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Rodriguez v. Metzger

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 25, 2019

VICTOR RODRIGUEZ, Petitioner,
v.
DANA METZGER, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.[1]

          Victor Rodriguez. Pro Se Petitioner.

          Kathryn Joy Garrison, 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 Exhibit to Petition (hereinafter referred to as "Petition") filed by Petitioner Victor Rodriguez ("Petitioner"). (D.I. 3; D.I. 6) The State has filed an Answer in Opposition. (D.I. 15) For the reasons discussed, the Court will dismiss the Petition as time-barred.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On July 22, 2010, a Delaware Superior Court jury found Petitioner guilty of reckless burning, third degree burglary, two counts of third degree criminal trespass, and three counts of second degree arson. See Rodriguez v. State, 109 A.3d 1075, 1077 (Del. 2015). On September 10, 2010, the Superior Court sentenced him as a habitual offender to life in prison for the balance of his natural life for each of his arson convictions, and to one year each at Level V for his burglary and reckless burning convictions. (D.I. 15 at 2) Petitioner appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's convictions on November 8, 2011. See Rodriguez v. State, 30 A.3d 764, 771 (Del. 2011).

         On November 2, 2012, Petitioner filed his first motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 motion"). (D.I. 18-11 at 12) The Superior Court denied the Rule 61 motion on April 14, 2014. See State v. Rodriguez 2014 WL 1724778 (Del. Super. Ct. Apr. 14, 2014). Petitioner appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that judgment on January 29, 2015. See Rodriguez, 109 A.3d at 1081.

         Petitioner filed a § 2254 Petition in January 2016, and then he filed an Exhibit in February 2016 providing further explanation for his arguments. (D.I. 3; D.I. 6) The Petition asserts three claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, along with five other claims asserting that his arrest was without probable cause or a warrant, the police conducted an illegal search and seizure, his speedy trial rights were violated, the prosecutor engaged in misconduct, and there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions. (D.I. 3-1; D.I. 3-3; D.I. 3-4; D.I. 3-5; D.I. 6)

         III. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") prescribes a one-year limitations period for the filing of habeas petitions by state prisoners, which begins to 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 ...

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