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Macon v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

September 9, 2019

LAMAR MACON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          Lamar Macon, Petitioner, pro se.

          OPINION

          Noel L. Hillman United States District Judge.

         On or about March 22, 2018, Petitioner Lamar Macon, a prisoner presently confined at the United States Penitentiary at Allenwood in White Deer, Pennsylvania, submitted a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (the “Petition”). ECF No. 1. Pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings, the Court reviewed the Petition and summarily dismissed it without prejudice as untimely but permitted Petitioner to file a response to present any argument regarding tolling. Presently before the Court is Petitioner's response regarding tolling. For the reasons that follow, the Petition will remain dismissed as Petitioner has failed to present sufficient explanation or evidence to warrant equitable tolling.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 20, 2015, Petitioner was convicted of various drug offenses and sentenced to a total of 240 months' imprisonment. ECF No. 1, Pet. at 2; No. 14-cr-50, ECF No. 676 (judgment). Petitioner proceeded with a direct appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed his conviction and sentence. See No. 14-cr-50, ECF No. 901 (mandate). Petitioner file a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States, which was denied on February 21, 2017. See No. 15-2275, Notice dated Feb. 21, 2017 (3d Cir.).

         Over a year later, Petitioner filed the instant § 2255 Motion. The Motion was docketed on March 22, 2018 and appears to have been mailed on March 19, 2018. See ECF No. 1-2 (envelope). Petitioner did not date his Motion or the supporting brief, so it is unclear when the Petitioner placed the Motion in the prison's mail system. See ECF No. 1, Pet. at 14; ECF No. 1-1, Br. at 14. In the Petition, Petitioner argues that his trial and appellate counsel were ineffective and that he is actually innocent of certain offenses because he withdrew from the drug conspiracy and thus should not be criminally liable for a murder that occurred after he withdrew. See ECF No. 1, Pet. at 5-8.

         The Court reviewed the Petition and, given the date on which his conviction became final and the date on which he filed the Petition, determined that it was untimely. The Court explained that,

Petitioner's direct appeal of his criminal case concluded when the Supreme Court of the United States denied his petition for writ of certiorari on February 21, 2017. Therefore, his judgment of conviction became final on February 21, 2017. See Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 149-50 (2012) (holding that a judgment is determined to be final by the conclusion of direct review, or the expiration of time for seeking such review, including the ninety-day period for filing a petition for writ of certiorari). As a result, unless the statute of limitations was tolled, the applicable statute of limitations would have expired a year later on February 21, 2018. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1).
The Petition, however, was not filed until on or about March 19, 2018. ECF No. 1-2 (envelope stamped “MAR 19 2018”). See Burns v. Morton, 134 F.3d 109, 113 (3d Cir. 1998) (under the prison mailbox rule, “a pro se prisoner's habeas petition is deemed filed at the moment he delivers it to prison officials for mailing[.]”). Thus, the Petition was filed beyond the expiration of the applicable one-year statute of limitations period.
In the section of the Petition entitled “Timeliness of Motion, ” Petitioner writes only that “The Motion IS Timely.” ECF No. 1, Pet. at 13. Without making any determination as to the merits of the Petition, the Court finds that Petitioner has failed to properly explain why his Petition is timely under § 2255(f).

ECF No. 3. Given Petitioner's lack of explanation as to the timeliness of his Petition, the Court gave Petitioner an opportunity to respond on the timeliness issue and also to bring to the Court's attention any potential tolling arguments.

         Petitioner has since filed a response in which he explains that,

Petitioner is a Federal prisoner, confined to the United States Penitentiary . . . component of the Federal Correction Complex . . .Allenwood at White Deer, Pennsylvania. As such, he is not at Liberty to obtain materials and equipment necessary for the filing of legal motions, briefs or other pleadings into ...

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