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Tyes v. McEwen

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

May 1, 2013

ARTHUR EUGENE TYES, Petitioner,
v.
L.S. McEWEN, Warden, Respondent.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

DALE A. DROZD, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On November 30, 2012, respondent filed the pending motion 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 an opposition to the motion. Respondent has not filed a reply.

BACKGROUND

On December 22, 1993, a Sacramento County Superior Court jury found petitioner guilty of first-degree murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. On January 28, 1994, judgment was entered and petitioner was sentenced to thirty years to life in state prison. On January 4, 1995, the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District affirmed the judgment of conviction. On March 15, 1995, the California Supreme Court denied review. (Resp't's Lodged Docs. 1-4.)

Thereafter, petitioner filed five pro se petitions for a writ of habeas corpus challenging his judgment of conviction in state court. Applying the mailbox rule, [1] on August 26, 2003, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Sacramento County Superior Court, which the court denied on September 24, 2003. On July 1, 2004, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Supreme Court, which the court denied on June 15, 2005. On May 2, 2011, petitioner filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Sacramento County Superior Court, which the court denied on December 27, 2011. On January 19, 2012, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the California Court of Appeal, which the court denied on February 2, 2012. Finally, on February 9, 2012, petitioner filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus with the California Supreme Court, which the court denied on May 16, 2012. (Resp't's Lodged Docs. 5-14.)

On June 20, 2012, petitioner commenced this action by filing a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus.

RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

I. Respondent's Motion

Respondent moves to dismiss the pending federal habeas petition, arguing that it is time-barred. Specifically, respondent argues that on March 15, 1995, the California Supreme Court denied petitioner's petition for review, causing his judgment of conviction to become "final" on June 13, 1995, after the time for filing a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court expired. Respondent argues that, because petitioner's conviction predated AEDPA, he therefore had until April 24, 1997, to file his federal habeas petition. However, petitioner did not file his habeas petition in this action until June 20, 2012. (Resp't's Mot. to Dismiss at 3.)

Respondent acknowledges that the proper filing of a state post-conviction application challenging a judgment of conviction tolls the AEDPA's one-year statute of limitations period. However, petitioner did not file his first state habeas petition until after the statute of limitations for the filing of a federal petition had expired. Respondent contends that petitioner's habeas filings in state court after the AEDPA statute of limitations had already expired cannot serve to restart the clock at zero or otherwise save a claim for federal habeas relief from being time barred. (Resp't's Mot. to Dismiss at 4-5.)

II. Petitioner's Opposition

In his opposition to respondent's motion to dismiss, petitioner acknowledges that his petition was untimely filed but argues that court should equitably toll the AEDPA statute of limitations for seeking federal habeas relief in this case because he suffers from a mental health condition and has been taking psychiatric and/or psychotropic medication that prevented him from timely filing his federal habeas petition. Petitioner contends that other inmates prepared the habeas petitions he filed in state court, but those inmates were not familiar with § 2254 petitions and could not assist him in seeking federal habeas relief. Upon his transfer to CSP-Los Angeles County, petitioner contends that he met a fellow inmate who could prepare the pending federal habeas petition for him. (Pet'r's Opp'n to Resp't's Mot. to Dismiss at 1-3.)

ANALYSIS

I. The AEDPA Statute of Limitations

On April 24, 1996, Congress enacted AEDPA which amended 28 U.S.C. § 2244 by adding ...


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