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Michael L. Lightfoot v. Marcus Hardy

June 24, 2011

MICHAEL L. LIGHTFOOT, PETITIONER,
v.
MARCUS HARDY, WARDEN, STATEVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge

E-FILED Friday, 24 June, 2011 01:41:34 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

On October 1, 2010, Petitioner, Michael L. Lightfoot, filed a habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (#1). The Petitioner alleges that his constitutional right to effective counsel was violated because his trial and appellate counsel were both ineffective. The Respondent contends that the Petitioner's motion should be dismissed as time barred because it was filed more than one year after his conviction and sentence became final (#11).

This court has carefully reviewed the record in this case and the arguments of the parties. Following this careful and thorough review, this court agrees with the Respondent that the Petitioner's Section 2254 petition is time barred. Therefore, Petitioner's Petition (#1) is dismissed and the Respondent's Motion to Dismiss (#11) is granted.

FACTS

On December 10, 2004, a jury convicted the Petitioner, Michael L. Lightfoot, of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony under 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 570/407(b)(1) (West 2002) because the offense took place within 1,000 feet of a public park. The trial court sentenced Petitioner to amandatory natural life sentence finding him to be a habitual criminal pursuant to 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/33B-1(a) (West 2002). Petitioner appealed, and on December 8, 2006, the state appellate court affirmed. Petitioner filed a Petition for Leave to Appeal ("PLA") that the Illinois Supreme Court denied on March 28, 2007. There is no indication that the Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court following the denial of his PLA.

On September 12, 2007, Petitioner filed a Post-conviction Petition pursuant to 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/122-1, et seq. in the circuit court of Champaign County. On September 14, 2007, the state circuit court dismissed the petition, finding it frivolous and patently without merit. Petitioner appealed, and on May 8, 2009, the state appellate court affirmed. Petitioner filed a PLA that the Illinois Supreme Court denied on September 30, 2009. There is no indication that the Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of certiorari following the denial of his post-conviction PLA.

On October 1, 2010*fn1 , Petitioner filed the instant § 2254 petition (#1) and an attached a Memorandum of Law (#2). Petitioner raises two claims in this petition: (1) trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance; and (2) appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance. On December 13, 2010, Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss (#11). On January 3, 2011, Petitioner filed a Response to the Motion to Dismiss (#13).

ANALYSIS

The Petitioner alleges in his Section 2254 petition that his constitutional right to effective counsel was violated at trial and on appeal, however Petitioner did not file his Section 2254 petition in a timely manner and therefore it should be dismissed.

"[A] district court shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A Section 2254 petition has a one year statute of limitations. According to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d):

(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for 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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