United States District Court, E.D. California
MICHAEL B. PRYOR, Petitioner,
KENDALL J. NEWMAN, Magistrate Judge.
Petitioner is a former state prisoner, proceeding without counsel and in forma pauperis. Petitioner filed an application for petition of writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Both parties consented to proceed before the undersigned for all purposes. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court is respondent's motion to dismiss the habeas petition as barred by the statute of limitations. For the reasons set forth below, respondent's motion should be granted.
II. Legal Standards
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district court to dismiss a petition if it "plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court...." Id . The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has referred to a respondent's motion to dismiss as a request for the court to dismiss under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases. See, e.g., O'Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d 418, 420 (1991). Accordingly, the court will review respondent's motion to dismiss pursuant to its authority under Rule 4.
On April 24, 1996, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") was enacted. Section 2244(d)(1) of Title 8 of the United States Code provides:
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 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.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Section 2244(d)(2) provides that "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" the limitations period. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2).
Section 2244(d)(2) provides that "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" the limitations period. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). Generally, this means that the statute of limitations is tolled during the time after a state habeas petition has been filed, but before a decision has been rendered. Nedds v. Calderon, 678 F.3d 777, 780 (9th Cir. 2012). However, "a California habeas petitioner who unreasonably delays in filing a state habeas petition is not entitled to the benefit of statutory tolling during the gap or interval preceding the filing." Id. at 781 (citing Carey v. Saffold, 536 U.S. 214, 225-27 (2002)).
Furthermore, the AEDPA "statute of limitations is not tolled from the time a final decision is issued on direct state appeal and the time the first state collateral challenge is filed because there is no case pending' during that interval." Nino v. Galaza, 183 F.3d 1003, 1006 (9th Cir. 1999), overruled on other grounds by Carey, 536 U.S. at 214. Thus, "[t]he period between a California lower court's denial of review and the filing of an original petition in a higher court is tolled - because it is part of a single round of habeas relief - so long as the filing is timely under California law." Banjo v. Ayers, 614 F.3d 964, 968 (9th Cir. 2010). However, when, as here, a petitioner has filed multiple state habeas petitions, "[o]nly the time period during which a round of habeas review is pending tolls the statute of limitation; periods between different rounds of collateral attack are not tolled." Banjo, 614 F.3d at 968 (citation omitted).
Generally, a gap of 30 to 60 days between state petitions is considered a "reasonable time" during which the statute of limitations is tolled, but six months is not reasonable. Evans v. Chavis, 546 U.S. 189, 210 (2006) (using 30 to 60 days as general measurement for reasonableness based on other states' rules governing time to appeal to the state supreme court); Carey, 536 U.S. at 219 (same); Waldrip v. Hall, 548 F.3d 729, 731 (9th Cir. 2008) (finding that six months between successive filings was not a "reasonable time").
State habeas petitions filed after the one-year statute of limitations has expired do not revive the statute of limitations and have no tolling effect. Ferguson v. Palmateer, 321 F.3d 820, 823 (9th Cir. 2003) ("section 2244(d) does not permit the reinitiation of the limitations period that has ended before the state petition was filed"); Jiminez v. Rice, 276 F.3d 478, 482 (9th Cir. 2001).
For purposes of the statute of limitations analysis, the relevant chronology of this case is as follows:
1. On April 5, 2011, a jury convicted petitioner of cultivation, possession, and transportation of marijuana. (Respondent's Lodged Document ("LD") 1.)
2. Petitioner was sentenced to a state prison term of nine years. (LD 1.)
3. Petitioner filed an appeal, and on August 28, 2012, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, affirmed the conviction. (LD 1.)
4. Petitioner filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court, and on October 31, 2012, the petition was ...