United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
REGGIE C. JAMES, Petitioner,
GEORGIA CROWELL, Respondent.
ORDER DISMISSING § 2254 AMENDED PETITION,
DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND DENYING LEAVE TO
APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
DANIEL BREEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
April 2017, Petitioner, Reggie C. James, filed a pro
se habeas corpus petition (the “Petition”),
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Docket Entry
(“D.E.”) 1.) In compliance with the Court's
order of September 20, 2017, (D.E. 12), he refiled his claims
on the Court's official form (the “Amended
Petition”), (D.E. 13). Respondent, Georgia Crowell, has
moved to dismiss the Amended Petition as untimely. (D.E. 22.)
For the reasons that follow the motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
January 2007, a Madison County, Tennessee, jury convicted
James of first degree murder and tampering with evidence.
(D.E. 21-1 at PageID 190-91.) The trial court imposed an
effective sentence of life imprisonment plus ten years.
(Id.) On direct appeal, the Tennessee Court of
Criminal Appeals affirmed the judgments, and the Tennessee
Supreme Court declined discretionary review. See State v.
James, No.W2007-00775-CCA-R3-CD, 2009 WL 636726, at *1
(Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 10, 2009), perm. appeal
denied (Tenn. Aug. 17, 2009).
April 21, 2010, Petitioner submitted a pro se
post-conviction petition to prison authorities for mailing.
(D.E. No. 21-15 at PageID 993, 1027.) The state trial court
held an evidentiary hearing and denied relief on January 31,
2012. (Id. at PageID 1057-58.) Several years later,
Petitioner filed a notice of appeal, and the Tennessee Court
of Criminal Appeals dismissed the appeal as untimely.
James v. State, No. W2015-01640-CCA-R3-PC, 2016 WL
1055365, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 16, 2016), perm.
appeal denied (Tenn. June 24, 2016). The Tennessee
Supreme Court declined discretionary review on June 24, 2016.
April 11, 2017, Petitioner submitted his Petition to prison
authorities for mailing to this Court. (D.E. 1 at PageID 32.)
On preliminary review, the Court ordered him to show cause
why the Amended Petition should not be dismissed as untimely.
(D.E. 14.) The inmate filed a response to the show-cause
order, asserting that he is entitled to equitable tolling of
the limitations period. (D.E. 15.) The Court ordered
Respondent to respond to Amended Petition, (D.E. 16), which
she did by submitting a motion to dismiss, (D.E. 22). She
argues that the Petition was filed well beyond the expiration
of the applicable limitations period and that the inmate has
not established entitlement to equitable tolling. Petitioner
did not file a reply, although allowed to do so.
(See D.E. 16 at PageID 112.)
§ 2254 petition is subject to a one-year statute of
limitations. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The limitations
period begins to run from the latest of four possible dates:
(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
retroactively applicable to cases on collateral 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.
case, § 2244(d)(1)(A) applies, which means that James
had one year from the date on which his judgment of
conviction became final to file a federal habeas petition.
Taking into account statutory tolling under 28 U.S.C. §