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United States ex rel Barfield v. Riker

August 4, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. WILLIAM BARFIELD, PETITIONER,
v.
LEE RIKER,*FN1 RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blanche M. Manning United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Petitioner William Barfield's pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and the respondent's motion to dismiss the petition as time-barred are before the court. For the following reasons, the court finds that Barfield's petition is untimely and thus grants the respondent's motion to dismiss.

I. Background

Petitioner William Barfield, prisoner number B05140, is currently in the custody of Warden Lee Ryker at the Lawrence Correctional Center in Sumner, Illinois. This case arises from the 1993 shooting death of Carlton McDaniel. See People v. Barfield, No. 1-99-2010 (1st Dist. 2001) (unpublished order). Barfield was arrested in California in connection with McDaniel's death four years later, and at trial, "[t]he arresting officer testified that [Barfield] denied killing any other person 'but that one.'" Id. at 2.

A. Direct Proceedings

After a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Barfield was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to a term of thirty-six years of imprisonment. Barfield appealed, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment, and on October 3, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court denied Barfield's petition for leave to appeal ("PLA"). See People v. Barfield, 196 Ill.2d 548 (Ill. 2001). Barfield does not appear to have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

B. First State Post-Conviction Petition

On April 24, 2002, Barfield signed his first pro se state post-conviction petition pursuant to 725 ILCS § 5/122-1, et seq. This document was filed on May 2, 2002, and on June 11, 2002, the circuit court dismissed that petition as untimely, meritless, and frivolous. Barfield filed a motion to reconsider the dismissal order and for leave for his newly retained counsel to file an appearance. On January 27, 2003, while that motion was pending, Barfield's new attorney filed an amended post-conviction petition. On March 4, 2003, the circuit court issued an order considering Barfield's arguments and again dismissing his petition. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed on March 22, 2005.*fn2

The parties' filings contain inconsistent information about whether Barfield filed a PLA in connection with his state post-conviction petition. The Illinois Supreme Court's records do not reflect that he did so. It is possible to read an ambiguous statement in Barfield's petition as an assertion that he filed a PLA which was denied on May 19, 2005. Given that Barfield also asserts that the Illinois Appellate Court issued its decision on May 19, 2005, it is difficult to envision how -- if this was true -- the Illinois Supreme Court could have also denied a PLA on this same date. However, Barfield helpfully clarifies this point in his answer by noting that he did not file a PLA because his attorney allegedly failed to mail him the appellate court's decision in a timely manner. Response at numbered page 5, Docket No. 17 at CM/ECF page 9.*fn3

C. Second State Post-Conviction Petition

Next, Barfield filed a motion requesting leave to file a second post-conviction petition. The copy of the petition provided by the respondent is not date stamped. The respondent asserts that Barfield filed his motion on January 9, 2006, while Barfield contends that he filed it on February 7, 2006. The parties agree that the circuit court denied relief on February 22, 2006.

On June 28, 2006, Barfield mailed a late notice of appeal and moved for appointment of appellate counsel. The Illinois Appellate Court granted the motion and appointed counsel. Counsel then moved to withdraw. On March 28, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the circuit court's denial of Barfield's motion to file a second state post-conviction petition and allowed counsel to withdraw. Barfield sought a PLA, which was denied on September 24, 2008. See People v. Barfield, 229 Ill.2d 631 (Ill. 2008). Barfield does not appear to have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

D. Federal Habeas Petition

On February 10, 2009, Barfield's habeas petition, as well as his motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and for appointment of counsel, were filed. The petition is undated, the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is dated April 15, 2008, the trust fund affidavit from Barfield's place of incarceration is dated January 20, 2009, and his motion for appointment of counsel is dated January 8, 2009. Barfield's filings do not indicate when he gave them to prison officials for mailing or that he prepaid first-class postage. See Rule 3(d) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the ...


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