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Davis v. Pierce

United States District Court, Third Circuit

November 4, 2013

RODERICK DAVIS, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.[1]

Roderick Davis. Pro se Petitioner.

Gregory E. Smith, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD G. ANDREWS, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is Petitioner Roderick Davis' Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Petition"). (D.I. 1). The State filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction over the Subject Matter, contending that the Petition should be dismissed for being second or successive and also for being time-barred. (D.I. 13). For the reasons discussed, the Court will grant the Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the Petition is barred by the limitations period prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244.

BACKGROUND

In January 1987, a Delaware Superior Court jury convicted Petitioner of rape second degree, kidnaping first degree, and assault second degree. (D.1. 13 at 1). Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment, plus an additional fifteen years. Id. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's convictions and sentence on April 27, 1988. Davis v. State, 1988 WL 44800 (Del. Apr. 27, 1988).

In June 1990, Petitioner filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion"), which the Superior Court denied on January 20, 1992. See State v. Davis, 1992 WL 19929 (Del. Super. Ct. Jan. 20, 1992). The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision. See Davis v. State, 1992 WL 151322 (Del. June 15, 1992).

Thereafter, in September 1992, Petitioner filed his first § 2254 application in this Court. See Davis v. Snyder, C.A. 92-553-LON. On June 12, 1995, the Court dismissed the application without prejudice due to Petitioner's failure to exhaust state remedies. (D.I. 13-1).

On March 4, 2013, Petitioner filed in the Delaware Superior Court a second Rule 61 motion, which the Superior Court summarily dismissed on April 18, 2013. (D.I. 13).

II. DISCUSSION

On March 14, 2013, Petitioner filed the § 2254 Petition presently pending before this Court. The Petition asserts the following nine grounds for relief with respect to Petitioner's 1987 convictions: (1) Petitioner was denied his Sixth Amendment right to representation under the newly decided Supreme Court decision Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S.Ct. 1309 (2012), because he was not appointed counsel during his initial Rule 61 proceeding; (2) Petitioner was denied his speedy trial rights; (3) there was insufficient evidence to support Petitioner's conviction for second degree rape; (4) there was insufficient evidence to support Petitioner's conviction for kidnaping; (5) the trial court abused its discretion by appointing a second public defender to represent Petitioner after his conflict with the first public defender; (6) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance; (7) defense counsel failed to subpoena or secure a witness who would have testified in defense of Petitioner; (8) a conspiracy existed between the trial judge, the prosecutor, and defense counsel; and (9) the trial court failed to provide proper jury instructions regarding the kidnaping charge. (D.I. 1).

The State filed a Motion for Leave to File a Motion to Dismiss in lieu of an Answer (D.I. 11), asserting that the Court lacks subject matter over the Petition because it is second or successive and also because its time-barred. The Court granted the State's Motion for Leave, and the Motion to Dismiss (D.I. 14) was docketed. Petitioner filed a Motion in Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss (D.I. 14), and a Motion for Leave to File the Motion in Opposition. (D.I. 15). The two "motions" assert that Petitioner is entitled to a later filing date under § 2244(d)(1)(C) because the Petition includes arguments based on the new Supreme Court decision Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S.Ct. 1309 (2012). Although titled as "motions, " the Court views these two documents as "responses" to the State's contention that the Petition is time-barred.

A. Second or Successive Bar

Pursuant to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"), a prisoner cannot file a second or successive motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 without first seeking and receiving approval from the appropriate court of appeals. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b). Absent such authorization, a district court lacks jurisdiction to consider the merits of a ...


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