United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
December 15 2016, Petitioner, Stephen Frederick Baker, Jr.,
an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette,
Labelle, Pennsylvania, filed a pro se petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 1.)
Baker 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
Baker's petition will be dismissed as untimely filed.
petition Baker alleges that on September 11, 2006, he pled
guilty to two counts of second degree murder and one count of
possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and was
sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas of Huntingdon County,
Pennsylvania, to two terms of life imprisonment to be served
concurrently plus a consecutive term of imprisonment of 5 to
10 years. (Doc. 1, at 1-2.) Baker contends he filed appeals
and post-conviction proceedings in state court but his
allegations regarding the timing of those proceedings are
somewhat vague. (Id. at 3-9.) However a review of
the dockets of the Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas,
the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court reveals that on September 20, 2006, Baker
filed in the Court of Common Pleas a post-sentence motion,
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Stephen Frederick Baker,
Jr., CP-31-CR-0000013-2005,  apparently challenging the
voluntariness of his guilty pleas and claiming that his
counsel was ineffective. (See Doc. 1, at 2.) On
April 4, 2007, the Court of Common Pleas denied the
post-sentence motion and on April 25, 2007, Baker filed a
notice of appeal. On February 12, 2008, the Superior Court
affirmed the decision of the Court of Common Pleas.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Stephen Frederick Baker,
Jr., 738 MDA 2007. Baker did not seek review in the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court and, consequently, Baker's
judgment of conviction and sentence became final on March 13,
2008, 30 days after the Superior Court issued its decision.
After 309 days elapsed with no proceedings pending in state
court, Baker on January 16, 2009, filed in the Court of
Common Pleas of Huntingdon County a petition under
Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A.
§§ 9541, et seq. (“PCRA”).
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Stephen
Frederick Baker, Jr.,
CP-31-CR-0000013-2005. On November 19, 2009, the Court of Common
Pleas denied the PCRA petition and that decision became final
and the PCRA proceedings terminated on December 21, 2009,
when Baker did not file an appeal to the Superior
Court. After an additional 43 days elapsed with
no proceedings pending in state court, Baker on February 2,
2010, filed a second PCRA petition. On February 26, 2015, the
Court of Common Pleas granted the second PCRA to the extent
that Baker's appeal rights were reinstated and Baker
filed an appeal to the Superior Court challenging the denial
of his first PCRA petition. However, on November 30, 2015,
the Superior Court affirmed the decision of the Court of
Common Pleas. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Stephen
Frederick Baker, Jr., 476 MDA 2015.Subsequently,
on April 6, 2016, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied
Baker's petition for allowance of appeal.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Respondent v. Stephen
Frederick Baker, Jr., Petitioner, 984 MAL
2015. After that denial there were no further
proceedings pending in state court and a period of 253 days
elapsed before Baker filed on December 15, 2016, the present
habeas petition in this court.
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 Baker's
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, Baker was sentenced on September 11, 2006.
Baker took a direct appeal and his sentence became final on
March 13, 2008. The period of time which elapsed from the
date Baker's sentence became final until Baker filed his
first PCRA petition is 309 days. The first PCRA petition was
denied on November 19, 2009, and a period of 43 countable
days elapsed before Baker filed a second PCRA petition.
Finally, all post-conviction proceedings terminated when the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Baker's petition for
allowance of appeal on April 6, 2016. The total elapsed and
non-excludable time is 605 days (309 43 253 = 605) which
is well in excess of the 1-year statute of limitations.
Consequently, Baker's habeas petition filed on December
15, 2016, was 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 Baker's 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 judiciary
and without, if the proceedings directly relate to the matter
before the court.”).
 See page 14 of the electronic docket
of the Court of Common Pleas accessible by Pennsylvania's
Unified Judicial System Web