United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SUSAN RUSS WALKER, Chief Magistrate Judge.
I. INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This case is before the court on a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition for habeas corpus relief filed by Stanford Louis Collins ["Collins"], a state inmate, on May 15, 2012. In this petition, Collins challenges the constitutionality of his incarceration pursuant to the revocation of his parole on December 8, 2008.
The respondents have filed answers in which they argue that this federal habeas petition is barred by the one-year period of limitations applicable to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The respondents maintain that in a habeas action addressing decisions by a parole board "the limitations period begins to run on... 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)(D)." Respondents' Supplemental Answer - Doc. No. 18 at 1; Hawes v. Howerton, 335 Fed.Appx. 882, 884 (11th Cir. 2009) ("When as here, the petitioner is challenging a parole board decision, the limitations period begins to run on the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence'"); Brown v. Barrow, 512 F.3d 1304, 1307 (11th Cir. 2008) (holding that subsection (D), not subsection (A), of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), is the applicable subsection for computing the limitations period in habeas actions challenging parole revocation decisions). "[S]ince Alabama... does not have a direct appeal procedure through which [an inmate] could challenge the decision of the Parole Board, " the parole revocation decision became final on the date Collins' parole was revoked, December 8, 2008, as this is the date the factual predicate arose and the one-year limitations period therefore began to run for purposes of federal habeas review on the date of revocation. Ray v. Mitchem, 272 Fed.Appx. 807, 810 (11th Cir. 2008). In light of the foregoing, Collins must have filed his § 2254 petition within a year of the revocation of parole.
The respondents acknowledge that Collins filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the state trial court, the avenue of relief provided an Alabama prisoner to challenge the Parole Board's decision to revoke parole, on September 19, 2011. However, the respondents assert that the petition for writ of certiorari failed to toll the federal period of limitations because the petition was filed after expiration of the one-year limitations period and was therefore not "pending" as required by the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2) for purposes of tolling the requisite time period. Respondents' Supplemental Answer - Doc. No. 18 at 2-3; Hawes, 335 Fed.Appx. at 884 (A state habeas petition challenging parole revocation did not toll the federal limitations period "[b]ecause the one-year limitations period already had expired...."); Ray, 272 Fed.Appx. at 810 (state petition for writ of certiorari filed after expiration of limitations period could not toll limitations period where "there was no time left to be tolled" at the time of filing); Webster v. Moore, 199 F.3d 1256, 1259 (11th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 991, 121 S.Ct. 481, 148 L.Ed.2d 454 (2000) ("[E]ven properly filed' state-court petitions must be pending' [during the one-year period of limitations] in order to toll the limitations period. A state court petition... that is filed following the expiration of the limitations period cannot toll that period because there is no period remaining to be tolled."); Moore v. Crosby, 321 F.3d 1377, 1381 (11th Cir. 2003) ("While a properly filed' application for post-conviction relief tolls the statute of limitations, it does not reset or restart the statute of limitations once the limitations period has expired. In other words, the tolling provision does not operate to revive the one-year limitations period if such period has expired."); Tinker v. Moore, 255 F.3d 1331, 1335 n.4 (11th Cir. 2001) ("[A] properly filed petition in state court only tolls the time remaining within the federal limitation period."). Thus, Collins is not entitled to statutory tolling of the limitations period.
Absent equitable tolling, the record demonstrates that Collins filed his federal habeas petition after expiration of § 2244's one-year period of limitations. The court therefore entered an order advising Collins that he failed to file his federal habeas petition within the one-year limitations period established by 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d)(1). Order of June 20, 2012 - Doc. No. 13. This order also provided Collins an opportunity to show cause why his habeas petition should not be barred from review by this court as untimely filed.
In response to this order, Collins references the doctrine of equitable tolling and also argues that the federal period of limitations does not apply to habeas petitions which challenge the revocation of parole, as this decision is one issued by an administrative agency rather than imposed by a state court. Petitioner's Response - Doc. No. 14 at 2. This latter argument is foreclosed by well-settled federal law which establishes that habeas actions challenging decisions of a parole authority are subject to the one-year period of limitations set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Peoples v. Chatman, 393 Fed.Appx. 1352, 1353 (11th Cir. 2009) (federal habeas petition challenging parole revocation, regardless of whether filed under § 2241 or § 2254, is subject to "the one-year statute of limitations set out in § 2244(d)."); Van Zant v. Florida Parole Commission, 308 Fed.Appx. 332, 334 (11th Cir. 2009) ("Although the revocation of [Petitioner's] parole is an administrative action, it is considered to be pursuant to a judgment of a state court, properly governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and 28 U.S.C. § 2254, subject to the one year statute of limitations found in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)."); Hawes, 335 Fed.Appx. at 884 (applying one-year statute of limitations to bar § 2254 habeas petition attacking parole revocation); Ray, 272 Fed.Appx. at 809-810 (holding that Alabama inmate's § 2254 habeas petition challenging Parole Board's decision to revoke parole was barred by the one-year period of limitations contained in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)). Consequently, contrary to Collins' assertion, the instant habeas petition is properly subject to the federal limitations period.
Upon review of the pleadings filed by the parties, the undisputed state court record and applicable federal law, the court determines that no evidentiary hearing is required, Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in United States District Courts, and concludes that the present habeas petition is due to be denied, as Collins failed to file the petition within the applicable one-year period of limitations.
The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 became effective on April 24, 1996 and amended the habeas corpus statute to include a one-year period of limitations on petitions filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This limitation period is codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) and provides that:
(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 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 ...