United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
Jawaun Dontell Woods, a prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a
habeas corpus petition [ECF No. 8] attempting to challenge
his guilty plea and 20-year sentence for felony murder and
aggravated battery by the Lake Superior Court on October 24,
2013, under cause number 45G02-1211-FA-31. (Pet. 1, ECF No.
8.) Habeas corpus petitions are subject to a strict one-year
statute of limitations.
(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 the
exercise of due diligence.
(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
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
9 on the habeas corpus petition sets forth the text of the
statute and asks for an explanation for why the petition is
timely. In response, the Petitioner wrote:
(I.C. 35-38-1-15) The purpose of a motion to correct
erroneous sentence is to provide prompt, direct access to
uncomplicated legal process for correcting
“occasional” erroneous or illegal
sentence. Thompson v. State, App. 4 Dist. 1994, 634
N.E.2d 775, 1994 WL 199474. (A sentencing error may be raised
at any time)!!! Lewandowski v. State, 1979,
389 N.E.2d 706, 271 Ind. 4. - A motion to correct erroneous
sentence, as opposed to the procedure of a petition for
(PCR), is appropriate where the sentence is erroneous on its
face, (As in this case), which occurs when the
sentence violates express statutory authority.
Hatchett v. State, 794 N.E.2d 544 (Ind. App 2003).
However, a motion to correct pursuant to I.C. §
35-38-1-15 is appropriate where the sentence is erroneous on
its face (As In This Case) and facial error violates
express statutory authority. Mitchell v. State, 726
N.E.2d 1228, 1243 (Ind. 2000) Reffett v. State etc.
(Pet. 5, ECF No. 8.) (emphasis and ellipsis in original).
2244(d) provides four possible dates from which the
limitation period can begin to run. Nothing in the answer to
Question 9 explains which of the four the Petitioner believes
applies in his case. Rather, he argues that under Indiana law
a Motion to Correct Erroneous Sentence may be filed at any
time. That may be true, but this is not a motion filed under
Indiana law. This is a habeas corpus petition filed in a
federal court, and it is subject to the one-year period of
limitation provided for in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
in the answer to Question 9 or any other part of the petition
indicates that State action impeded the Petitioner from
filing a habeas corpus petition sooner, or that his claims
are based on a newly recognized constitutional right or newly
discovered facts. Therefore, 28 U.S.C. §§
2244(d)(1)(B), (C), and (D) are inapplicable. Thus, the
limitation period began to run pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(1)(A), when the conviction became final due to the
expiration of time to pursue direct review.
case, the Petitioner did not directly appeal his conviction.
Thus, his conviction became final for purposes of 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1)(A) when the time for filing an appeal
expired. This occurred on November 25, 2013. See
Ind. App. R. 9(A) (an appeal must be filed within 30 days of
trial court's judgment); Ind. R. Trial P. 6(A)
(“[t]he period runs until the end of the next day that
is not a Saturday, a Sunday, a legal holiday, or a day on
which the office is closed.”); see also Gonzalez v.
Thayer, 565 U.S. 134, 150 (2012) (when a state prisoner
does not complete all levels of direct review, his conviction
becomes final for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A)
when the time for seeking such review expires). Because the
Petitioner did not have a properly pending application for
State post-conviction relief or other collateral review
pending during the subsequent year, the deadline for filing a
habeas corpus petition expired on November 25, 2014. He first
filed for habeas relief in this case on January 29, 2018.
(See Pet. 3, ECF No. 1.) Accordingly, this habeas
corpus case was filed more than three years too late. Though
he filed a Motion to Correct Erroneous Sentence in the Lake