United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
has sought a writ of habeas corpus requesting relief from his
Massachusetts state court firearms convictions. [ECF No. 1].
Currently pending before the Court is Respondent's motion
to dismiss the petition as time-barred under the applicable
one-year statute of limitations. [ECF No. 13]. For the
following reasons, the Court GRANTS the motion.
August 18, 2010, Petitioner was convicted by a jury of
trafficking in cocaine within 1, 000 feet of a school zone,
possession of a firearm and ammunition without a license, and
possession of marijuana. [ECF No. 21-1 at 3-4, 177]. After
trial, Petitioner also entered a guilty plea to an indictment
charging him with being an armed career criminal.
Commonwealth v. Blue, 994 N.E.2d 817, 2013 WL
5377118, at *1 (Mass. App. Ct. 2013). He then timely appealed
his convictions, arguing that three pretrial motions to
suppress should have been allowed and that the Massachusetts
firearm licensing scheme is unconstitutional. Id On
September 27, 2013, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed
his convictions. Id. On September 30, 2013, he filed
a petition for rehearing, which was considered and denied on
October 3, 2013. [ECF No. 21-1 at 18]. He subsequently filed
an application for further appellate review, which was denied
on November 21, 2013. Commonwealth v. Blue, 998
N.E.2d 342 (Mass. 2013).
February 21, 2014, after the indictment of Annie Dookhan and
the discovery of widespread misconduct at the William A.
Hinton State Laboratory Institute (“Hinton State
Lab”), Petitioner moved for a stay of execution of
sentence pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 31, claiming that the
misconduct at the Hinton State Lab and Dookhan's perjured
testimony at his trial created a reasonable likelihood that
he would eventually obtain a new trial. [ECF No. 21-1 at 26,
29]. He asserted in his motion that he would file a motion
for a new trial “as soon as possible.”
Id. at 29.
March 3, 2014, while the motion for a stay of execution of
sentence was pending, the Supreme Judicial Court issued
Commonwealth v. Scott, 5 N.E.3d 530, 545 (Mass.
2014), which held that defendants for whom Dookhan served as
the primary or secondary chemist were entitled to a
conclusive presumption that egregious government misconduct
had occurred in his or her case. On March 27, 2014, following
a hearing, Petitioner's motion for a stay of execution of
sentence was denied on the ground that his firearms
convictions were unlikely to warrant a new trial even in
light of Dookhan's misconduct. [ECF No. 21-1 at 26].
5, 2014, Petitioner filed a motion for a new trial, raising
ineffective assistance of counsel and the same grounds
supporting his motion for a stay of execution of sentence.
[ECF No. 21 at 6]. Commonwealth v. Blue, 46 N.E.3d
114, 2016 WL 757758, at *1 (Mass. App. Ct. 2016). On January
20, 2015, the motion for a new trial was granted as to
Petitioner's drug charges but denied as to the firearms
charges. Blue, 2016 WL 757758, at *1. On January 29,
2015, the Commonwealth nolle prossed
Petitioner's drug charges. [ECF No. 21-1 at 14]. On
January 22, 2015, Petitioner appealed the partial denial of
his motion for a new trial. [ECF No. 21-1 at 14]. His appeal
was denied on February 26, 2016, thereby affirming the
partial denial of his motion. Blue, 2016 WL 757758,
at *3. He then sought further appellate review, which was
denied on April 27, 2016. Commonwealth v. Blue, 50
N.E.3d 192 (Mass. 2016).
eventually filed his petition for a writ of habeas corpus in
this Court on March 20, 2017, claiming ineffective assistance
of counsel based on his attorney's failure to argue that
an undated affidavit accompanying a search warrant failed to
establish probable cause. [ECF No. 1 at 6, 8]. Respondent
then filed the instant motion to dismiss the petition as
time-barred under the one-year statute of limitations
prescribed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act (“AEDPA”). [ECF No. 14 at 1, 5-6].
evaluating a motion to dismiss, a court must accept all of
the non-moving party's well-pleaded facts as true and
consider those facts in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Cooperman v. Individual, Inc., 171
F.3d 43, 46 (1st Cir. 1999). “[T]he standard of review
upon a motion to dismiss a habeas claim is whether the facts
alleged by the petitioner, taken as true unless contradicted
by the record, state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” United States v. Alba, 657 F.Supp.2d
309, 312 (D. Mass. 2009).
AEDPA imposes a one-year statute of limitations on filing a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which begins to run on
the latest of either:
(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