United States District Court, D. Delaware
Young. Pro se petitioner.
Knoll. Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of
Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for respondents.
before the court is an application for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254
("petition") filed by petitioner Idris Young
("Young"). (D.I. 2) The State has filed a motion
for leave to file a motion to dismiss the petition (D.I. 12)
along with a motion to dismiss the petition for asserting an
issue that is not cognizable on habeas review and also for
being time-barred by the one-year limitations period
prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 2244 (D.I. 12-1). For the
reasons that follow, the court will grant the State's
motion for leave to file a motion to dismiss and its motion
to dismiss the petition, and will dismiss the petition as
October 5, 2006, a Delaware Superior Court jury convicted
Young of attempted first degree murder, second degree
assault, and two counts of possession of a deadly weapon
during the commission of a felony. (D.I. 12 at 1) The
Superior Court sentenced Young as an habitual offender to a
total of fifty-five years of incarceration. Id. at
1-2. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Young's
convictions on direct appeal on August 22, 2008. See
Young v. State, 957 A.2d 3 (Table), 2008 WL 3892792
(Del. Aug. 22, 2008).
August 17, 2008, Young filed his first motion for
post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court
Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion"). The Superior
Court denied the Rule 61 motion on April 19, 2011, (D.I. 16-8
at 10), and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that judgment
on December 5, 2011. See Young v. State, 32 A.3d 989
(Table), 2011 WL 6039615 (Del. Dec. 5, 2011).
March 4, 2016, Young filed a second Rule 61 motion, which the
Superior Court denied on August 12, 2016. See State v.
Young, 2016 WL 10998978 (Del. Super. Ct. Aug. 12, 2016).
Young filed a motion for re-argument, which the Superior
Court denied on September 12, 2016. (D.I. 16-8 at 13) Young
appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court dismissed the appeal
on December 5, 2016 due to Young's failure to diligently
prosecute the appeal. See Young v. State, 152 A.3d
140 (Table), 2016 WL 7103409 (Del. Dec. 5, 2016).
filed a habeas petition in this court on February 20, 2017,
asserting one claim: the Superior Court violated his due
process rights by sentencing him as an habitual offender
because there was no substantial evidence proving the prior
predicate convictions beyond a reasonable doubt. (D.I. 2) The
State filed a motion for leave to file a motion to dismiss
simultaneously with a motion to dismiss the petition as
non-cognizable and/or time-barred. (D.I. 12; D.I. 12-1) Young
filed a Brief in Opposition. (D.I 17)
well-established that "[s]tate courts are the ultimate
expositors of state law, " and claims based on errors of
state law are not cognizable on habeas review. Estelle v.
McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991). Thus, to the extent
Young is arguing that the Superior Court misapplied the
habitual statute and should not have declared him an habitual
offender because of some typographical error in the
conviction underlying the habitual offender status, the claim
is not cognizable on federal habeas review. See Lewis v.
Jeffers, 497 U.S. 764, 780 (1990)(holding that,
"Federal habeas corpus relief does not lie for errors of
state law."); Johnson v. Rosemeyer, 117 F .3d
104, 109 (3d Cir.l997)("[A] state court's
misapplication of its own law does not [ ] raise a
constitutional claim"); see also Mullaney, 421
U.S. at 691 ("Federal courts entertaining petitions for
writs of habeas corpus are bound by the construction placed
on a State's criminal statutes by the courts of that
extent Young is arguing that his sentence was imposed in
violation of the due process clause, the argument asserts a
claim cognizable on federal habeas review. Nevertheless, for
the reasons set forth below, the court concludes that the
petition is time-barred.