United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ROBERT E. COYLE, Petitioner,
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Respondent.
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
reasons explained in this Entry, the petition of Robert Coyle
for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied and the action
dismissed with prejudice. In addition, the Court finds that a
certificate of appealability should not issue.
Indiana jury convicted Coyle in 2007 of Dealing in Cocaine or
Narcotic Drug, for which he was sentenced to a term of 20
years. This sentence is to be served consecutive to a 45-year
sentence for conspiracy to commit murder. See Coyle v.
State, 69 N.E.3d 958 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016). Coyle filed an
action for post-conviction relief on October 13, 2011, and
the post-conviction relief action remained pending in the
state courts until March 23, 2017. Applying the prison
mailbox rule, this action was then filed on April 25, 2017.
State of Indiana, through Coyle's custodian, has opposed
Coley's petition for writ of habeas corpus by arguing
that the petition was not timely filed.
attempt to “curb delays, to prevent
‘retrials' on federal habeas, and to give effect to
state convictions to the extent possible under law, ”
Congress, as part of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), revised several of
the statutes governing federal habeas relief. Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 404 (2000). One such provision
a state prisoner has one year to file a federal petition for
habeas corpus relief, starting 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.”
Wood v. Milyard, 132 S.Ct. 1826, 1831 (2012)(quoting
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A)); see also Gladney v.
Pollard, 799 F.3d 889, 894 (7th Cir. 2015).
was sentenced for the drug offense on October 15, 2007. He
had 30 days in which to initiate a direct appeal. He did not
do so. Thus, his conviction became final on November 14,
2007. Gonzalez v. Thaler, 132 S.Ct. 641, 653-54
(2012) (“[T]he judgment becomes final . . . when the
time for pursuing direct review . . . expires.”).
therefore had one year, through November 13, 2008, in which
to file a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus. He did
not do so, waiting instead until April 25, 2017 in which to
do so. By that date, 1, 064 days had elapsed after the
statute of limitations had expired. Although a properly filed
action for post-conviction relief was filed on October 13,
2011, the statute of limitations had already expired before
that date. Accordingly, no statutory tolling occurred under
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); see Gladney, 799 F.3d
at 893 (noting the petitioner's habeas petition was
untimely when his first state post-conviction petition was
filed after the one-year limitations period had expired);
Teas v. Endicott, 494 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 2007)(the
fact that the state courts entertained a collateral attack on
prisoner's conviction more than one year after the
expiration of the one year time limit does not
“re-start” the statute of limitations under 28
U.S.C. § 2244(d)); Fernandez v. Sternes, 227
F.3d 977, 978-79 (7th Cir. 2000) (explaining that it is
illogical to toll a limitations period that has already
passed). The filing of Coyle's petition for
post-conviction relief therefore has no effect on the
computation of the statute of limitations and does not rescue
Coyle's habeas petition from being woefully untimely.
argues in opposition to the foregoing that the circumstances
of his confinement rendered it difficult for him to acquire
the knowledge to properly pursue his habeas petition, but
this “describes most habeas corpus petitioners and thus
by definition is not ‘extraordinary.'”
Gray v. Zatecky, No. 15-2482, 2017 WL 3274347, at *3
(7th Cir. Aug. 2, 2017). This knocks out equitable tolling of
the statute of limitations. Id. at *2 (citing
Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631 (2010)). And
finally, the suggestion that his delay was the result of
misadvice from his attorney, who for strategic reasons
thought it best to first conclude the challenge to
Coyle's conspiracy conviction, offers him no relief for
his tardiness because “[a]ttorney miscalculation is
simply not sufficient to warrant equitable tolling,
particularly in the postconviction context where prisoners
have no constitutional right to counsel.” Lawrence
v. Florida, 549 U.S. 327, 336-37 (2007).
corpus has its own peculiar set of hurdles a petitioner must
clear before his claim is properly presented to the district
court.” Keeney v. Tamayo-Reyes, 504 U.S. 1, 14
(1992) (O'Connor, J., dissenting) (internal citations
omitted). Coyle has encountered the hurdle produced by the
1-year statute of limitations, but “[s]tatutes of
limitations for collateral relief in federal court are part
of the [AEDPA].” Freeman v. Page, 208 F.3d
572, 573 (7th Cir. 2000). He has not shown the existence of
circumstances permitting him to overcome this hurdle and
hence is ...