United States District Court, D. Arizona
Raner C. Collins Chief United States District Judge
Pending before the Court is Magistrate Judge Pyle’s Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) (Doc. 36) regarding Petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 21) and Petitioner’s Objections thereto (Doc. 41); Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration of [Petitioner’s] Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 40); Petitioner’s Motion for a Stay of Proceedings (Doc. 39); and Petitioner’s Request to Attach [a] Letter [to] Motion to Dismiss Recommendation re: 41, Objection to Report and Recommendation (Doc.42).
This Court grants Petitioner’s Motion to Attach [a] Letter …[to Petitioner’s] Objections [to the R&R] (Doc. 42), but concludes that none of the supplemental objections in Petitioner’s letter (Doc. 40) alter the Court’s position regarding Magistrate Judge Pyle’s R&R and or its decision regarding Petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss. For the following reasons, and over all of Petitioner’s objections (Docs 41 & 40), this Court accepts and adopts Magistrate Judge Pyle’s R & R (Doc. 36) as the findings of fact and conclusions of law of this Court. Petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 21) is denied. Moreover, Petitioner’s Motion for a Stay of Proceedings (Doc. 39) is denied as moot.
A. Procedural History
The following facts are supported by the record:
On January 21, 2014 Petitioner Kamondai Young filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254. Doc. 1. Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis. In his First Amended Petition Petitioner raises three grounds for relief: (1) that his Sixth Amendment confrontation rights were violated when the trial court permitted Deputy Ortiz to testify about an out-of-court conversation involving Elizabeth Freiya; (2) that the trial court improperly instructed and coerced the jury to continue deliberations after the jury foreperson informed the Court that the jury was unable to reach a verdict on one of the Counts Petitioner faced in his underlying Cochise County Superior Court Case; and (3) that evidence discovered after trial would have altered the verdict and/or sentence he received in the underlying criminal matter. Doc. 8.
On October 14, 2014, this Court ordered Charles Ryan and the Arizona Attorney General to respond to Petitioner’s First Amended Petition within 40 days of receipt of service. Doc 9. The matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Pyle for further proceedings pursuant to Rules 72.1 and 72.2 of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. Service on the Respondents was executed on October 20, 2014 and October 21, 2014. Docs. 10, 11.
Respondents filed a timely, limited answer on November 17, 2014 requesting Petitioner’s claims be denied as untimely and further requesting dismissal with prejudice. Doc. 13. Respondents also sought leave to file a supplemental answer addressing the merits of the Petition in the event the Court reject[ed] their limited affirmative defenses. Id. Petitioner requested an extension of time to file a reply on December 18, 2014 (prior to the expiration of his time to reply) citing obstacles he was encountering while attempting to research and draft his reply. Judge Pyle, finding good cause for Petitioner’s request, extended his time to file a reply until January 20, 2015. Doc. 15. Petitioner did file a pleading on the January 20, 2015 deadline, however it was not a reply. (Doc. 16).
According to Petitioner’s pleading of January 20, 2015, he had been transferred to Yuma County Detention Center on December 31, 2014 in connection with new charges in an unrelated matter. Doc. 16. Petitioner asserted that, as a result of the transfer, he did not receive a copy of the Court’s Order dictating he should file his reply on or before January 20, 2015 (Doc. 15) until he received his forwarded mail on January 15, 2015. Id. Further, Petitioner complained that he had already started his reply prior to his transfer but that he had been prohibited from bringing said reply and all attendant legal research when he was moved to the Yuma facility. Id. Petitioner explicitly requested the Court order his “legal work box” and its contents be sent to him at the Yuma County Detention Center. Id.
Judge Pyle set the matter for a telephonic status conference so that the parties could discuss the circumstances described in Petitioner’s January 20, 2015 motion. Doc. 17. The hearing was not recorded and the Court’s reporter was not present, however Petitioner and Counsel for the Respondents appeared telephonically. Doc. 18. The Minute Entry from the February 19, 2015 hearing reflects that Magistrate Judge Pyle granted Petitioner’s request that the Court to order the Department of Corrections to send him his legal work box at the Yuma facility. Id. Magistrate Judge Pyle also confirmed that the Petitioner was proceeding pursuant to his Amended Petition (Doc. 8). Id. The Court ordered that Respondents would have until March 11, 2015 to file an Amended Answer addressing Petitioner’s Amended Petition and that Petitioner would have until March 31, 2015 to file a Reply, should he chose to do so (though, the order noted the Court would adjust this deadline based upon the status of Petitioner’s access to his forthcoming legal materials). Id.
On March 10, 2015, before the expiration of the deadline for Respondent’s to file their Amended Answer, Magistrate Judge Pyle issued an order staying this matter, sua sponte, until such time as it could be determined whether Petitioner would remain at the Yuma facility to face new state court charges (or whether Petitioner would be returned to ADOC custody in Florence). Doc. 19. The record does not reflect that a copy of this Order was mailed to the Petitioner.
On April 13, 2015 Magistrate Judge Pyle issued another order, sua sponte, setting the matter for a telephonic status conference on April 28, 2015. Doc. 20. A copy of this Order was mailed to Petitioner. The next day, however, the Clerk of the Court docketed a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 21) that had signed by Petitioner on April 7, 2015.
Magistrate Judge Pyle denied Petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 23), but ultimately vacated that order in favor of submitting a Report and Recommendation (the instant R&R) to this Court. Doc. 35. Respondent filed timely objections to the R&R (Doc. 41), as well as a request to supplement his Objections to the R&R with a letter to the Court (Doc. 42). No letter to the Court was attached to Petitioner’s Request to Supplement (Doc. 42), however, Petitioner did identify the referenced letter by name. See Doc. 42 at 1. Said letter (Doc. 40), which was apparently filed in response to the June 5, 2015 telephonic hearing and before Petitioner filed his request to supplement his objection(s) to the R&R, was docketed by the Clerk of the Court as a Motion. However, in ...