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Squires v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 7, 2015

James Clair Squires, Petitioner,
v.
Charles L. Ryan, et al., Respondents.

ORDER

D. THOMAS FERRARO, District Judge.

James Clair Squires has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pending before the Court is the Petition (Doc. 7) and Respondents' Answer to Petition (Doc. 14). The parties consented to exercise of jurisdiction by a Magistrate Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1). (Doc. 13.) The Court finds that the Petition should be dismissed on the ground that it is time-barred.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Squires pled guilty to possession of a narcotic drug and two counts of possession of a dangerous drug for sale. (Doc. 14, Ex. F at 1.) On April 2, 2012, he was sentenced to concurrent terms, the longest of which was 15.75 years. ( Id., Ex. I at 10.) Squires filed a Notice of Post-conviction Relief (PCR) on April 9, 2012. ( Id., Ex. J.) After his appointed counsel found no legal issue of merit, Squires filed a pro se PCR Petition on September 18, 2012. ( Id., Exs. L, M, N.) The Arizona Superior Court dismissed Squires's PCR Petition on February 6, 2013. ( Id., Ex. O at 4.) Squires inquired into the status of the Petition in July 2013. ( Id., Ex. Q.) In August 2013, he received notice that the PCR Petition was dismissed. ( Id. at 6; Doc. 7 at 11.) Squires did not seek review of the dismissal by the Arizona Court of Appeals. (Doc. 14 at 4; Doc 7 at 5.)

On July 7, 2014, Squires filed the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in this Court. (Doc. 1.) An Amended Petition was filed on August 29, 2014. (Doc. 7.)

DISCUSSION

Respondents argue that Squires's Petition is time-barred because it violates the statute of limitations.

Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), federal petitions for writ of habeas corpus filed by state prisoners are governed by a one-year statute of limitations period. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The limitations period begins to 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 for seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

Id.

In applying (d)(1)(A), the Court must assess when direct review of Squires's convictions became final. The Arizona Superior Court dismissed Squires's PCR Petition on February 6, 2013, [1] and he had thirty days to petition for review by the Arizona Court of Appeals. Ariz. R. Crim. P. 32.9(c). Because Squires did not petition for review, the judgment became final on March 8, 2013, which was the expiration of his opportunity to seek review. See Gonzalez v. Thaler, 132 S.Ct. 641, 653-54 (2012) (finding that when a petitioner does not file for review, the judgment becomes ...


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