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United States ex rel Reynolds v. Davis

October 22, 2010

UNITED STATES EX REL. SEAN REYNOLDS (#R19688), PETITIONER,
v.
RANDY DAVIS, WARDEN, PICKNEYVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve, District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On June 21, 2010, pro se Petitioner Sean Reynolds filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Before the Court is Respondent's motion to dismiss Reynolds' habeas petition as untimely. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). For the following reasons, the Court grants Respondent's motion and dismisses Reynolds' habeas petition as time-barred. The Court also denies Reynolds' motion to strike pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f).*fn1 Finally, the Court declines to certify any issues for appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).

BACKGROUND

Petitioner Sean Reynolds is in the custody of Respondent Randy Davis, Warden of the Pinckneyville Correctional Center in Pinckneyville, Illinois. On November 9, 1998, after a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Reynolds was convicted of first degree murder in Cook County Case No. 96 CR 14374 and the trial court sentenced him to fifty years imprisonment. Reynolds appealed his judgment of conviction, and on May 14, 2001, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Reynolds' conviction and sentence. Reynolds did not file a petition for leave to appeal ("PLA") in the Supreme Court of Illinois. In addition, Reynolds did not file a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

From May 15, 2001 until March 4, 2003, nothing was pending in connection with Cook County Case No. 96 CR 14374 in the Illinois courts. On March 4, 2003, Reynolds filed a post-conviction petition pursuant to the Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing Act, 725 ILCS 5/122-1, et seq., in the Circuit Court of Cook County. On August 22, 2007, the Circuit Court of Cook County orally dismissed the post-conviction petition finding that it was untimely and patently without merit. See 725 ILCS 5/122-1(a)(2). Reynolds appealed, and on May 8, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the Circuit Court's dismissal. Reynolds then filed a PLA to the Supreme Court of Illinois, which the Supreme Court of Illinois denied on September 30, 2009. Also, Reynolds did not file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

On June 21, 2010, Reynolds filed the present petition for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Construing Reynolds' pro se petition liberally, see McGee v. Bartow, 593 F.3d 556, 565-66 (7th Cir. 2010), he raises the following claims: (1) his counsel on direct appeal rendered constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to argue that trial counsel did not object to Illinois Criminal Pattern Jury Instruction 3.15; (2) his post-conviction counsel was ineffective during his post-conviction proceedings in the Circuit Court of Cook County; (3) he was denied access to the post-conviction Illinois Appellate Court; and (4) his post-conviction appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel when counsel failed to object to the State's post-conviction appellate brief.

LEGAL STANDARD

A habeas petitioner has one year from the time at which his state court judgment became final to file a habeas petition in federal court. See Martinez v. Jones, 556 F.3d 637, 638 (7th Cir. 2009). This one year limitations period runs 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.

28 U.S.C. ยง 2244(d)(1)(A)-(D). The one year limitations period is tolled while properly filed post-conviction petitions are pending in the Illinois courts. See Ray v. Boatwright, 592 F.3d ...


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