United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Hon. John E. Jones III, Judge
June 15, 2015 On September 1, 2010, Petitioner Lionel Louis Sease (“Sease”), pled guilty to Possession With Intent to Deliver in violation of 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(30) in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1, p. 1; Doc. 13-1, p. 6). On June 11, 2013, he filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the validity of his guilty plea. (Doc. 5). For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be dismissed as untimely pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
Following his guilty plea, Sease was sentenced on October 18, 2010, to three to six years imprisonment in a state correctional institution to be served consecutive to sentences he was servicing in two other criminal matters. (Doc. 13-3, p. 17). He filed a motion to reconsider on October 27, 2010. (Doc. 13-1, p. 8). A hearing was held on December 6, 2010, at which time the motion was denied. (Doc. 13-4, p. 4).
On January 19, 2011, he filed a notice of appeal. (Doc. 13-5, p. 1-2). On May 3, 2011, the appeal was quashed as untimely filed. (Id. at 2).
On January 9, 2012, Sease filed a petition for post conviction collateral relief pursuant to the Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”), 42 PA. CONS. STAT. §§ 9541-46. (Doc. 13-1, p. 11). On June 4, 2012, the PCRA court issued an order indicating its intent to dismiss the petition. (Id. at 13). The petition was dismissed on July 6, 2012. (Id. at 14). He pursued an appeal to the Superior Court, which affirmed the PCRA court’s denial of relief on April 19, 2013. (Doc. 13-13).
The instant petition was apparently mailed on May 30, 2013, and filed with the court on June 11, 2013. (Doc. 1, pp. 1, 14).
A state prisoner requesting habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 must adhere to a statute of limitations that provides, in relevant part, as follows:
(d)(1) A one-year period of limitations 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. . . .
(d)(2) The time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under this subsection.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)-(2); see generally, Jones v. Morton, 195 F.3d 153, 157 (3d Cir. 1999). Under the plain terms of § 2244(d)(1)(A), a state court criminal judgment does not become final until appeals have been exhausted or the time for appeal has expired. See Nara v. Frank, 264 F.3d 310, 314 (3d Cir. 2001). Thus, the period of time for filing a habeas corpus petition begins to run when direct review processes are concluded. See Harris v. Hutchinson, 209 F.3d 325, 327 (4th Cir. 2000) (stating that “the AEDPA provides that upon conclusion of direct review of a judgment of conviction, the one year period within which to file a federal habeas corpus petition commences, but the running of the period is suspended for the period when state post-conviction proceedings are pending in any state court.”).
Sease was sentenced on October 18, 2010, and his motion for reconsideration of the sentence was denied on December 6, 2010. His judgment became final thirty days later, on January 5, 2011, when his time to seek direct appellate review expired. The one-year period for the statute of limitations commenced running as of that date and expired on January 5, 2012. Hence, the federal petition filed on June 11, 2013, is patently untimely. However, ...