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Scott v. Thomas

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

March 23, 2015

JANALDO TERRELL SCOTT, #208 278, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN WILLIE THOMAS, et al., Respondents.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

TERRY F. MOORER, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This cause is before the court on a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition for habeas corpus relief filed by Petitioner, Janaldo Scott, on March 7, 2012.[1] Petitioner challenges his conviction for murder, pursuant to his plea of guilty, entered against him by the Circuit Court for Butler County, Alabama, on January 24, 2006. Petitioner is serving a sentence of life imprisonment. Petitioner did not appeal his guilty plea or sentence. Doc. No. 15, Exhs. A1, A2, B1, B2.

Petitioner presents the following claims in his petition:

1. His guilty plea was coerced.

2. Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel (trial counsel failed to properly advise Petitioner, failed to properly prepare a defense, failed to investigate, and represented Petitioner despite Petitioner's request to the trial court for replacement counsel).

3. The trial court lacked jurisdiction to render judgment or impose sentence. Doc. No. 4.

Pursuant to the orders of this court, Respondents filed an answer in which they argue that the instant habeas petition is barred by the one-year limitation period applicable to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petitions. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Respondents contend that because Petitioner's conviction became final in 2006 - after the effective date of the statute of limitations - he must have filed his § 2254 petition within a year of this conviction becoming final, exclusive of the time that any properly filed state post-conviction petition was pending in the state courts. Respondents acknowledge that Petitioner filed a Rule 32 petition with the trial court in February 2007. They maintain, however, that even allowing a tolling of the limitation period during the pendency of this Rule 32 petition, the limitation period expired prior to Petitioner filing the present federal habeas petition. Doc. No. 15, at 4-6. See also Webster v. Moore, 199 F.3d 1256, 1259 (11th Cir.); Tinker v. Moore, 255 F.3d 1331, 1333-1335. n.4 (11th Cir. 2001).

Based on Respondents' answer, the court entered an order advising Petitioner he had failed to file his federal habeas petition within the one-year limitation period established by 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d)(1). Doc. No. 16. The order also gave Petitioner an opportunity to show cause why his petition should not be barred from review by this court. Id. Petitioner filed no response. Upon review of the pleadings filed by the parties and applicable federal law, the court concludes that Petitioner's § 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus relief is due to be denied as it was not filed within the requisite one-year period of limitations.

II. DISCUSSION

A. The Federal Period of Limitation

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was signed into law on April 24, 1996 and amended the habeas corpus statute to include a one-year period of limitation on petitions filed under 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 ...

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