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Ransome v. Holmes

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 4, 2013

KYLE S. RANSOME, Petitioner,
v.
CHRISTOPHER HOLMES, et al., Respondents.

OPINION

ROBERT B. KUGLER, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Petitioner is a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner was convicted by a jury of aggravated manslaughter, possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a handgun. He is currently serving a twenty-five year sentence with an eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility. For the following reasons, the habeas petition will be denied as it is time-barred.

II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Petitioner was sentenced in the New Jersey Superior Court, Gloucester County on June 22, 2001. The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division affirmed the judgment and conviction on direct appeal on June 21, 2004. ( See Dkt. No. 19-5 at p. 1-12.) The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on petitioner's direct appeal on September 29, 2004. ( See id. at p. 18.)

On October 4, 2005, petitioner filed his first post-conviction relief ("PCR") petition in the New Jersey Superior Court.[1] ( See Dkt. No. 19-6 at p. 43.) On August 20, 2007, the Superior Court denied petitioner's first PCR petition. ( See id. at p. 60.) Thereafter, petitioner filed an appeal to the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division affirmed the denial of petitioner's first PCR petition on May 8, 2009. ( See Dkt. No. 19-9 at p. 3-9.) The New Jersey Supreme Court denied petitioner's petition for certification on his first PCR petition on July 20, 2009. ( See id. at p. 59.)

Petitioner then filed a brief in the Appellate Division on October 8, 2010, which constitutes his second PCR petition. ( See Dkt. No. 19-10 at p. 1-39.) In that brief, petitioner alludes to a motion seeking to reduce his sentence that he filed in the Superior Court on September 2, 2009, that was purportedly denied by that court. ( See id. at p. 13.)

In dismissing petitioner's second PCR petition, the Appellate Division noted that petitioner had not included the Superior Court Order denying his motion and that, "[w]ithout the order, [it] had no way of confirming that the motion was actually filed with, and then considered by, the court." ( See Dkt. No. 19-12 at p. 25 n.3.) The Appellate Division dismissed the appeal due to petitioner's blatant disregard for that court's rules of procedure. ( See id. at p. 26-27.) The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on petitioner's second PCR petition on June 8, 2012. ( See Dkt. No. 19-14 at p. 4.)

Petitioner filed the instant federal habeas petition in this Court on July 25, 2012. ( See Dkt. No. 1-2 at p. 2.) Respondents filed an answer on July 13, 2013, arguing in part that the habeas petition is untimely. Petitioner filed a reply on October 1, 2013. The matter is now ready for adjudication.

III. DISCUSSION

The statute of limitations for this § 2254 petition under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") is set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), which states:

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

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