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Edmonds v. White

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

May 30, 2017

ROBERT EDMONDS, PLAINTIFF
v.
RANDY WHITE, WARDEN KENTUCKY STATE PENITENTIARY, DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge

         I. Introduction

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of Plaintiff Robert Edmonds to alter or amend the memorandum opinion and order that were issued on February 23, 2017, and/or for a certificate of appealability, ECF No. 23. Defendant Randy White, the Warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary (“the Warden”) responded, ECF No. 24. Edmonds did not reply. For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny Edmonds' motion to alter or amend the February 23, 2017 memorandum opinion and order. The Court will also deny Edmonds' request for a certificate of appealability.

         II. Background

         The Court recounted the facts of this case in its February 23, 2017 memorandum opinion. See Mem. Op. 2/23/2017 1-2, ECF No. 18. The Court believes a brief review of the events giving rise to Edmonds' habeas petition and the procedural history of the case would be of assistance in considering the current motion to alter or amend the February 23, 2017 memorandum opinion and order.

         A 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. Via direct review, the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed Edmonds' conviction and sentence on June 21, 2012. Id.

         A little over a year later, on August 7, 2013, Edmonds moved in state court for post-conviction relief under Kentucky Rule of Criminal Procedure 11.42. Ky. Ct. App. Op. 1-2, ECF No. 9-4. The Jefferson County Circuit Court summarily denied Edmonds' motion for post-conviction relief on September 16, 2013. Op. & Order 1-2, ECF No. 17-3.

         Edmonds untimely appealed the denial of his motion for post-conviction relief on October 17, 2013 (“the post-conviction relief appeal”). Notice Appeal 4, ECF No. 17-4; Jefferson Circuit Court App. 10, ECF No. 17-6. The Kentucky Court of Appeals granted him leave to file a belated notice of appeal. Ky. Ct. Appeals App. 2, ECF No. 17-2. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the 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.

         In its February 23, 2017 memorandum opinion, this Court explained that under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), a person in custody must file a petition for habeas corpus in federal court within one year of a final judgment from a state court. Mem. Op. 2/23/2017 3, ECF No. 18 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244). The habeas petition's statute of limitations is tolled while a “properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending.” Id. (citing § 2244(d)(2)).

         The Court also noted, “An 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.” Id. (citing Israfil v. Russell, 276 F.3d 768, 771 (6th Cir. 2001)). The Court then explained, “A post-conviction application that is untimely filed is not ‘properly filed' for purposes of § 2244(d)(2).” Id. (quoting Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 417 (2005)).

         Applying these rules to this case, the Court determined that the statute of limitations for filing a federal habeas petition began running on September 19, 2012, which was ninety days after the Kentucky Supreme Court directly affirmed Edmonds' conviction and sentence. Id. at 4. The Court then concluded that the statute of limitations was tolled while Edmonds' motion for post-conviction relief was pending, between August 7, 2013 and October 16, 2013. Id. On October 16, 2013, the Jefferson County Circuit Court's denial of Edmonds' motion for post-conviction relief became final under Kentucky procedural rules. Id.

         Beginning from October 16, 2013, Edmonds had 43 days during which to file a habeas petition in federal court. Id. But Edmonds filed his habeas petition on March 17, 2016, 883 days after October 16, 2013 and 840 days after when the statute of limitations had expired for filing the habeas petition. Id. at 4-5.

Date

Event

Days Remaining for Statute of Limitations for Habeas Petition

9/19/2012

Edmonds' direct conviction becomes final

365

8/7/2013

Edmonds files motion for post- conviction relief; statute of limitations for habeas petition is tolled

43

9/16/2013

Jefferson County Circuit Court denies Edmonds' motion for post-conviction relief

43 (tolled)

10/16/2013

Jefferson County Circuit Court order becomes final after 30 days; statute of limitations for habeas petition begins running again

43

11/28/2013

Statute of limitations for filing habeas petition expires

0

3/17/2016

Edmonds files habeas petition

-840

         Because Edmonds filed his habeas petition after the one-year statute of limitations had expired, this Court dismissed the petition as untimely. Id. at 5; Order 2/23/2017 1, ECF No. 16. Edmonds now moves under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) to alter or amend the February 23, 2017 memorandum opinion and order ...


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