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Mayfield v. Director, Dept. of Corrections

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

January 20, 2015

TROY L. MAYFIELD, Petitioner,
v.
DIRECTOR, DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

Troy L. Mayfield, Pro Se Petitioner.

OPINION

JAMES P. JONES, District Judge.

Troy L. Mayfield, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, has filed a pleading that he styles as "PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME INVOLVING TRIGGERING DATE TO FILE PETITON IN SAID COURT." The court liberally construed and filed Mayfield's motion as a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Because Mayfield's current submission does not state any legal claims for relief, however, I find that the § 2254 action opened by the court based on this submission must be dismissed without prejudice, and Mayfield's motion for extension to file a § 2254 petition must be denied.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), a habeas petition challenging a state court judgment must normally be filed within one year from the date on which the petitioner exhausted opportunities for direct appeal, including the option to file a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.[1] For a district court to have jurisdiction over a motion seeking an extension of the § 2244(d) filing period, that motion must either be filed concurrently with or after the habeas petition itself, or the motion itself must be construed as a § 2254 petition. See, e.g., Ramirez v. United States, 461 F.Supp.2d 439, 441 (E.D. Va. 2006) (regarding motions seeking an extension of the similar time limit to file habeas claims under 28 U.S.C. § 2255). "[W]here a motion, nominally seeking an extension of time, contains allegations sufficient to support a [habeas] claim... a district court is empowered, and in some instances may be required... to treat that motion as a substantive [petition] for relief.'" Id. (quoting Green v. United States, 260 F.3d 78, 83 (2d Cir. 2001)). In this case, Mayfield's motion seeking an extension does not allege any cognizable claim for relief under § 2254 and, thus, is not amenable to being construed as a substantive § 2254 petition.

Accordingly, I will deny the petition and motion by separate final order.[2]


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