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Campbell v. State

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 21, 2017

THOMAS J. CAMPBELL, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, et al., Respondents.

          OPINION

          ROBERT B. KUGLER, U.S.D.J.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Previously, this Court dismissed petitioner's habeas petition due to untimeliness. Presently pending before this Court is petitioner's motion for reconsideration of that dismissal order. For the following reasons, the motion for reconsideration will be denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner's habeas petition challenged his state judgment and conviction for murder and attempted murder amongst other charges. On December 20, 2005, the Appellate Division affirmed the convictions, but vacated the sentence imposed on attempted murder. On February 6, 2006, the Superior Court resentenced petitioner on attempted murder. Petitioner appealed this resentence to the Appellate Division.

         On February 16, 2006, petitioner's application for certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court arising from the December 20, 2005 Appellate Division decision was denied.

         In March, 2006, petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief (“PCR”) in the Superior Court. However, in May, 2006, the Superior Court denied the PCR petition without prejudice because petitioner's appeal from the resentencing was still pending.

         On June 18, 2008, the Appellate Division affirmed petitioner's resentence. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied petitioner's request for certification on September 24, 2008.

         Petitioner asserts that he filed his PCR petition on October 30, 2008. However, he did not attach such a petition to his filings. Instead, he attached several letters dated July 16, 2009, October 21, 2009 and June 28, 2010 respectively, whereby petitioner inquired into the status of his PCR petition. In the July 16, 2009 letter, petitioner wrote to the Justice Complex in Woodbury, New Jersey stating that he filed his PCR petition on October 30, 2008, but it was not mailed from the New Jersey State Prison until November 13, 2008. (See Dkt. No. 7 at p.12) Petitioner further stated in that letter that he was enclosing “a complete petition” and a “copy of the mail receipt.” (See id.)

         Petitioner addressed his October 21, 2009 letter to the Acting Deputy Public Defender. (See Id. at p.13) In that letter, petitioner stated that he filed his PCR petition on October 30, 2008, but had not gotten any information that it had been received. (See id.) He requested that the public defender inquire into the issue. (See id.)

         Finally, petitioner addressed his June 28, 2010 letter to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Gloucester County. (See Id. at p.14) In that letter, petitioner again inquired into the status of his PCR petition that he stated was submitted to the Court on November 13, 2008. (See id.)

         In February, 2012, petitioner then filed a PCR petition. That petition was denied on July 6, 2012. The Appellate Division affirmed the denial on October 21, 2014. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on the October 29, 2015.

         Petitioner filed his federal habeas petition on April 10, 2016. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss the habeas petition as untimely.

         On February 3, 2017, this Court dismissed the habeas petition as untimely. This Court initially noted that the New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on petitioner's direct appeal on September 23, 2008. As petitioner did not seek certiorari from the United States Supreme Court, his judgment became final ninety days thereafter, on December 23, 2008. His one-year statute of limitations period began to run then. However, he did not file his federal habeas petition until April, 2016, over seven years later. Thus, this ...


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