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Rullan v. State

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 23, 2017

ANTHONY RULLAN, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, et al., Respondents.

          Anthony Rullan, Petitioner Pro se

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Petitioner Anthony Rullan, a prisoner currently confined at the South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey, has submitted a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Pet., ECF No. 1.)

         IT APPEARING THAT:

         1. In 2011, Petitioner was convicted in New Jersey state court of two counts of offensive touching, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, and two counts of sexual assault. (Pet. 2.) Petitioner's conviction was affirmed on direct appeal on September 14, 2015 and the New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on January 15, 2016. (Pet. 3.) In the Petition, Petitioner states that he filed a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief (“PCR”) on February 10, 2016 which “has not been heard or yet decided.” (Id. at 13). Petitioner then filed the instant habeas Petition, which is dated April 22, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) The Petition raises three grounds for relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel. (Id.)

         2. After conducting an initial screening of the Petition, the Court concluded that the claims may be unexhausted and ordered Petitioner to show cause why it should not be dismissed for that reason. (ECF No. 2.) After reviewing Petitioner's subsequent response (ECF No. 3), the Court found that the claims are unexhausted and subject to dismissal for failure to exhaust under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). (ECF Nos. 4, 5.)

         3. Though a habeas petition can be stayed in certain limited circumstances, see Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 275-76, the Court further found that such circumstances did not exist in this case because there do not appear to be timeliness concerns. (July 26, 2016 Opinion 8, ECF No. 4.) Specifically, because Petitioner filed a timely direct appeal, requested certification from the New Jersey Supreme Court, and then filed a timely PCR petition, the one year statute of limitations which governs habeas petitions has not begun to run in this case. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); Gonzalez v. Thaler, 132 S.Ct. 641, 653-54 (2012).

         4. When dismissing the Petition, the Court gave Petitioner permission to file a motion for reconsideration if the state court determines that Petitioner's PCR petition is untimely or if Petitioner is “reasonably confused” as to whether it was “properly filed.” (July 26th Opinion 9, n.4.) The Court further instructed that any such motion must specify facts showing the basis for Petitioner's reasonable confusion as to the proper filing of the PCR petition. (Id.).

         5. On August 28, 2016, Petitioner filed the Motion for Reconsideration currently before the Court. (ECF No. 7.) The contents of that Motion have left the Court confused as to the grounds Petitioner wishes to raise in this matter.

         Specifically, Petitioner states the following:

According to my filing on Thur. March 10, 2016 I had sent to the Judicial Officer an information briefing in regarding to the 2011 case. Only in revealing contradiction's of Accuser's. And Failure of Trial Counsel.
Therefore, the accurate ground's were not in it. Just those few from the Appellate Counsel, showing it has been fault.
And on Tue April 12, 2016 Petition Application has been sent in regarding to the 2007 case.[1]
And by answering question Number 15 in Page 13 within the Petition Application gave me the opportunity to introduse the 2011 case. By revealing some information as to contradiction in hoping that you may see the contradiction's of both case's. As I had explained in the letter dated then June ...

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