Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sulton v. Trancoso

March 30, 2009

KARLA SULTON, PETITIONER,
v.
CAROLYN TRANCOSO, WARDEN, LINCOLN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Respondent Carolyn Trancoso's motion to dismiss Petitioner Karla Sulton's petition for habeas corpus [14] on the ground that the petition is time barred under the one year statute of limitations that applies to federal habeas corpus petitions under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"). For the reasons stated below, Respondent's motion [14] is granted.

I. Background

On July 13, 2001, Petitioner was sentenced to twelve years in prison after being found guilty of aggravated kidnapping with a bludgeon in the Circuit Court of Cook County. She is now in the custody of Respondent, the Warden of the Lincoln Correctional Center in Lincoln, Illinois.

On June 27, 2003, the Illinois Appellate Court, on direct appeal, affirmed Petitioner's conviction. Petitioner declined to file a petition for leave to appeal (PLA) in the Illinois Supreme Court. On February 8, 2006, Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court of Cook County.*fn1 The Circuit Court dismissed the post-conviction petition on February 27, 2006, and Petitioner appealed. Her counsel moved to withdraw pursuant to Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551 (1987) (right to appointed counsel extends only to first appeal of right, and since a defendant has no federal constitutional right to counsel when pursuing a discretionary appeal on direct review of his conviction, she has no such right when attacking, in post-conviction proceedings, a conviction that has become final upon exhaustion of the appellate process). The Appellate Court granted the motion to withdraw and affirmed the judgment on September 14, 2007. On November 29, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court denied a petition for leave to appeal.

On April 22, 2008, Petitioner filed her petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner raises four substantive issues: (i) the jury's split verdicts denied her due process; (ii) her appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to communicate with her; (iii) the trial judge erred in not admitting evidence of letters to Petitioner from her co-defendant; and (iv) she was denied a copy of her trial transcripts with which to work on her post-conviction petition.

II. Analysis

It is undisputed that Petitioner has no further state court avenues of review, and thus she has exhausted her available state remedies as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). The question raised in Respondent's motion is whether the petition should be dismissed as untimely under the one year statute of limitations for Section 2254 petitions set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Section 2244(d)(1) states:

A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to a judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of ---

(A) the date on which 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. ยง 2244(d)(1). Recently, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that where, as here, a "federal prisoner chooses not to seek direct review" in the Supreme Court, "the conviction becomes final when 'the time for filing a certiorari ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.