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Jones v. Cook

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

February 13, 2018

JACK T. JONES, Petitioner,
v.
DOUG COOK, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HARRY S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a pro se petition for habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Now before the Court is Respondent's motion to dismiss the petition as time-barred [Doc. 8]. Petitioner has filed a response in opposition to the motion to dismiss [Doc. 11]. For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss [Doc. 8] will be GRANTED and this action will be DISMISSED.

         On April 18, 2007, Petitioner pled guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual battery in the Criminal Court of Sumner County, Tennessee. State v. Jones, No. M2007-01494-CCA-R3-CD, 2008 WL 4853156, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 10, 2008); perm. app. denied Tenn. May 11, 2009; [Doc. 10-1 p. 21]. Petitioner was ordered to serve nine years on each count, with the sentences for three of the four counts to be served consecutively, resulting in a twenty-seven year effective sentence. Id.

         On July 2, 2007, Petitioner filed an appeal of his conviction in which he asserted that the trial court erred in requiring him to serve his sentences consecutively and in giving him more than the maximum sentence. State v. Jones, No. M2007-01494-CCA-R3-CD, 2008 WL 4853156 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 10, 2008); perm. app. denied Tenn. May 11, 2009; [Doc. 10-1 p. 26-28]. On November 10, 2008, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals (“TCCA”) remanded the case for the trial court to modify Petitioner's total effective sentence to twenty-four years, but otherwise affirmed the trial court's judgments. Id. at *8-9. On August 3, 2009, the Criminal Court for Sumner County entered amended judgments in accordance with the TCCA's finding [Doc. 12-1].

         On March 21, 2014, Petitioner filed a “Motion to Reopen Post-Conviction Petition” in Sumner County Criminal Court, which was treated as a motion for post-conviction relief as Petitioner had not previously sought post-conviction relief [Doc. 10-10 p. 3-20, 27]. The post-conviction court denied the petition as time-barred, finding that no due process issues tolled the statute of limitations and that the Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals had previously determined the issue raised therein [Id. at 27-28]. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed this denial on the same grounds. Jones v. State, No. M2014-00863-CCA-R3-PC, 2014 WL 4458911 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 10, 2014), perm. app. denied Dec. 18, 2014.

         Petitioner filed the instant §2254 petition on January 15, 2015 [Doc. 1 p. 15].

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), codified in 28 U.S.C. § 2241, et seq., provides a one-year statute of limitations for the filing of an application for a federal writ of habeas corpus. The statute provides, in relevant part:

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]
* * *
(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 retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review . . .

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). 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 toward any period of limitation. . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2).

         Where a criminal defendant receives a new sentence, that judgment permits him to file a new application to attack the sentence and/or the conviction. King v. Morgan, 807 F.3d 154, 158 (6th Cir. 2015 (quoting Magwood v. Patterson, 561 U.S. 320, 338 (2010)). Thus, the statute of limitations clock begins to run anew when the amended judgment becomes final. Id. at 157.

         As set forth above, on August 3, 2009, the Criminal Court for Sumner County entered amended judgments regarding Petitioner's sentence [Doc. 12-1]. Nothing in the record suggests that Petitioner appealed or otherwise filed any post-judgment motions regarding these amended judgments. As such, the amended judgments became final on September 2, 2009, thirty days after their entry. State v. Peele, 58 S.W.3d 701, 704 (Tenn. 2001) (holding that “[a] trial court's judgment ...


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