United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHNSON COLEMAN JUDGE
petitioner Samuel Quinn filed the present petition for a writ
of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) bringing
ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial
misconduct claims, among others. Because his habeas petition
is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), the Court does
not reach the merits of his claims, but instead dismisses
this action in its entirety and declines to certify any
issues for appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
is serving two natural life sentences after being convicted
of several counts of aggravated sexual assault. In his habeas
petition, Quinn is only challenging his August 29, 2007, Cook
County conviction that the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed
on August 24, 2009. Quinn then filed a petition for leave to
appeal (“PLRA”) to the Illinois Supreme Court
that was denied on November 25, 2009.
November 2, 2010, Quinn filed a pro se post-conviction
petition pursuant to the Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing
Act, 725 ILCS 5/122-1. After the Circuit Court of Cook County
dismissed Quinn's post-conviction petition on December
14, 2010, he filed an appeal that the Illinois Appellate
Court affirmed on February 6, 2013. After the appellate court
denied Quinn's petition for rehearing on April 9, 2013,
Quinn did not file a PLA with the Illinois Supreme Court.
15, 2012, Quinn filed a petition for relief from judgment
under 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, that the circuit court, sua
sponte, summarily dismissed on June 22, 2012. The
Illinois Appellate Court, however, remanded the petition
explaining that the circuit court erred by dismissing the
petition without allowing the State thirty days in which to
file a response. On remand, the circuit court appointed Quinn
counsel, who then filed a supplemental petition. On February
11, 2016, the circuit court dismissed the § 2-1401
petition as untimely. The circuit court construed the
supplemental petition as a third post-conviction petition and
concluded that it was procedurally defaulted based on res
judicata. Quinn appealed, and on June 19, 2018, the
Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the circuit court's
decision that the § 2-1401 petition was
untimely. Without considering the merits of
Quinn's claims, the appellate court also concluded that
Quinn's third post-conviction petition was barred by
res judicata and lacked “arguable merit”
in order to grant appointed counsel's motion to withdraw
under Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551 (1987).
interim, Quinn filed a successive post-conviction petition on
August 2, 2013, while his § 2-1401 petition was pending.
The circuit court summarily dismissed the August 2013
petition and the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed on August
establishes a 1-year period of limitation for a state
prisoner to file a federal application for a writ of habeas
corpus.” Wall v. Kholi, 562 U.S. 545, 550, 131
S.Ct. 1278, 179 L.Ed. 252 (2011) (citing 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(1)(A)); see Conroy v. Thompson, 929 F.3d
818, 820 (7th Cir. 2019). The one-year period runs from
“the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for
seeking such review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A);
Conroy, 929 F.3d at 820. The one-year period is
tolled when a petitioner's properly-filed application for
post-conviction or other collateral relief is pending in
state court. Mayberry v. Dittmann, 904 F.3d 525, 528
(7th Cir. 2018); 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2).
starting point, the Court turns to the date upon which
Quinn's judgment became final under 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(1)(A). See Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134,
149, 132 S.Ct. 641, 181 L.Ed.2d 619 (2012) (conviction
becomes final upon “the conclusion of direct review or
the expiration of the time for seeking such review”).
The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Quinn's conviction
and sentence on August 24, 2009, and the Illinois Supreme
Court denied his PLA on November 25, 2009. Quinn's
conviction became final when the time for him to file a
petition for a writ of certiorari expired, which was 90 days
after the denial of his PLA, namely, February 23, 2010.
See Mayberry, 904 F.3d at 528. Quinn then had one
year (365 days) from February 23, 2010 to file a timely
to § 2244(d)(2), the limitations period is tolled during
the pendency of a properly filed post-conviction petition.
See id.; Carpenter v. Douma, 840 F.3d 867,
869 (7th Cir. 2016). Quinn properly filed his first
post-conviction petition on November 2, 2010, and thus the
limitations period ran for 251 days until that date. The time
during the pendency of the first post-conviction petition
remained tolled until the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed
the circuit court on February 6, 2013. Quinn did not file a
PLA concerning his first post-conviction petition. Thus, the
limitations period continued to run on February 6, 2013, at
which time Quinn had 114 days left of the one-year
limitations period. Quinn filed the present habeas petition
on June 15, 2016, which was well beyond the 114 days he had
June 2012 petition for relief from judgment under §
2-1401 did not toll the limitations period because it was
untimely, and therefore, not “properly filed.”
Freeman v. Page, 208 F.3d 572, 574 (7th Cir. 2000).
Similarly, Quinn's third post-conviction petition was not
properly filed because it failed to comply with state
procedural requirements. See Fernandez v. Sternes,
227 F.3d 977, 978 (7th Cir. 2000). Quinn was not granted
leave to file his second or successive post-conviction
petition, therefore, it did not toll the limitations period.
See Martinez v. Jones, 556 F.3d 637, 638-39 (7th
Cir. 2009). Accordingly, Quinn's habeas petition is
untimely, unless he can establish equitable tolling.
courts apply equitable tolling if extraordinary circumstances
beyond the petitioner's control prevented the timely
filing of his habeas petition. See McQuiggin v.
Perkins,133 S.Ct. 1924, 1931 (2013); Holland v.
Florida,560 U.S. 631, 130 S.Ct. 2549, 2560, 177 L.Ed.2d
130 (2010). A petitioner seeking equitable tolling bears the
burden of establishing two elements: (1) that he has been
pursuing his rights diligently; and (2) that some
extraordinary circumstance prevented timely filing.