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Miller v. Pierce

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 24, 2017

JOHN E. MILLER, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.

          John E. Miller. Pro Se Petitioner.

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

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is an Application For A Writ Of Habeas Corpus Pursuant To 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and an Amended Application (hereinafter referred to collectively as "Petition") filed by Petitioner John E. Miller ("Petitioner"). (D.I. 1; D.I. 6) The State has filed an Answer in Opposition. (D.I. 12) For the reasons discussed, the Court will dismiss the Petition as time-barred by the limitations period prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner pled guilty to first degree robbery in April 1998. (D.I. 12 at 1) On August 28, 1998, the Delaware Superior Court sentenced him as a habitual offender to 30 years in prison at Level V, followed by six months at Level IV. (D.I. 12 at 1-2) Petitioner appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence on August 4, 1999. See Miller v. State, 131 A.2d 531 (Table), 1999 WL 636623 (Del. Aug. 4, 1999).

         On March 14, 2000, Petitioner filed a Rule 35(a) motion to correct an illegal sentence. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 90) The Superior Court denied the motion on March 23, 2000. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 94) Petitioner filed a notice of appeal, and then he voluntarily dismissed it. (D.I. 12 at 2)

         Petitioner filed a motion for sentence modification on September 21, 2001. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 151) The Superior Court denied the motion on September 26, 2011, and Petitioner did not appeal that decision. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 152)

         On July 18, 2002, Petitioner filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion"). (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 158) The Superior Court denied the motion on December 2, 2002 (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 169), and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on December 23, 2003. See Miller v. State, 840 A.2d 1229 (Table), 2003 WL 23018933 (Del. Dec. 23, 2003)(re-arg't denied Feb. 9, 2004).

         Petitioner filed his second Rule 61 motion on April 5, 2004. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 179) He requested to withdraw the motion on August 4, 2004, and the Superior Court granted that request on August 30, 2004. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 193, 196)

         Petitioner filed his third Rule 61 motion on August 31, 2004 and his fourth Rule 61 motion on December 17, 2004. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry Nos. 197, . 201) The Superior Court denied both motions on December 28, 2004 (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 202), and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on July 21, 2005. See Miller v. State, 879 A.2d 602 (Table), 2005 WL 1950200 (Del. July 21, 2005).

         On October 14, 2005, Petitioner filed his fifth Rule 61 motion. (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 206) The Superior Court denied that motion on January 5, 2006 (D.I. 14, Del. Super. Ct. Crim. Dkt. Entry No. 214), and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision on May 18, 2006. See State v. Miller, 2006 WL 1148679 (Del. Super. Ct. Jan. 5, 2006); Miller v. State, 901 A.2d 120 (Table), 2006 WL 1375073 (Del. May 18, 2006).

         Between June 9, 2006 and October 6, 2011, Petitioner filed 11 more Rule 61 motions. (D.I. 12 at 3-4) None of them were successful. Id.

         Petitioner filed a § 2254 Petition in February 2014 and an amended Petition in April 2014. (D.I. 1; D.I. 6) The Petition asserts five claims, alleging that defense counsel provided ineffective assistance with respect to Petitioner's guilty plea. (D.I. 6) The State filed an Answer, asserting that the Petition should be dismissed as ...


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