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Williams v. J. Gastelo

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 23, 2019

DETRAIL WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
J. GASTELO, Warden, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS

          Sheri PYM United States Magistrate Judge

         I.

         INTRODUCTION

         On December 7, 2018, petitioner constructively filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (“Petition”).[1] Petitioner seeks to challenge his 2016 convictions for assault and battery on a peace officer in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

         On February 28, 2019, respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss the Petition, asserting the claims are barred by the one-year statute of limitations set forth in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). For the reasons discussed below, the court finds the Petition is untimely. As such, the court grants the Motion to Dismiss.

         II.

         PROCEEDINGS

         On June 8, 2016, petitioner pled nolo contendre to assault upon a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code § 245(c)) and battery against a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code § 243(c)(2)), and admitted he inflicted great bodily injury in the commission of these offenses (Cal. Penal Code § 12022.7(a)). LD 1 at 30-31; LD 4 at 3-4; LD 7. Petitioner also admitted to three prior convictions that qualified as serious and/or violent felonies and strikes under California’s Three Strikes Law. See LD 1 at 31; LD 4 at 4-5. At the September 22, 2016 sentencing hearing, the trial court struck two of the three strikes and sentenced petitioner to 21 years in prison. LD 1 at 33-34; LD 7.

         Petitioner did not appeal his conviction or sentence. Petition at 2. Petitioner apparently tried to file a notice of appeal a few weeks after his sentencing, but it was not filed because there was no certificate of probable cause. LD 1 at 35. Petitioner then requested a certificate of probable cause, but the Superior Court denied that request on November 30, 2016. Id.

         Petitioner constructively filed a habeas petition in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on July 5, 2017. LD 8. Petitioner presented two sentencing error claims: (1) petitioner’s sentence was illegally enhanced; and (2) petitioner was given multiple sentences for a single criminal act. Id. On July 31, 2017, the Superior Court denied the habeas petition. LD 1 at 36-37.

         Petitioner constructively filed a Motion for Reconsideration in the Superior Court on September 21, 2017, but attached a habeas petition signed on July 6, 2017. See LD 9. The July 6, 2017 habeas petition raised a different second sentencing error claim – that petitioner’s sentence was disproportionate to other sentences for the same conduct – than the one constructively filed on July 5, 2017. See id. at 7. Construing the motion for reconsideration as a new habeas petition, the Superior Court denied it on October 4, 2017. See LD 10.

         On December 7, 2017, petitioner filed a notice of appeal. LD 1 at 39. The Superior Court denied the appeal as untimely. Id.

         On January 31, 2018, petitioner constructively filed a habeas petition in the California Court of Appeal. LD at 11. Petitioner argued: (1) he was unable to filed a timely notice of appeal due to mental illness; and (2) he received ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to investigate. Id. The Court of Appeal summarily denied the habeas petition on March 14, 2018. LD 12.

         Petitioner constructively filed a habeas petition in the California Supreme Court on May 23, 2018. LD 13. Petitioner raised the same two grounds presented to the Court of Appeal, and also argued he received an illegal sentence. See id. at 3-12. The California Supreme Court summarily denied the habeas petition on September 26, 2018. LD 14.

         Petitioner constructively filed the instant federal Petition on December 7, 2018.

         III.

         DISCUSSION

         A. The Petition Is Time-Barred Under AEDPA’s One-Year ...


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