Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ardis v. The Attorney General of State of New Jersey

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 30, 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 By: JOHN J. SANTOLIQUIDO, Assistant Prosecutor Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office Attorney for Respondents

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This is a continuation of Respondents' motion to dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus as time-barred. Motion to Dismiss, Docket Entry 6. The Court reserved its decision and administratively terminated the motion on March 6, 2018 after directing the parties to submit supplemental briefing. March 6, 2018 Opinion and Order, Docket Entries 11 & 12. Pro se Petitioner Marc Ardis opposes the motion and requests equitable tolling. Opposition, Docket Entry 9; Motion for Equitable Tolling, Docket Entry 14. The matter is being decided on the papers pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78.

         The principal issues to be decided are: (1) whether Petitioner's post-conviction relief petition was “pending” in the state court between September 29, 1997 and July 22, 2002, and if not, (2) whether Petitioner is entitled to equitable tolling of that time. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that the post-conviction relief petition was not “pending” in the state court during the relevant time and that Petitioner is not entitled to equitable tolling. Respondent's motion to dismiss is therefore granted.

         II. BACKGROUND

         After a jury trial following a waiver from juvenile court, [1]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). Respondent's Exhibit 1.[2] 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 resentencing. State v. Ardis, No. A-508-93 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. Jul. 18, 1995) (per curiam) (slip op. at 7); Respondent's Exhibit 2. The appellate court instructed the trial court to make the sentences concurrent instead of consecutive. “Defendant will still be subject to a fifty-year parole-ineligibility term, and not be eligible for parole until he is sixty-six years old.” Id. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on November 8, 1995. State v. Martin, 670 A.2d 1062 (N.J. 1995); Respondent's Exhibit 3. The trial court resentenced Petitioner on October 16, 1996. Respondent's Exhibit 4.

         Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief (“PCR”) in the state courts on April 11, 1997. Respondent's Exhibit 5. The PCR court denied the petition without an evidentiary hearing on September 29, 1997. Respondent's Exhibit 6. Petitioner appealed on July 22, 2002, Respondent's 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); Respondent's Exhibit 8. The Appellate Division reversed the denial of PCR and remanded for further proceedings.[3] Id.

         The PCR petition was again denied without an evidentiary hearing on December 21, 2005. Respondent's 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); Respondent's Exhibit 10. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on February 21, 2008. State v. Ardis, 944 A.2d 31 (N.J. 2008); Respondent's 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[4] Notice and Order 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.[5]

         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 a motion to dismiss, arguing that 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 preparing and presenting his PCR petitions, causing significant delays in the state court proceedings. See Opposition.

         In reviewing the motion, the Court concluded that the petition may have been untimely even before the original § 2254 petition was filed on August 11, 2008 due to the length of time between the denial of Petitioner's PCR petition, September 29, 1997, and his filing of a notice of appeal, July 22, 2002. March 6, 2018 Opinion and Order. It directed the parties to submit supplemental briefing on whether the PCR petition remained “pending” under state law during that time and gave Petitioner an additional opportunity to argue for the application of equitable tolling. See Respondent's Supplemental Brief, Docket Entry 13; Motion for Equitable Tolling, Docket Entry 14.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW: STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR FILING ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.