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Taylor v. Cook

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga

April 6, 2015

MICHAEL L. TAYLOR, Petitioner,
v.
DOUG COOK, Warden, [1] Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

CURTIS L. COLLIER, District Judge.

This is a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, brought by Tennessee inmate, Michael L. Taylor ("Petitioner"). Petitioner challenges his 1999 conviction by a Hamilton County, Tennessee jury of first-degree murder, carjacking, two counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of especially aggravated robbery (the trial court merged the aggravated assault convictions into the convictions for especially aggravated robbery) (Court File No. 16). For these offenses, Petitioner received a total prison sentence of life plus twenty years.

Respondent has filed a motion to dismiss the petition (Court File No. 27), in which he argues the petition is time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). In support of his motion, Respondent has submitted a brief and the state court record (Court File No. 28; Addenda Nos. 1-4). Petitioner has failed to respond to Respondent's motion to dismiss, and the time for doing so has passed. For the reasons which follow, Respondent's motion will be GRANTED.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On September 8, 1999, Petitioner's convictions were affirmed by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ("TCCA"). State v. Taylor, No. 03C01-9810-CR-00366, 1999 WL 692579, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 8, 1999). On March 6, 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court denied Petitioner's application for permission to appeal. Id . Petitioner did not file a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

Petitioner next filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Hamilton County, Tennessee Criminal Court on March 6, 2001. The post-conviction court found that Petitioner had failed to present any factual basis for his grounds for relief, and gave Petitioner additional time to amend his petition (Addendum No. 4, at p. 000897). When Petitioner failed to respond, the post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition on May 1, 2001, informing Petitioner of the deadline to file a notice of appeal (Addendum No. 4, at pp. 000897-98). Petitioner did not file a notice of appeal within the required time, but on February 27, 2002, filed a motion to pursue an untimely appeal the post-conviction court's summary dismissal of his petition (Addendum No. 4, at p. 000898). The state court denied Petitioner's motion on March 13, 2002, stating that it lacked jurisdiction and that Petitioner could move the TCCA to waive the requirement of a timely notice of appeal (Addendum No. 4, at p. 000898). Petitioner next filed a writ of mandamus in the Hamilton County Criminal Court on August 19, 2002, seeking to compel the judge to issue an order on his motion for delayed appeal (Addendum No. 3). The state court, noting the record did not indicate that the court clerk sent Petitioner a copy of the March 13, 2002 order, nevertheless dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction (Addendum No. 3).

On October 29, 2009, Petitioner filed a motion to reopen his post-conviction proceedings, alleging, among other reasons, that a new case established a new constitutional right to counsel or an evidentiary hearing in post-conviction proceedings (Addendum No. 4, at p. 000897). The state court denied Petitioner's motion on December 9, 2009, stating that no new constitutional right was created as alleged by Petitioner (Addendum No. 4, at p. 000898). Petitioner next filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court on July 1, 2013

II. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), codified in 28 U.S.C. § 2241 et. seq., imposes a statute of limitations to govern the filing of an application for a federal writ of habeas corpus. The limitations statute provides, in relevant part, 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; [or]
...
(D) The date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A), (D). However, the time "during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted ...


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