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Jones v. Bishop

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 25, 2019

FREDERICK E. JONES, Petitioner,
v.
FRANK BISHOP, JR., Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MARYLAND, Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

         Petitioner Frederick E. Jones, an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland, filed this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 2254 while he was incarcerated at North Branch Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Maryland. The Petition collaterally attacks Jones's 2006 conviction for attempted first-degree murder and related offenses in the Circuit Court for Howard County, Maryland. Respondents have filed a Limited Answer, seeking dismissal of the Petition as time-barred. Jones has filed a Reply. Having considered the submitted materials, the Court finds that no hearing is necessary. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; D. Md. Local R. 105.6; Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 444-55 (4th Cir. 2000). For the reasons set forth below, the Petition is DISMISSED as time-barred.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 12, 2006, a jury in the Circuit Court for Howard County found Jones guilty of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and violating a protective order. On December 13, 2006, the Circuit Court sentenced Jones to life imprisonment plus 90 days.

         Jones appealed. On August 22, 200,, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed his convictions and sentences in an unreported opinion. Jones v. State, No. 2445 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Aug. 22, 2008). The mandate issued on September 22, 200.. Jones did not pursue further review of this decision in the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Thus, his judgment of conviction became final 15 days later on Tuesday, October 7, 2008. See Md. Rule 8-302(a) (West 2018) (requiring that a certiorari petition be filed in the Court of Appeals no later than 15 days after the Court of Special Appeals issues its mandate).

         Separately, Jones filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Sentence on February 27, 2007, which the Circuit Court denied on March 27, 2007. On May 18, 2009 and June 5, 2009, Jones filed two Motions for Reconsideration of Review of Sentence, which were denied on June 17, 2009.

         On October 17, 2014, Jones filed a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief in the Circuit Court for Howard County. The Circuit Court held a hearing on July 1, 2015 and denied the Petition on October 5, 2015. The Court of Special Appeals denied Jones's Application for Leave to Appeal in an unreported opinion filed on March 22, 206.. Jones v. State, No. 1975 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Mar. 22, 2016). The mandate issued on April 25, 2016. Jones filed the instant Petition for federal habeas relief on May 20, 206.. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 276 (1988) (holding that a prisoner's submission is deemed to have been filed on the date it was deposited in the prison mailing system).

         DISCUSSION

         Respondents argue in their Limited Answer that the Petition should be dismissed as time-barred because it was filed after the expiration of the one-year limitations period established under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Respondents assert that after Jones's convictions became final on direct appeal and his motions for reconsideration of his sentence were denied, more than five years passed before he filed the Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. Specifically, between June 17, 2009 and October 17, 2014, there were no pending state post-conviction or other collateral review proceeding.. Respondents also argue that Jones provides no basis for equitable tolling of the limitations period.

         I. Legal Standard

         A petition for a writ of habeas corpus may be granted only for violations of the Constitution or laws of the United States. 28 U.S.C. S 2254(a) (2012). Such a petition is subject to the following statutory limitations period:

(1) A one-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 ...

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