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Medina v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 14, 2016

James Adam Medina, Petitioner,
Charles Ryan, et al., Respondents.


          David C. Bury United States District Judge

         This matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco, pursuant to the Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, District of Arizona (Local Rules), Rule (Civil) 72.1(a). On July 8, 2016, Magistrate Judge Velasco issued a Report and Recommendation (R&R). He recommends that the Court dismiss the Petition with prejudice because it is barred by a one-year statute of limitation, and the actual innocence exception to the limitation period does not apply. The Court agrees and accepts and adopts the Magistrate Judge's R&R as the findings of fact and conclusions of law of this Court and dismisses the Petition, with prejudice.


         The duties of the district court in connection with an R&R by a Magistrate Judge are set forth in Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The district court may “accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Where the parties object to an R&R, “‘[a] judge of the [district] court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the [R&R] to which objection is made.'” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149-50 (1985) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)).

         This Court's ruling is a de novo determination as to those portions of the R&R to which there are objections. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Wang v. Masaitis, 416 F.3d 992, 1000 n. 13 (9th Cir.2005); United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121-22 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc). To the extent that no objection has been made, arguments to the contrary have been waived. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72; see 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (objections are waived if they are not filed within fourteen days of service of the R&R), see also McCall v. Andrus, 628 F.2d 1185, 1187 (9th Cir. 1980) (failure to object to Magistrate's report waives right to do so on appeal); Advisory Committee Notes to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 (citing Campbell v. United States Dist. Court, 501 F.2d 196, 206 (9th Cir. 1974) (when no timely objection is filed, the court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation)).

         The parties were sent copies of the R&R and instructed that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), they had 14 days to file written objections. See also, Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 (party objecting to the recommended disposition has fourteen (14) days to file specific, written objections). The Court has considered the objections filed by the Petitioner, [1] and the parties' briefs considered by the Magistrate Judge in deciding whether or not to dismiss the Petition.


         The Petitioner objects to the Magistrate Judge's R&R. He argues that his Petition was timely filed in respect to April 28, 2014, the date the Mandate issued. He asserts that if the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that the Petition was untimely, there was excusable neglect due to prison conditions such as insufficient research time in the prison library and/or the untimeliness should be excused because he is actually innocent.


         The Court does not repeat the procedural history of this habeas case, which the Magistrate Judge set out in the R&R, (R&R (Doc. 34) at 1-4), except as is relevant here. Petitioner's PCR Petition was denied on April 12, 2012. The Arizona Court of Appeals accepted review but denied relief on November 27, 2012. After multiple extensions of time to file a petition for review in the Arizona Supreme Court, on February 24, 2014, the last extension of time expired. On March 13, 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court dismissed the matter and issued a Mandate on April 28, 2014. The Magistrate Judge correctly found the one-year time period for filing a federal habeas petition began when the time for review in the Arizona Supreme Court expired: February 24, 2014. This case was filed March 30, 2015, and is untimely.

         As noted by the Magistrate Judge, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, (AEDPA) “‘imposes a one-year statute of limitations on habeas corpus petitions filed by state prisoners in federal court.'” (R&R (Doc. 34) at 4 (quoting Patterson v. Stewart, 251 F.3d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 2001) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1))

Section 2244(d)(1) provides:
The limitations period shall 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 ...

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