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Eugene H. Martinez v. A. Hedgpeth

March 29, 2012

EUGENE H. MARTINEZ, PETITIONER,
v.
A. HEDGPETH, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REGARDING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE PETITION AS UNTIMELY [Doc. 11]

Petitioner is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), the parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge. Local Rule 305(b).

BACKGROUND Petitioner was convicted in the Madera County Superior Court of assault with a deadly weapon and a number of sentencing enhancements were found true. On August 27, 2007, Petitioner was sentenced to a determinate state prison term of fourteen years.

On December 19, 2008, the California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, issued its opinion striking the one-year enhancement, ordered the superior court to amend the abstract of judgment, and affirmed the judgment in all other respects.

The California Supreme Court denied review on February 25, 2009.

Petitioner did not file any state post-conviction collateral petitions challenging the pertinent judgment.

Petitioner filed the initial federal petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Untied States District Court for the Central District of California on September 2, 2011. The petition was subsequently transferred to this Court and filed on September 30, 2011.

Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition on November 15, 2011. After receiving an extension of time, Petitioner filed an opposition on January 24, 2012. Respondent filed a reply on March 7, 2012.

DISCUSSION

I. Procedural Grounds for Motion to Dismiss Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district court to dismiss a petition if it "plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court . . . ." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

The Ninth Circuit has allowed respondents to file a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer if the motion attacks the pleadings for failing to exhaust state remedies or being in violation of the state's procedural rules. See e.g., O'Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d 418, 420 (9th Cir. 1990) (using Rule 4 to evaluate motion to dismiss petition for failure to exhaust state remedies); White v. Lewis, 874 F.2d 599, 602-03 (9th Cir. 1989) (using Rule 4 as procedural grounds to review motion to dismiss for state procedural default); Hillery v. Pulley, 533 F.Supp. 1189, 1194 & n.12 (E.D. Cal. 1982) (same). Thus, a respondent can file a motion to dismiss after the court orders a response, and the Court should use Rule 4 standards to review the motion. See Hillery, 533 F. Supp. at 1194 & n. 12.

In this case, Respondent's motion to dismiss is based on a violation of 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(1)'s one-year limitations period. Therefore, the Court will review Respondent's motion to dismiss pursuant to its authority under Rule 4.

B. Limitation Period for Filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus On April 24, 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act

of 1996 (AEDPA). The AEDPA imposes various requirements on all petitions for writ of habeas corpus filed after the date of its enactment. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 117 S.Ct. 2059, 2063 (1997); Jeffries v. Wood, 114 F.3d 1484, 1499 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc), cert. denied, 118 S.Ct. 586 (1997). The instant petition was filed on September 2, 2011, and thus, it is subject to the provisions of the AEDPA.

The AEDPA imposes a one year period of limitation on petitioners seeking to file a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). As amended, Section 2244, subdivision (d) reads:

(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 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 ...


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