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Guardado v. Dovey

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 12, 2019

LUIS GUARDADO, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN RICHARD DOVEY and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Paul W. Grimm United States District Judge.

         Self-represented Petitioner Luis Guardado filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. ECF No. 1. The Petition challenges Guardado's 2014 conviction in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland for second-degree rape, Id.; see State Ct. Docket 1, ECF No. 3-1. Respondents filed an answer in which they argue, in part, that the Petition is time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)-(2). ECF No. 3. Guardado filed a reply, stating that he filed the Petition immediately after the state court denied him post-conviction relief. ECF No. 6. An evidentiary hearing is unnecessary. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018); see also Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000) (petitioner not entitled to a hearing under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2)). Because it is time-barred, Guardado's Petition is dismissed, and a certificate of appealability shall not issue.

         BACKGROUND

         Following a jury trial in July, 2014, Guardado was convicted in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County of second-degree rape. See State Ct. Docket 8-11. On November 13, 2014, he was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment with all but nine years suspended, followed by a period of supervised probation. Id. at 1, 12. In an unreported opinion filed on October 14, 2015, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed Guardado's convictions. See Guardado v. State, No. 2397, Sept. Term 2014 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Oct. 14, 2015) (unreported), ECF No. 3-10. Guardado then filed a petition for writ of certiorari, which the Court of Appeals of Maryland denied on January 29, 2016. Cert. Pet. & Order, ECF No. 3-10, at 15-18. Guardado did not seek further review in the Supreme Court.

         On December 12, 2014, Guardado filed a motion for new trial, which the circuit court denied.[1] See State Ct. Docket 16-17, 20. Guardado appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, which affirmed the circuit court's decision in an unreported opinion filed on June 3, 2016, with the mandate issuing on July 5, 2016. See Guardado v. State, No. 0928, Sept. Term 2015 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. June 3, 2016) (unreported), ECF No. 3-13. Guardado did not seek further review of that ruling in the Court of Appeals.

         On December 13, 2016, Guardado filed a petition for post-conviction relief in state circuit court. See Stmt, of Reasons & Order 1, ECF No. 3-14. After a hearing on September 28, 2017, the post-conviction court denied Guardado's petition; the court filed its order on October 11, 2017. Id. at 9; State Ct. Docket 13. On November 17, 2017, Guardado filed an application for leave to appeal the denial of post-conviction relief to the Court of Special Appeals, which dismissed the appeal as untimely by order dated January 22, 2018. State Ct. Docket 13-14; Application, ECF No. 3-15. The court's mandate issued on February 21, 2018. State Ct. Docket 13.

         On May 8, 2018, Guardado filed his Petition in this Court, [2] claiming that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to contact witnesses and failing to acquire requested evidence. Pet. 6. Guardado also claims that the circuit court erred in limiting cross-examination of the victim regarding her immigration status. Id.

         DISCUSSION

         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 Guardado's 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 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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