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Jennings v. Dow

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

August 5, 2014

DARRYL L. JENNINGS, Petitioner,
v.
PAULA DOW, Respondent.

OPINION

PETER G. SHERIDAN, District Judge.

Petitioner Darryl L. Jennings ("Petitioner"), a prisoner currently confined at New Jersey State Prison, has submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons expressed below, this Court will dismiss the Petition as untimely and deny a certificate of appealability.

I. BACKGROUND

In an Opinion and Order dated March 1, 2013, this Court ordered Petitioner to show cause why the petition should not be dismissed as timebarred. (ECF Nos. 5-6.) Petitioner submitted a response to this Court's Order on April 3, 2013 (ECF No. 7) and based on said response, the Court ordered Respondent to file an Answer to the Petition (ECF No. 8). On June 4, 2014, Respondent filed an Answer and provided the Court with the full procedural history of Petitioner's multiple cases. (ECF No. 13.)

[P]etitioner's habeas petition subsumes four separate indictments in which some counts were resolved by way of two separate jury trials, and the rest were disposed of in one global plea agreement, which was entered into after two jury trials had taken place concerning counts that had all been severed by court order. One trial dealt with count 4 of Monmouth County Indictment No. 98-09-1750 (which had been amended from first-degree robbery to second-degree robbery), and the other trial dealt with counts 5 and 6 of the same indictment (count 5 had been amended from first-degree robbery to second-degree robbery) and count 6 alleged second degree eluding. As amended, petitioner was found guilty as charged in both trials. The Indictments subsumed within that global plea agreement were Monmouth County Indictment Nos. 96-08-1436, 96-08-1438, 96-08-1439 and the remainder of Indictment No. 98-09-1750.

(Resp't's Answer 2) (citations to the record omitted).

The judgment of conviction for Petitioner's jury trial on Counts 5 and 6 of Indictment No. 98-09-1750 was filed on August 6, 1999. ( Id. at 2-3.) The judgments of conviction for remaining charges contained in the four indictments subsumed within the plea agreement were all filed on April 18, 2000. ( Id. at 3.) For the judgment of conviction regarding Counts 5 and 6 of Indictment No. 98-09-1750, Petitioner filed a direct appeal and the New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on January 28, 2005. State v. Jennings, 866 A.2d 986 (2005). Petitioner did not file any post-conviction relief ("PCR") petition for that judgment of conviction. ( Id. ) The judgments of conviction for Petitioner's global plea agreement (all of Indictment No. 96-08-1436, all of Indictment No. 96-08-1438, all of Indictment No. 96-08-1439, and those counts in Indictment No. 98-09-1750 that had not been previously tried in the previously severed proceedings) were affirmed by the Appellate Division on September 18, 2001 and the New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on January 10, 2002. State v. Jennings, 791 A.2d 220 (2002). Petitioner filed a PCR petition on that judgment of conviction on May 19, 2007. (Resp't's Br., Ex. 15.)

II. ANALYSIS

As discussed in this Court's prior opinion, in 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism 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). AEDPA's statute of limitations must be applied "on a claim-by-claim basis." Fielder v. Varner, 379 F.3d 113, 118 (3d Cir. 2004). 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 toward any period of limitation under this section.

Pursuant to § 2244(d), evaluation of the timeliness of a § 2254 petition requires a determination of, first, when the pertinent judgment became "final, " and, second, the period of time during which an application for state post-conviction relief was "properly filed" and "pending." A state-court criminal judgment becomes "final" within the meaning of § 2244(d)(1) by the conclusion of direct review or by the expiration of time for seeking such review, including the 90-day period for filing a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme ...


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