United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge
matter is before the Court on the motion of Defendant Randy
White, the Warden for the Kentucky State Penitentiary,
(“the Warden”) to dismiss the habeas petition of
Plaintiff Robert Edmonds due to the expiration of the
applicable statute of limitations or for an extension of time
in which to answer the petition, ECF No. 7. Edmonds
responded, ECF No. 14. The Warden replied, ECF No. 15. For
the reasons stated below, the Court will grant the motion of
the Warden to dismiss Edmonds's habeas petition.
Jefferson County, Kentucky Circuit Court jury found Edmonds
guilty of two counts of first degree rape, two counts of
first degree sodomy, and being a persistent felony offender
in the second degree. Ky Sup. Ct. Mem. Op. 1, ECF No. 9-1. He
received consecutive sentences that added up to sixty years
of imprisonment. Id. He directly appealed to the
Kentucky Supreme Court. Id. The Kentucky Supreme
Court affirmed Edmonds's conviction and sentence on June
21, 2012. Id.
August 7, 2013, Edmonds moved for post-conviction relief
under Kentucky Rule of Criminal Procedure 11.42. Ky. Ct. App.
Op. 1-2, ECF No. 9-4. He sought to vacate the conviction and
sentence or, alternatively, for the court to grant him an
evidentiary hearing so that he could further pursue his
post-conviction relief claims. Id. The Jefferson
County Circuit Court summarily denied Edmonds's motion
for post-conviction relief on September 16, 2013. Op. &
Order 1-2, ECF No. 17-3.
untimely appealed the trial court's denial of his motion
for post-conviction relief on October 17, 2013. Notice Appeal
4, ECF No. 17-4; Jefferson Circuit Court App. 10, ECF No.
17-6. The Kentucky Court of Appeals issued to Edmonds a
show-cause order as to why the appeal should not be dismissed
for his failure to timely appeal the denial of his motion for
post-conviction relief on November 19, 2013. Ky. Ct. Appeals
App. 2, ECF No. 17-2. The Kentucky Court of Appeals granted
him a belated notice of appeal on February 19, 2014.
Id. The Kentucky Court of Appeals later affirmed the
denial of Edmonds's motion for post-conviction relief.
Ky. Ct. App. Op. 1-2, ECF No. 9-4. The Kentucky Supreme Court
declined to review the decision on February 10, 2016. Ky.
Sup. Ct. Order 57, ECF No. 9-2. On March 17, 2016, Edmonds
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pet. 1, ECF No. 1.
Warden now moves to dismiss Edmonds's habeas petition due
to the expiration of the one-year applicable statute of
limitations or, in the alternative, for an extension of time
in which to answer the petition. Mot. Dismiss 1, ECF No. 7. A
party asserting the affirmative defense of the expiration of
the statute of limitations has the burden of demonstrating
that the statute has run. Griffin v. Rogers, 308
F.3d 647, 653 (6th Cir. 2002). Generally, a party meets this
burden “by pointing to materials already before the
district court, namely, by pointing out that the petition
itself was filed after the statute had run.”
heart of the parties' dispute about the motion to dismiss
is whether the statute of limitations for the habeas petition
was tolled while the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the
Kentucky Supreme Court reviewed Edmonds's motion for
post-conviction relief. The Warden argues that because
Edmonds failed to timely appeal the denial of his motion for
post-conviction relief, the statute of limitations was not
tolled during this time. Id. at 1-2. According to
the Warden, Edmonds should have filed his habeas petition
shortly after the Jefferson County Circuit Court denied his
motion for post-conviction relief. Id. Edmonds
argues in opposition that the time to file a notice of appeal
was tolled under Kentucky law and thus the state court appeal
and his federal habeas petition were timely filed. Resp. Opp.
Mot. Dismiss 1, ECF No. 14.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA)
governs the timeliness of a habeas petition. 28 U.S.C. §
2244. Under AEDPA, a “1-year period of limitation shall
apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State
court.” Id. § 2244(d)(1). In pertinent
part, the statute of limitations begins to run on “the
date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of
direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such
review.” Id. § 2244(d)(1)(A). The statute
of limitations is tolled during the period of time in which a
“properly filed application for State post-conviction
or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent
judgment or claim is pending.” Id. §
application for post-conviction or other collateral review is
‘properly filed' when its delivery and acceptance
are in compliance with the applicable laws and rules
governing filings.” Israfil v. Russell, 276
F.3d 768, 771 (6th Cir. 2001). A post-conviction application
that is untimely filed is not “properly filed”
for purposes of § 2244(d)(2). See Pace v.
DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 417 (2005). “Federal
courts are obligated to accept as valid a state court's
interpretation of state law and rules of practice of that
state.” Vroman v. Brigano, 346 F.3d 598, 604
(6th Cir. 2003).
case, the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed Edmonds's
direct conviction and sentence on June 21, 2012. Ky Sup. Ct.
Mem. Op. 1, ECF No. 9-1. The conviction became final 90 days
later when time for petitioning the Supreme Court of the
United States for a writ of certiorari expired, on September
19, 2012. See S.Ct. R. 13(1) (providing 90-day limit
on petitions for certiorari). Because Edmonds's
conviction was final, the statute of limitations for filing a
habeas petition with this Court began running on this day.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A).
timely moved for post-conviction relief 322 days later, on
August 7, 2013. Ky. Ct. App. Op. 1-2, ECF No. 9-4.
Edmonds's motion for post-conviction relief began tolling
the statute of limitations for filing a habeas petition.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). The tolling of the
statute of limitations ...