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Dicks v. Armstead

United States District Court, D. Maryland

February 27, 2019

ANDREW JOSEPH DICKS, #336-138, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN LAURA ARMSTEAD, 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 (2018). (ECF No. 1). The Petition is now ripe. Having reviewed the Petition and the Respondents' Opposition, 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). 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 May 1, 2006, Dicks pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County to five counts of armed robbery and one count of robbery. (Pet. Writ Habeas Corpus [“Pet.”] Ex. G at 2, ECF No. 1-9). That same day, the Circuit Court sentenced Dicks to a total of forty years in prison. (Id. 24-25). Dicks did not file an application for leave to appeal the judgment, which became final on May 31, 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 modification or reduction of sentence on July 10, 2006, and again on February 16, 2011 (Resp'ts' Limited Answer Ex. 1, [“State Court Docket”] at 11-12, ECF No. 7-1). The Circuit Court denied them on April 6, 2011. (State Court Docket at 12).

         On October 25, 2015, Dicks filed a state petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. (Id. at 13; Pet. Ex. A, ECF No. 1-3).[1] After holding a hearing on January 18 and 19, 2017, the Circuit Court denied post-conviction relief in a Memorandum and Order issued on February 16, 2017. (Pet. Ex. B, ECF No. 1-4). The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland summarily denied Dicks' application for leave to appeal the denial of post-conviction relief on July 12, 2017. (Pet. Exs. C, F, ECF Nos. 1-5, 1-8).

         Dicks signed his Petition on October 23, 2017, and the Clerk of this Court received it for filing on December 11, 2017. (Pet., ECF No. 1). In the Petition, Dicks asserts that (1) he recently discovered evidence that the police tampered with his Miranda[2] forms;[3] (2) his guilty plea was involuntary; (3) plea counsel was ineffective for failing to, (a) prepare for trial and, (b) properly advise him of his trial and appellate rights. (Pet. at 4).

         On December 18, 2017, the Court ordered Respondents to answer the Petition. (ECF No. 2). On February 26, 2018, Respondents filed a Limited Answer. (ECF No. 7). On April 25, 2018, Dicks filed what will be construed as a Reply. (ECF No. 10).

         II.DISCUSSION

         A. Dicks' Petition

         Respondents contend that Dicks' Petition is time-barred. Dicks contends his attempts for nine years to get transcripts from his case delayed the filing of his state post-conviction petition. He 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.[4] He also notes that his state post-conviction proceedings lasted until July 12, 2017 and argues that since his federal Petition, signed October 23, 2017, was filed less than a year later, it was therefore timely under § 2244(d)(2). The Court agrees with Respondents.

         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 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 ...

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