Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Zaragoza v. Sullivan

April 16, 2009

ENRIQUE ZARAGOZA, PETITIONER,
v.
W.J. SULLIVAN, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On October 6, 2008, the undersigned ordered respondent to file and serve a response to the petition. On December 19, 2008, respondent moved to dismiss, arguing that petitioner's habeas petition is time-barred under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Petitioner has filed a timely opposition to respondent's motion to dismiss, and respondent has filed a reply.

BACKGROUND

On December 1, 1993, in the Sacramento County Superior Court, petitioner entered a plea of guilty to one count of aggravated assault and one count of being a prisoner in possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to five years in state prison and did not appeal his conviction. (Resp't's Lodged Doc. 1.) However, petitioner did file three state habeas petitions challenging his conviction. On October 1, 2006, he filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Sacramento County Superior Court. which was denied on December 21, 2006. (Id., Doc. 2, 3.) On January 8, 2007, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Court of Appeal which was denied on January 25, 2007. (Id., Doc. 4, 5.) On March 21, 2007, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Supreme Court. (Id., Doc. 6.) On August 8, 2007, the California Supreme Court denied the petition. (Id., Doc. 7.) On February 27, 2008, petitioner commenced this action by filing a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus. On September 22, 2008, petitioner filed an amended petition.

RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

Respondent moves to dismiss arguing that petitioner's federal habeas petition is time-barred. Specifically, respondent argues that petitioner's conviction became final on January 30, 1994. Accordingly, for purposes of federal habeas relief, respondent argues that the one-year statute of limitations began to run on April 25, 1996, the day after AEDPA's enactment, and expired one year later on April 24, 1997. (Resp't's Mot. to Dismiss at 4.)

Respondent acknowledges that the proper filing of a state post-conviction application with respect to the challenged conviction tolls the AEDPA statute of limitations period. However, respondent contends that petitioner did not file any state post-conviction actions within the one-year limitations period. Accordingly, respondent concludes that petitioner is not entitled to statutory tolling and that petitioner's federal habeas petition is untimely by more than ten years. (Resp't's Mot. to Dismiss at 4-5.)

PETITIONER'S OPPOSITION

Petitioner has filed an opposition to respondent's motion to dismiss arguing that he could not bring his petition earlier because of his lack of education and his poverty. Petitioner contends that he is incompetent and that his case displays the rare circumstances in which AEDPA should not bar a late filing. (Pet'r's Opp'n to Resp't's Mot. to Dismiss at 4-8.)

RESPONDENT'S REPLY

In reply, respondent argues that petitioner is not entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. Specifically, respondent contends that petitioner has not pursued his claims diligently, noting that he filed his first state habeas petition more than nine years after the statute of limitations for filing a federal petition had expired. Moreover, respondent contends that lack of education, lack of knowledge of the legal system, and poverty are not extraordinary circumstances warranting the equitable tolling of the AEDPA statute of limitations. Accordingly, respondent reiterates that petitioner's federal habeas petition is untimely and should be dismissed. (Resp't's Reply at 3-4.)

ANALYSIS

I. The AEDPA Statute of Limitations

On April 24, 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"). AEDPA amended 28 U.S.C. § 2244 by adding the following provision:

(d) (1) 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.