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Chamberlin v. Medeiros

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

June 21, 2018

PETER CHAMBERLIN, Petitioner,
v.
SEAN MEDEIROS, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON HABEAS CORPUS PETITION (#1).

          M. PAGE KELLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION.

         Peter Chamberlin, pro se, petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (#1.) Respondent moved to dismiss on the grounds that the petition was time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). (#10.) Petitioner filed a reply. (#14.) He argued that his filing of a motion to late-file an appeal of the denial of a motion to revise and revoke his sentence tolled the limitations period, and also that the equitable tolling doctrine applied. Id. at 4.

         For the reasons set out below, this court recommends that the district court find that the petition is time-barred and that petitioner has not demonstrated “extraordinary circumstances” warranting application of the equitable tolling doctrine.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND.

         On August 1, 2011, petitioner was convicted after a jury trial in a Massachusetts Superior Court of armed robbery while masked, kidnapping for purposes of extortion, and armed assault with intent to murder. (#11-1 at 21.) He was sentenced to eighteen to twenty years for the armed assault with intent to murder; six to eight years for the armed robbery, consecutive to the first sentence; and ten years to ten years and one day for the kidnapping, consecutive to the second sentence. Id. at 21-22. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed his convictions on December 5, 2014. See Commonwealth v. Chamberlin, 86 Mass.App.Ct. 705, 20 N.E.3d 954 (2014). The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the convictions on February 19, 2016. See Commonwealth v. Chamberlin, 473 Mass. 653, 45 N.E.3d 900 (2016).

         Petitioner did not file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court and so direct review concluded on May 19, 2016, ninety days from the date of the Supreme Judicial Court's opinion. See Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 149 (2012).

         Petitioner then tolled the limitations period for filing a habeas petition by filing a post-conviction motion in the state trial court to revise and revoke his sentence under Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure 29. (#11-1 at 24.) See Holmes v. Spencer, 685 F.3d 51, 60 (1st Cir. 2012) (holding that filing of state post-conviction motion to reduce imposed sentence tolls habeas petition's limitations period). As respondent concedes, by filing the motion to revise and revoke on May 19, 2016, petitioner thus tolled the limitations period before it even began to run. (#11 at 3; #11-1 at 24.) The trial court denied the motion two months later, on July 17, 2016. (11-1 at 24.) Petitioner did not file a timely notice of appeal.[1]

         On March 13, 2017, petitioner filed a motion to late-file a notice of appeal from the denial of his motion to revise and revoke. (#11-1 at 1.) The Appeals Court denied the motion on March 16, 2017, but gave petitioner two weeks to renew the motion “demonstrating [a] meritorious appellate issue.” Id. Petitioner did not renew the motion and in fact withdrew it on May 17, 2017. Id.

         III. TIMELINESS OF THE PETITION.

         The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) provides for a one- year statute of limitations for filing a habeas petition, which runs from the day “the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of time for seeking such review.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). The statute of limitations is tolled while a “properly filed application for state collateral review” is pending in state court. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S. 327, 332 (2007).

         As set out above, petitioner tolled the limitations period by filing the motion to revise and revoke his sentence on May 19, 2016. The one-year limitations period for his habeas petition thus began to run on July 17, 2016, when the motion was denied.

         As petitioner did not file his habeas petition until August 28, 2017, his petition is out of time.

         IV. THERE IS NO BASIS TO TOLL THE STATUTE ...


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