United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
PATRICK HANLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Marcus Crumble was convicted in 2002 of burglary and
carjacking in Marion Superior Court, No.
49G03-0112-FB-218312. Petitioner seeks a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, arguing that his
trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in violation of
his Sixth Amendment rights.
Court issued a show cause order pursuant to Rule 4 of the
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts. The Court explained that Petitioner's
habeas petition appeared barred by the one-year statute of
It appears from the habeas petition that Petitioner's
one-year limitations period has expired. Petitioner was
sentenced on July 19, 2002, and he did not file an appeal.
Petitioner did not file a state petition for post-conviction
relief until several years later, on May 20, 2011. The
one-year limitations period would have expired long before
the clock stopped during the pendency of his state
post-conviction proceeding. Moreover, Petitioner appears to
acknowledge that his petition is untimely, stating that he
was unaware of the ability to file a habeas petition under 28
U.S.C. § 2254.
Dkt. 5 at 2. Petitioner was given an opportunity to show
cause why his habeas petition should not be dismissed as
time-barred, and Petitioner has responded.
attempt to “curb delays, to prevent
‘retrials' on federal habeas, and to give effect to
state convictions to the extent possible under law, ”
Congress revised several statutes governing federal habeas
relief as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act (“AEDPA”). Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 404 (2000). “Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1)(A), a state prisoner seeking federal habeas
relief has just one year after his conviction becomes final
in state court to file his federal petition.”
Gladney v. Pollard, 799 F.3d 889, 894 (7th Cir.
2015). “The one-year clock is stopped, however, during
the time the petitioner's ‘properly filed'
application for state postconviction relief ‘is
pending.'” Day v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 198,
201 (2006) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2)).
explained in the Court's show cause order, Petitioner was
sentenced on July 19, 2002, and, thirty days later-after the
time to appeal expired without Petitioner filing an
appeal-his conviction was final. See Gonzalez v.
Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 149 (2012). Petitioner did not
file a state petition for post-conviction relief until more
than eight years later, on May 20, 2011. Although such a
petition pauses the “one-year clock, ” pausing
the clock is of no benefit to Petitioner since the one-year
period had already expired. See Teas v. Endicott,
494 F.3d 580, 582-83 (7th Cir. 2007).
resists this conclusion in his response to the Court's
show cause order. He argues that the requirements of AEDPA
should not apply because the state court's decision to
accept his guilty plea was unreasonable under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(d). But the deference to state courts required by
§ 2254(d) is relevant once the Court reaches the merits
of Petitioner's claim. In other words, reasonableness
under § 2254(d) is a wholly separate issue from whether
a habeas petition is timely under § 2244(d). Because his
petition is untimely, the Court does not reach the question
of whether any state court decision was reasonable under
habeas petition, Petitioner also suggests he was unaware of
the one-year limitation period imposed by AEDPA. The Court
construes this as an argument for equitable tolling.
“[A] petitioner is entitled to equitable tolling only
if he shows (1) that he has been pursuing his rights
diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance
stood in his way and prevented timely filing.”
Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 649 (2010). The
diligence element “covers those affairs within the
litigant's control; the extraordinary-circumstances
prong, by contrast, is meant to cover matters outside its
control.” Menominee Indian Tribe of Wis. v. United
States, 136 S.Ct. 750, 756 (2016). A lack of awareness
of the limitations period is insufficient to meet the second
element. See Davis v. Humphreys, 747 F.3d 497, 500
(7th Cir. 2014) (“[I]t is established that
prisoners' shortcomings of knowledge about the AEDPA or
the law of criminal procedure in general do not support
tolling.”); Tucker v. Kingston, 538 F.3d 732,
735 (7th Cir. 2008) (“[S]tanding alone, the lack of
legal expertise is not a basis for invoking equitable
tolling.”). Petitioner is thus not entitled to
state prisoner whose petition for a writ of habeas corpus is
denied by a federal district court does not enjoy an absolute
right to appeal.” Buck v. Davis, 137 S.Ct.
759, 773 (2017). Instead, a state prisoner must first obtain
a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(1). “A certificate of appealability may issue .
. . only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of
the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(2). Where a claim is resolved on procedural grounds
(such as limitations), a certificate of appealability should
issue only if reasonable jurists could disagree about the
merits of the underlying constitutional claim and about
whether the procedural ruling was correct. Flores-Ramirez
v. Foster, 811 F.3d 861, 865 (7th Cir. 2016) (citing
Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)).
11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings in the
United States District Courts requires the district court to
“issue or deny a certificate of appealability when it
enters a final order adverse to the applicant.”
Reasonable jurists could not disagree that Petitioner's
habeas petition is barred by the statute of limitations.
Therefore, a certificate of appealability is