dicks has provided no basis for applying the doctrine of equitable tolling. In his Reply, Dicks notes that he sought state post-conviction relief within Maryland's ten-year limitations period. (Reply at 3, ECF No. 7). Dicks also argues that any delay in seeking state post-conviction relief cannot be imputed against him based on a claim that could not have been discovered earlier, citing Brady v. Maryland.[6] He further argues that his state post-conviction proceedings lasted until December 15, 2016 and therefore that his March 22, 2017 Petition was filed timely filed under 2244(d)(2). (ECF No. 7 at 9).

         On May 2, 2018, the Court directed Respondents to answer the merits of Dicks' claims and address the Brady claim with regard to timeliness. (May 2, 2018 Order at 1, ECF No. 16). Respondents' Supplemental Response reiterated their argument that the Petition is untimely and made additional arguments, including that Dicks failed to exhaust state remedies. (Suppl. Resp., ECF No. 20).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Dicks' Petition

         Respondents contend that Dicks' Petition is time-barred. The Court agrees.

         A prisoner seeking a writ of habeas corpus from a federal court must comply with a one-year period of limitation. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1); Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S. 545, 549 (2011). When the limitation period begins depends on the grounds for the prisoner's petition. Specifically, the limitation period begins 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 ...

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