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Marvin Brown v. Michelle R. Ricci

February 2, 2011

MARVIN BROWN, PETITIONER,
v.
MICHELLE R. RICCI, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



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

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Petitioner, Marvin Brown, a prisoner confined at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey, submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The respondents are Administrator Michelle R. Ricci and the Attorney General of New Jersey.

For the reasons stated herein, the petition must be denied.

BACKGROUND

On October 27, 2000, after a trial by jury, Petitioner was sentenced in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, pursuant to New Jersey's Graves Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6c and No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, to a life term of imprisonment with and 85% parole disqualifier for murder and weapons convictions (Respondents' Exhibit "RE" DD).

Petitioner appealed his conviction and sentence to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division ("Appellate Division"), which affirmed on December 12, 2002 (RE V). Petitioner did not petition for certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the trial court on May 8, 2006 (RE W). The petition was denied on February 8, 2007 (RE Z), with the denial affirmed by the Appellate Division on February 23, 2009 (RE EE). On May 7, 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification (RE II).

Petitioner filed this petition for habeas relief, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, on or about September 17, 2009. He was advised of his rights pursuant to Mason v. Meyers, 208 F.3d 414 (3d Cir. 2000), on March 4, 2010. Respondents were ordered to answer the petition. On May 27, 2010, Respondents filed an answer and the relevant state court record. Petitioner has not filed a reply/traverse to the answer.

In his petition, Petitioner asserts prosecutorial misconduct, trial court error, and ineffective assistance of counsel as his grounds for habeas relief (Petition, ¶ 12).

In the answer, Respondents argue as an affirmative defense that the petition is time-barred. Respondents also asserts that the claims have no merit.

DISCUSSION

A. Pleading Standards

A pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See 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 ...


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