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Correia v. Medeiros

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

January 11, 2018

STEVEN D. CORREIA, Petitioner,
v.
SEAN MEDEIROS, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Indira Talwani, United States District Judge.

         Petitioner 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.

         I. Background

         In 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. 1994).

         In 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).

         Correia 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 legal mail”).

         II. Discussion

         Under 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).

         Here, 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. ...


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