United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
STEVEN D. CORREIA, Petitioner,
SEAN MEDEIROS, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Talwani, United States District Judge.
Steven D. Correia filed a Petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus [#1] to remedy his
allegedly unlawful detention. Presently at issue are
Respondent Sean Medeiros' Motion to Dismiss Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus [#20] and Correia's
Motion for Leave to File Amended Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus [#36]. For the following reasons,
Respondent's Motion [#20] is ALLOWED, and
Correia's Motion [#36] is DENIED.
February 1990, Correia was convicted by a Massachusetts
Superior Court jury of kidnapping and aggravated rape.
See Findings of Fact, Rulings of Law, and Order on
Def.'s Mot. for a New Trial (“Order on Def.'s
Mot. for a New Trial”) [#1-1]. He was sentenced to life
in state prison. See id. Correia timely appealed his
conviction and the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed in
June 1994. Commonwealth v. Correia, 636 N.E.2d 1372
(Mass. App. Ct. 1994). The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial
Court (“SJC”) denied Correia's request for
further appellate review on September 9, 1994.
Commonwealth v. Correia, 640 N.E.2d 475 (Mass.
October 2012, Correia filed a motion for a new trial pursuant
to Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure 30(b), alleging
that the courtroom was improperly closed during jury voir
dire, in violation of Correia's Sixth Amendment right to
public trial. Order on Def.'s Mot. for a New Trial
[#1-1]. After an evidentiary hearing, the motion judge denied
Correia's motion in August 2013. Id. Correia
appealed this order and the Massachusetts Appeals Court
affirmed in October 2015. Commonwealth v. Correia,
39 N.E.3d 470 (Mass. App. Ct. 2015). The Appeals Court agreed
with Correia that the closure of the courtroom during jury
voir dire did amount to a constitutional violation, but found
that Correia waived any remedy by consenting to the closure
of the courtroom at the time of the voir dire. Id.
at *1. The SJC denied Correia's application for further
appellate review on December 3, 2015. Commonwealth v.
Correia, 41 N.E.3d 1091 (Mass. 2015).
subsequently filed the petition now before this court. For
purposes of the pending motion, the court assumes the
petition was filed on November 29, 2016, the date, according
to Correia's certification, that the petition was placed
in the prison mail system. See Morales-Rivera v. United
States, 184 F.3d 109, 109 (1st Cir. 1999) (establishing
that “a pro se prisoner's motion under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 or § 2254 is filed on the date that it is
deposited in the prison's internal mail-system for
forwarding to the district court, provided that the prisoner
utilizes, if available, the prison's system for recording
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), A 1-year period of limitation shall
apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court.
The limitation 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 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.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). For petitions accruing prior to
AEDPA's effective date of April 24, 1996, there is a
one-year grace period running from April 24, 1996. See
Gaskins v. Duval, 183 F.3d 8, 9 (1st Cir. 1999).
the time for seeking collateral review of Correia's
state-court conviction following the SJC's 1994 decision
on his direct appeal accrued before AEDPA's effective
date of April 24, 1996. ...