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Salahuddin v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

April 8, 2019

Rafeeq Qadeer Salahuddin, Petitioner,
Charles L Ryan, et al., Respondents.



         Pending before the Court is Magistrate Judge Bridget S. Bade's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) on the merits of Petitioner Rafeeq Qadeer Salahuddin's Petition for the Writ of Habeas Corpus. The accepts the R&R.


         Because no party has objected to the procedural background provided by Magistrate Judge Bade, the Court will adopt it as an accurate account. (Doc. 17 at 1-4). Magistrate Judge Bade recommends that Salahuddin's petition be denied as untimely. (Doc. 17 at 9). Salahuddin objects to the conclusions of the R&R, arguing that it mischaracterizes the grounds for relief stated in his petition, wrongly ignores the fact that a state-created barrier prevented him from filing his claim in a timely fashion, and contends that Martinez v. Ryan, should excuse his untimeliness. But because the R&R correctly analyzed his claims, his petition for habeas corpus is denied.


         I. Legal Standard

         This court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). “[T]he district judge must review the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made, but not otherwise. United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (emphasis in original). District courts are not required to conduct “any review at all . . . of any issue that is not the subject of an objection.” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985).

         II. Analysis

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”) “imposes a one-year statute of limitation on habeas corpus petitions filed by state prisoners in federal court.” Jenkins v. Johnson, 330 F.3d 1146, 1149 (9th Cir. 2003) (internal citations omitted). This one-year period runs from the latest of four possible dates, two of which are relevant here. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1). Typically, the one-year statute of limitations runs from “the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final.” Id. But because Salahuddin's conviction became final before the effective date of AEDPA, he had a one-year grace period beginning in 1996 in which he could have filed a timely challenge. See Patterson v. Stewart, 251 F.3d 1243, 1246 (9th Cir. 2001) (“AEDPA's one-year grace period for challenging convictions finalized before AEDPA's enactment date . . . ended on April 24, 1997 in the absence of statutory tolling.”). AEDPA also permits the statute of limitations to run from “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.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(B). AEDPA's statute of limitations is also subject to equitable tolling. Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 645 (2010). But equitable tolling is not frequently available. To qualify, a petitioner must demonstrate “that he has been pursuing his rights diligently and . . . that some extraordinary circumstance stood in his way.” Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005).

         Here, Salahuddin presents two arguments for why the Court should not conclude his petition is untimely. First, he argues that the Arizona Supreme Court's decision on his original appeal represented an external impediment that prevented him from bringing his claims, and that impediment was not lifted until he was informed of new developments in the law around September 2013. Then, he argues that equitable tolling should apply because of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Martinez. Because neither argument is successful, the petition is untimely.

         1. External Impediment

         Salahuddin argues that the Arizona Supreme Court created an impediment when it determined that his counsel had waived objections to the jury selection panel. While this ruling was adverse, it did not create an impediment to him filing any challenge that he wished to in federal court. Salahuddin now claims that this impediment did not lift until he was informed about developments in the law in September 2013. (Doc. at 8). But whether Salahuddin was informed of developments in precedent has little bearing on what the Arizona Supreme Court did when it ruled on his direct appeal.

         2. Martinez Does Not Apply To AEDPA's Timeliness Requirement.

         Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1 (2012), does not apply here. Martinez recognized a narrow set of circumstances in which the procedural default of a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel can be excused because of the ineffectiveness of counsel in PCR proceedings. Cook v. Ryan, 688 F.3d 598, 607 (9th Cir. 2012). But that is not the issue here. Martinez does not apply to tolling the limitations of § 2244(d). Other courts have also reached this conclusion. See Lambrix v. Sec'y, Florida Dept. of Corr., 756 F.3d 1246, 1249 (11th Cir. 2014) (“the equitable rule in Martinez applies only to the issue of cause to excuse the procedural default of an ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim that occurred in a state collateral proceeding and has no application to the operation or tolling of the § 2244(d) state of limitations for filing a § 2254 petition”); Madueno v. Ryan, No. CV-13-01382-PHX-SRB, 2014 WL 2094189, at *7 (D. Ariz. ...

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