United States District Court, D. New Jersey
William Severs, New Jersey State Prison, Petitioner Pro Se.
Jennifer Webb-McRae Cumberland County Prosecutor, Counsel for
L. HILLMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
William Severs, a prisoner confined at New Jersey State
Prison in Trenton, New Jersey, filed a Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his
2005 New Jersey state court conviction. ECF No. 1. For the
reasons discussed below, Respondents' Motion to Dismiss
the Petition as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d),
ECF No. 10, will be granted and the Petition dismissed.
2005, Petitioner was convicted in New Jersey state court of
the offenses of murder, unlawful possession of a firearm,
unlawful possession of a weapon requiring an ID, and
obstructing the administration of the law. See ECF No. 1,
Pet. at 2. Petitioner filed a timely direct appeal, which
became final on December 10, 2009, ninety (90) days after the
New Jersey Supreme Court denied his Petition for
Certification on September 11, 2009. See Id. at 3-8.
November 5, 2009, Petitioner filed a state court PCR
petition. Id. at 8. The PCR petition was denied on
October 4, 2011. Id. Petitioner notified the Office
of the Public Defender by letter dated October 3, 2011 of his
intent to appeal his PCR petition denial and requested the
copies of the briefing from his direct appeal process so that
he might use them in his PCR petition appeal. ECF No. 11, at
6. Petitioner wrote to his PCR attorney by letter dated
October 20, 2011, stating as follows:
As you well know, we were denied an evidentiary hearing, on
the date, September 22, 2011, and prior to leaving the
courtroom, you made Judge Fineman aware of the fact, that
your client, William Severs would need a copy of the
Judge's decision, also you informed the Judge that we
would be appealing the decision of the court. Mr. Paul, you
explained to me that you were going to handle the filing of
the appeal. As of this date (10-20-11), I have not heard
anything from you. In the meantime, I have written to Ms.
Jodi Ferguson (on 9-26-11), and to Mr. Raymond Black, (on
10-03-11); I made them aware that I am filing for an appeal,
on my Post Conviction Relief petition, in which I was denied
the right to an evidentiary hearing.
11, at 8. Petitioner's time for filing a timely appeal to
the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court
expired on November 18, 2011, forty-five days after the entry
of the order denying the PRC Petition on October 4,
2011. Over a year later, Petitioner filed the
appeal of his PCR denial on October 15, 2012. ECF No. 1, at
12. The Appellate Division affirmed the denial of the PCR
petition on March 14, 2014. Petitioner next filed a petition
for certification with the Supreme Court of New Jersey on
March 19, 2014, which was denied on September 22, 2014.
Id., at 15.
effectively filed this Petition on August 21, 2015, the date
on which he placed the Petition into the prison's mailing
system, although it was not docketed by the clerk until
August 26, 2015. See Id. at 28. Respondents filed a
Motion to Dismiss on August 10, 2017, in which they assert
the Petition should be dismissed as untimely under §
2244(d). ECF No. 10, at 1. Petitioner filed a response on the
issue of timeliness raised in the motion to dismiss. ECF No.
11. Relevant to the instant Motion, Petitioner includes a
“certification” from his PCR attorney, in which
the attorney states that he was involved in a serious car
accident and was unable to timely perfect Petitioner's
appeal. See Id. at 4. This certification appears to
have been executed for the purposes of Petitioner's
untimely PCR appeal to the Appellate Division. See
Id. (dated February 29, 2012).
governing statute of limitations under the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) is found at
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), which states in relevant part:
(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 ...