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United States ex rel Carr v. Chandler

May 7, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. DALLAS CARR, PETITIONER,
v.
NEDRA CHANDLER, WARDEN, DIXON CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter comes before the court on the motion of Respondent Nedra Chandler to dismiss the petition for habeas corpus of Petitioner Dallas Carr. According to Chandler, the petition is time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1) and therefore should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted and the petition is dismissed.

BACKGROUND

On June 9, 1998, Carr pled guilty to two counts of first degree murder and one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault before a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. He was sentenced to life in prison. About two weeks after his sentencing, Carr filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea, alleging that his trial attorney had promised that he would only be sentenced to a year in prison if he pled guilty to the charges. The court appointed counsel to represent Carr on that motion, which was amended and primarily asserted that Carr had not been competent to plead guilty and that the trial court failed to make proper inquiries into Carr's mental health before accepting his plea of guilty. On July 22, 1999, Carr abandoned his efforts to withdraw the guilty plea and did not appeal his conviction or sentence.

Six and a half years went by with no further action by Carr. Then, on January 6, 2006, he filed a post-conviction petition in the state court, alleging that his trial counsel had provided ineffective assistance and that he was therefore entitled to relief from his sentence. The court summarily dismissed the petition, and Carr again did not appeal the decision. On March 16, 2006, Carr filed a second post-conviction petition, which consisted of nothing more than a photocopy of his January 6 submission. The petition was again dismissed; this time Carr decided to appeal, and counsel was appointed to represent him in that proceeding. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision, and Carr filed a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, which was denied on September 24, 2008. Carr's subsequent petition for certiorari was denied by the United States Supreme Court on March 23, 2009.

The instant petition for habeas corpus was filed September 1, 2009. Chandler now moves to dismiss the petition on grounds that it was not filed within the 1 year period permitted by 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).

LEGAL STANDARD

District courts are empowered by 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to entertain writs of habeas corpus on behalf of state prisoners on the ground that they are imprisoned in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. Review by federal courts is appropriate only when a prisoner has exhausted his options to challenge his conviction in the state courts, and guidelines for determining the finality of a state court judgment and the availability of federal review are supplied by 28 U.S.C. § 2244. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 added section (d) to § 2244, providing a one-year statute of limitations on the filing of habeas petitions that begins running 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 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.

With these principles in mind, we turn to ...


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