Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

GARCIA v. MOORE

October 19, 2005.

LEONARDO GARCIA, Petitioner,
v.
TERRANCE MOORE, et al., Respondents.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN LIFLAND, Senior District Judge

OPINION

Leonardo Garcia filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) challenging a conviction for murder in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County. Respondents filed an Answer seeking dismissal of the Petition on several grounds, including the statute of limitations, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Petitioner filed a Traverse to the Answer. For the reasons expressed below, the Court dismisses the Petition as untimely, and denies a certificate of appealability. I. BACKGROUND

  Petitioner challenges a judgment of conviction entered in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County, on July 7, 1986, after a jury found him guilty of murder, aggravated assault, and unlawful possession of a handgun. The Law Division sentenced Petitioner to concurrent prison terms of 30 to 50 years for the murder, nine months for the aggravated assault, and four years for the handgun charge. Petitioner appealed, and on June 21, 1988, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, affirmed the conviction, but modified the concurrent prison term imposed for the aggravated assault to 18 months without parole. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for certification on September 28, 1988.

  Petitioner filed a state petition for post-conviction relief in November 1988. The Law Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey denied relief on April 3, 1989. In an opinion filed February 22, 1991, the Superior Court, Appellate Division, affirmed the order denying post conviction relief on the ground that Petitioner raised or could have raised his arguments in the direct appeal. The Supreme Court of New Jersey denied his petition for certification on June 28, 1991.

  On May 6, 1993, Petitioner filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, which the Law Division denied on the same date. The Appellate Division denied Petitioner's appeal on October 20, 1994, and the Supreme Court of New Jersey denied certification on March 29, 1995.

  On December 2, 1995, Petitioner executed his first Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("First Petition"). See Garcia v. Morton, Civil No. 96-78 (JWB) (D.N.J. filed Jan. 12, 1996). The Clerk received it on January 12, 1996. Respondents filed an Answer. On July 29, 1996, Hon. John W. Bissell dismissed the Petition without prejudice as a mixed petition because it contained exhausted and unexhausted claims. Id.

  On November 14, 1997, Petitioner executed a notice of motion for post conviction relief, which was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County. The Law Division denied relief on February 10, 1999, without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner appealed and the Appellate Division affirmed the order denying post conviction relief on February 16, 2001. The Supreme Court of New Jersey denied certification on November 5, 2001.

  On June 11, 2002, Petitioner executed his second § 2254 Petition, which is now before this Court. The Clerk received it on June 18, 2002. The Court notified Petitioner of the consequences of filing such a Petition under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"), and gave him an opportunity to withdraw the Petition and file one all-inclusive Petition, pursuant to Mason v. Meyers, 208 F.3d 414 (3d Cir. 2000). The Petition asserts four grounds, none of which raises a right newly recognized by the United States Supreme Court. The grounds are set forth below verbatim:
Ground One: INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL CONTRARY TO THE SIXTH AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.
Ground Two: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING DEFENDANT'S STATEMENT INTO EVIDENCE PURSUANT TO RULE 8(3) HEARING BECAUSE THE DEFENDANT DID NOT VOLUNTARILY AND KNOWINGLY WAIVE HIS MIRANDA RIGHTS.
Ground Three: DEFENDANT WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS GUARANTEED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION BECAUSE HIS ADMISSION WAS INVOLUNTARILY MADE. Ground Four: THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF APPELLATE COUNSEL.
(Pet. ¶ 12.A.-12.D.)

  Respondents filed an Answer, arguing, inter alia, that the Petition should be dismissed as time-barred. Petitioner filed a Traverse opposing dismissal of the Petition.

  II. DISCUSSION

  A. Statute of Limitations

  On April 24, 1996, Congress enacted the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA"), which provides that "[a] 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court." 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The limitations period runs 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 retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence. . . .
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The statute of limitations under § 2244(d) is subject to two tolling exceptions: statutory tolling and equitable tolling. Merritt, 326 F.3d at 161; Miller v. N.J. State Dep't of Corr., 145 F.3d 616, 617-18 (3d Cir. 1998). Section 2244(d)(2) requires tolling under certain circumstances: "The time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under this subsection." 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2).

  The AEDPA statute of limitations is subject to equitable tolling. Miller, 145 F.3d at 618. The one-year limitations period is subject to equitable tolling "only in the rare situation where equitable tolling is demanded by sound legal principles as well as the interests of justice." Jones ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.