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Ardis v. The Attorney General of State of New Jersey

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 6, 2018

MARC ARDIS, Petitioner,
v.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, et al., Respondents.

          MARC ARDIS, Petitioner Pro Se

          DAMON G. TYNER, Atlantic County Prosecutor JOHN J. SANTOLIQUIDO, Assistant Prosecutor Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office Attorney for Respondents

          OPINION

          SIMANDLE, U.S. District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Respondents' motion to dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus as time-barred. Motion to Dismiss, Docket Entry 6. Pro se Petitioner Marc Ardis opposes the motion. Opposition, Docket Entry 9. The matter is being decided on the papers pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78. For the reasons stated below, the Court will reserve ruling on the motion pending supplemental briefing.

         II. BACKGROUND

         After a jury trial following a waiver from juvenile court, Petitioner received a sixty-eight year sentence for first-degree aggravated sexual assault, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:14-2(a); third-degree aggravated criminal sexual conduct, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:14-3(a); second-degree burglary, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:18-2; second-degree sexual assault, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:14-2(c); third-degree terroristic threats, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:12-3(a); and first-degree kidnapping, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:13-1(b). Motion Exhibit 1. The judgment of conviction was entered on June 1, 1993. Id. Petitioner appealed to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division (“Appellate Division”).

         The Appellate Division affirmed his convictions, but remanded to the trial court for reconsideration of the sentence under state law as “defendant, a sixteen-year old at the time of the offenses, will be in prison without parole eligibility until he is seventy-four years of age.” State v. Ardis, No. A-508-93 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. Jul. 18, 1995) (per curiam) (slip op. at 7); Motion Exhibit 2. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on November 8, 1995. State v. Martin, 670 A.2d 1062 (N.J. 1995); Motion Exhibit 3.

         Petitioner was resentenced on October 16, 1996. The court revised Petitioner's sentence to a custodial term of fifty years, the entirety of which Petitioner would be ineligible for parole. Motion Exhibit 4.

         Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief (“PCR”) in the state courts on April 11, 1997. Motion Exhibit 5. The PCR court denied the petition without an evidentiary hearing on September 29, 1997. Motion Exhibit 6. Petitioner appealed on July 22, 2002, Motion Exhibit 7, and the Appellate Division granted leave to appeal nunc pro tunc on August 22, 2002. See State v. Ardis, No. A-6161-01 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. Jan. 9, 2004) (per curiam) (slip op. at 3 n.2); Motion Exhibit 8. The Appellate Division reversed the denial of PCR and remanded for further proceedings. Id.

         The PCR petition was again denied without an evidentiary hearing on December 21, 2005. Motion Exhibit 9. The Appellate Division affirmed. State v. Ardis, No. A-4602-05, 2007 WL 3342104, at *2 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. Nov. 13, 2007); Motion Exhibit 10. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on February 21, 2008. State v. Ardis, 944 A.2d 31 (N.J. 2008); Motion Exhibit 11.

         On August 11, 2008, Petitioner submitted a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to this Court, accompanied by a motion for a stay and abeyance pending a return to the state courts. Ardis v. Ricci, No. 08-4301 (D.N.J. filed Aug. 22, 2008) (Docket Entry 1). This Court granted his in forma pauperis application and issued a Mason[1] Notice and on October 9, 2008. No. 08-4301, Docket Entries 2 & 3. Petitioner wrote back to the Court inquiring as to the status of the motion for a stay, and the Court ordered Respondents to respond to the stay motion. No. 08-4301, Docket Entries 4 & 5. Respondents filed a letter opposing the stay on March 11, 2009. No. 08-4301, Docket Entry 8. The Court granted Petitioner's motion for a stay on May 19, 2010. No. 08-4301, Docket Entry 15.[2]

         On April 28, 2017, Petitioner submitted an amended § 2254 petition. It was assigned to the Honorable Renée Marie Bumb, U.S.D.J., and reassigned to the undersigned on June 8, 2017. The Court ordered Respondent to answer or file an appropriate motion on July 13, 2017. Order to Answer, Docket Entry 3. Respondent filed the instant motion to dismiss on August 18, 2017.

         Respondent argues the § 2254 petition is untimely under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”) as Petitioner did not comply with this Court's order staying the habeas proceedings, which required Petitioner to return to the state courts within 30 days. Petitioner opposes the motion, arguing his PCR attorneys were ineffective in ...


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