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Tutu v. Glover

October 27, 2009

CHUKWUEMEKA TUTU, PETITIONER,
v.
LARRY GLOVER, ET. AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hochberg, District Judge

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on petitioner Chukwuemeka Tutu's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which he is challenging his 1990 New Jersey state court conviction and sentence. For reasons discussed below, it appears from review of the petition papers provided by petitioner that his § 2254 habeas petition is subject to dismissal as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).*fn1

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Petitioner, Chukwuemeka Tutu ("Tutu"), filed a petition for habeas corpus relief on or about April 20, 2009.*fn2 According to the allegations contained in his petition, Tutu was convicted by jury trial on or about November 16, 1989, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, and sentenced to a 30 year prison term on January 31, 1990.

Tutu filed a direct appeal from his conviction and sentence to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. On May 13, 1993, the Appellate Division affirmed the conviction and sentence. The Supreme Court of New Jersey denied certification on July 7, 1993.

Thereafter, Tutu filed a state petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR"), which the trial court denied on November 10, 1994. Tutu appealed the denial of his state PCR petition to the Appellate Division, and the Appellate Division affirmed on April 4, 1996. He states he then filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States, which was denied in October 1996.

Tutu filed this federal habeas petition on or about April 20, 2009.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A pro se habeas petition and any supporting submissions must be construed liberally and with a measure of tolerance. See Royce v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 118 (3d Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney General, 878 F.2d 714, 721-22 (3d Cir. 1989); United States v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 912 (1970).

III. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ANALYSIS

The limitation period for a § 2254 habeas petition is set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), which provides in pertinent part:

(1) A 1-year period of limitations shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall 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; ...

(2) 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 ...


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