United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
H. RAMBO United States District Judge.
December 16, 2016, Petitioner, Mark Alonzo Williams, an
inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Forrest,
Marienville, Pennsylvania, filed a pro se petition for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 1.)
Williams paid the $5.00 filing fee. The petition will now be
given preliminary consideration pursuant to Rule 4 of the
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. §
2254. For the reasons set forth below
Williams' petition will be dismissed as untimely filed.
petition Williams alleges that he was sentenced on May 2,
2003, by the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County,
Pennsylvania, for rape and involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse, and received an aggregate sentence of
imprisonment of 8 to 20 years. (Doc. 1, at 1.) Williams's
petition is vague regarding the appeals and post-conviction
proceedings he filed in state court. (Id.) However a
review of the dockets of the Centre County Court of Common
Pleas, the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania
Supreme Court reveals that Williams filed a direct appeal
which concluded on July 14, 2005, when the Pennsylvania
Supreme Court denied his petition for allowance of appeal.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Respondent v. Mark Alonzo
Williams, Petitioner, 1013 MAL 2004. Consequently,
Williams' judgment of sentence became final on July 14,
2005. No other proceedings in state court were filed by
Williams until October 19, 2005, when he filed in the Court
of Common Pleas of Centre County a petition under
Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A.
§§ 9541, et seq. (“PCRA”).
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mark A. Williams,
CP-14-CR-0001773-2002. On December 6, 2005, the Court of
Common Pleas denied Williams' PCRA petition. Williams
filed a Notice of Appeal on January 3, 2006, and on September
12, 2006, the Superior Court reversed and remanded the case
to the Court of Common Pleas for further proceedings and
relinquished jurisdiction. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
v. Mark Alonzo Williams, Appellant, 124 MDA 2006. On
September 19, 2006, the Court of Common Pleas appointed
counsel for Williams and authorized counsel to file an
amended PCRA petition which was filed by counsel on January
18, 2007. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mark A.
Williams, CP-14-CR-0001773-2002. An answer to the
amended petition was filed by the Centre County District
Attorney on February 20, 2007, and after holding a hearing
and receiving briefs the Court of Common Pleas on March 7,
2008, denied Williams' amended PCRA petition. After that
denial Williams did not file any further proceedings in state
court until December 12, 2016, when he filed in the Court of
Common Pleas a second PCRA petition.
is a one-year statute of limitations for filing a § 2254
petition for writ of habeas corpus. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1). For our purposes, that period starts to
run from the date the conviction becomes final, defined in
section 2244(d)(1)(A) as “the date on which the
judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or
the expiration of the time for seeking such review.”
However, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2) also provides that
“[t]he 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[.]” We
will first address the question of when Williams'
conviction became final for purposes of the commencement of
the 1-year statute of limitations and then address whether
there is any other time excluded under §2244(d)(2).
stated above, Williams was sentence on May 2, 2003. Williams
took a direct appeal and his sentence became final on July
14, 2005. The period of time which elapsed from the date his
sentence became final until Williams filed his first PCRA
petition is 91 days. That time is counted towards the 1-year
statute of limitations. From October 19, 2005, until 30 days
after the trial court denied the amended PCRA petition, there
were properly filed post-conviction proceedings pending in
state court and that time is excluded from the calculation of
the 1-year statute of limitations. Consequently, the statute
of limitation recommenced running on April 7, 2008, and
because the time from April 7, 2008, until December 12, 2016,
the date Williams filed the a second PCRA petition, is well
in excess of 1-year statute of limitations, the petition for
writ of habeas corpus is untimely filed.
appropriate order will be entered.
Rule 4 states in pertinent part that
“[t]he clerk must promptly forward the petition to a
judge under the court's assignment procedure, and the
judge must promptly examine it. If it plainly appears from
the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is
not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must
dismiss the petition . . . .”
The court utilized the Unified Judicial
System of Pennsylvania Web Portal to review the trial and
appellate court dockets of Williams' criminal case. A
district court may take judicial notice of proceedings in
another court. See United States v. Wilson, 631 F.2d
118 (9th Cir. 1980); Hayes v. Woodford,
444 F.Supp.2d 1127, (S.D. Cal. 2006)(“[F]ederal courts
may take judicial notice of other courts' proceedings,
within the federal ...