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Taylor v. Tritt

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

June 25, 2014

MICHAEL LASHAWN TAYLOR, Petitioner,
v.
BRENDA TRITT, et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER[1]

CYNTHIA REED EDDY, Magistrate Judge.

Pending before the Court is Respondents' Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 6). For the reasons that follow, the Motion will be granted and the habeas petition will be dismissed with prejudice.

I. Background

On July 20, 2013, Petitioner, state prisoner Michael Lashawn Taylor, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, through counsel, [2] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). (ECF No. 1). On December 13, 2013, Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss, asserting that the petition is untimely and barred by the one-year limitations period set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). (ECF No. 6). Petitioner filed a Response in Opposition, (ECF No. 10), to which Respondents filed a Reply. (ECF No. 13).[3] The matter has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition.

II. State Procedural Background

Petitioner is challenging the September 11, 2006, judgment of sentence imposed upon him by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County of a life sentence without parole after having been found guilty of First Degree Murder and Carrying Firearms without a License. Petitioner timely filed a direct appeal of his judgment of conviction to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. On December 31, 2007, the Superior Court affirmed the judgment of conviction. On January 30, 2008, Petitioner filed a Petition for Allowance of Appeal (PAA) with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was denied on June 12, 2008. Petitioner did not file a Petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Accordingly, his judgment of sentence became final on September 10, 2008. See Gonzales v. Thaler, ___ U.S. ____, 132 S.Ct. 641, 653-56 (2012) (a judgment becomes final at the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of time for seeking such review); see also Swartz v. Meyers, 204 F.3d 417, 419 (3d Cir. 2000).

On December 26, 2008, [4] Petitioner timely filed a pro se petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). On January 5, 2010, after obtaining counsel, Petitioner filed an amended PCRA petition. On August 11, 2010, Petitioner filed a second amended PCRA petition, which was denied on November 30, 2010. Petitioner appealed the dismissal of the PCRA petition to the Superior Court, which was affirmed on June 7, 2011. On June 30, 2011, Petitioner filed a PAA with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which was denied by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on December 15, 2011.

III. Discussion

As noted supra, the petition sub judice was filed on July 20, 2013. Respondents move to dismiss the petition, arguing that it is untimely. AEDPA is applicable to this case, as the parties recognize, because the petition was filed well after the effective date of the AEDPA, i.e., April 24, 1996. AEDPA imposes a one-year limitations period for state prisoners seeking federal habeas review. It is codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) and it provides:

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

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