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U.S. ex rel. Alegria v. Williams

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division

April 13, 2015

U.S. ex rel. Everardo T. Alegria (B-01085), Petitioner,
Tarry Williams, et al., Respondents.


PHILIP G. REINHARD, District Judge.

For the reasons stated below, Everardo T. Alegria's petition [1] and amended petition [27] under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 are dismissed. The court also denies his request for an evidentiary hearing and declines to issue a certificate of appealability. All pending motions are dismissed as moot. [39], [41]. The case is dismissed in its entirety.


On July 3, 2014, petitioner, Everardo T. Alegria, ("Alegria" or "petitioner") a state prisoner, filed a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 raising numerous claims attacking his 2000 conviction for one count of armed violence, for which he received a sentence of 30 years imprisonment, as well as one count of possession with intent to deliver cocaine and two counts of delivery of a substance containing cocaine, for which he received lesser concurrent sentences. See [1], [32-3]. In response to the petition, respondent Tarry Williams filed a motion for a more definite statement. See [20]. In his motion, respondent argued that petitioner needed to amend his petition to clarify what his exact claims were and supplement the pages that were missing from the petition. After reviewing both the motion and the petition, the court agreed with respondent and instructed petitioner to file an amended petition. See [21].

After the court issued this Order, petitioner filed a motion seeking an extension of time to file an amended petition. The court granted petitioner's motion and petitioner filed his amended petition on November 17, 2014. See [26]; [27].

In response to the amended petition, respondent filed a motion to dismiss. See [32-1]. In the motion, respondent argues that petitioner's amended petition is untimely because the petition was filed after the one-year limitations period and petitioner has not alleged that his untimeliness should be excused because of a state-created impediment or because of a newly recognized constitutional right or newly discovered evidence. See [32-1] at 3-4. Petitioner responded to the motion to dismiss ( see [40]), in which he contended that any untimeliness should be excused because he could raise evidence of actual innocence. The court granted respondent leave to file a sur-reply in response, which respondent filed on April 9, 2015. See [44]. The motion is now ripe for the court's review.

28 U.S.C. § 2254 limits a federal district court's ability to grant habeas relief to state prisoners. Relief will not be granted unless the court determines that a state court's adjudication of a claim resulted in a decision that was 1) "contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the United States Supreme Court[;]" or was 2)... "based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented..." 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (d)(1)-(2). The federal courts review a state court's decision on a deferential standard of review. Griffin v. Pierce, 622 F.3d 831, 841 (7th Cir. 2010). A federal court may not grant relief if it determines a state court applied federal law incorrectly. Instead, a writ can only be issued if the federal court determines that a state court's application of federal law was "objectively unreasonable." Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 409 (2000). This is a difficult standard for a habeas petitioner to prove as the Seventh Circuit has defined objectively unreasonable as "something lying well outside the boundaries of permissible differences of opinion." McFowler v. Jaimet, 349 F.3d 436, 447 (7th Cir. 2003).[1]

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) provides the applicable statute of limitations for federal habeas corpus claims. See Graham v. Borgen, 483 F.3d 475, 477 (7th Cir. 2007). The AEDPA imposes a one-year statute of limitations for filing a federal habeas petition. It provides litigants one-year from the latest of several dates specified as follows:

(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 of law 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. § 2244(d)(1).

The AEDPA allows for the statute of limitations to be tolled during the time in which a properly filed application for state post-conviction relief with respect to pertinent judgment is pending. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). "It can also be tolled in extraordinary circumstances outside of the petitioner's control." Graham, ...

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