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Dumas v. Goguen

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 6, 2018

ROY DUMAS, Petitioner,
v.
COLETTE GOGUEN, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

          TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Background

         Ray Dumas (“Dumas” or “Petitioner”) has filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (Docket No. 1)(”Petition”) alleging three grounds for relief. Specifically, Petitioner asserts the following claims in his Petition[1]:

Ground One: The Defendant's Federal Constitution Rights were violated when DNA Supervisor, Kerly Fenesan, was allowed to testify to work performed by criminalist Sherri Crook when Ms. Crook's Criminalistics Report was introduced at trial. This was contrary to and an unreasonable application of the Supreme Court's holding in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.
Ground Two: Defendant received constitutionally ineffective assistance of appellate counsel where the Supreme Court decided Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305 (209) before the defendant filed his appellate brief but appellate counsel failed to challenge the admission of the Criminalistics Report-and the testimony of Kelly Fenesan as a “substitute analyst.” This was contrary to and an unreasonable application of the Supreme Court's holding in Strickland v. Washington, and Me1endez.-Diaz v. Massachusetts.
Ground Three: The trial court abused its discretion when it denied the defendant's motion for post-conviction discovery of the “Entire Lab File” where the testimony of Kelly Fenesan, DNA Supervisor, leaves doubt that she personally had a hand in testing DNA evidence submitted by the defendant and the complainant, especially where it appears that they were tested by Assigned DNA Analyst: Dominique Savinielli. This denied the petitioner a fair trial, which he is entitled to under the United States Constitution.

         This Memorandum of Decision and Order addresses Respondent Colette Goguen's Motion To Dismiss Petition For Writ Of Habeas Corpus (Docket No. 14). For the reasons set forth below, this motion is allowed.

         Discussion

         Respondent has filed a motion to dismiss the Petition as time barred pursuant to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1), et seq., which requires a state prisoner to file his federal habeas petition within one year of the date on which his state conviction becomes final. Respondent asserts that Dumas's conviction became final in April 2011 when he failed to file an application for leave to obtain further appellate review (“ALOFAR”) with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (“SJC”) after the Massachusetts Court of Appeals (“MAC”) denied his direct appeal. Dumas did not file his Petition until April 2017. Dumas asserts that his appeal is timely because the Grounds For Relief raised his Petition were first presented to the state court in his post-conviction motions filed in 2014-- the SJC denied his ALOFAR seeking review of the MAC's affirmance of the trial court's denial of those claims on March 6, 2017, and his Petition was filed within a year of that denial. Dumas also argues that if this Court determines that his Petition is time barred, extraordinary circumstances exist which warrant the application of equitable tolling.[2]

         On April 24, 1996, the statutes governing habeas corpus petitions for prisoners in state and federal custody were amended by the AEDPA to impose a one year statute of limitations period on the filing of all non-capital habeas petitions in federal courts. See 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1); see also Zuluaga v. United States, 971 F.Supp. 616 (D.Mass. 1997). In general, for prisoners in state custody, the limitations period begins to run on “the date which the judgment becomes final by conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for such review.” 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1)(a). The Respondent's supporting memorandum sets out the factual and procedural background of this case in detail and includes a comprehensive discussion of the applicable legal standards. Based on the legal arguments set forth in the Respondent's memorandum, which I adopt, I find that Dumas's Petition is barred by the AEDPA's one year statute of limitations and therefore, must be dismissed.[3]

         Conclusion

         It is Ordered that:

Respondent Colette Goguen's Motion To Dismiss Petition For Writ Of Habeas Corpus (Docket No. 14) is granted.

         CERTIFICATE ...


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