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Chapman v. Allen

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

December 19, 2016

JOHNNY RAY CHAPMAN, Petitioner,
v.
C. ALLEN, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Roderick C. Young United States Magistrate Judge

         Johnny Ray Chapman, a Virginia state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("§ 2254 Petition, " ECF No. 1) challenging his convictions in the Circuit Court for the County of Southampton, Virginia ("Circuit Court"). Respondent moves to dismiss on the ground that, inter alia, the one-year statute of limitations governing federal habeas petitions bars the § 2254 Petition. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 15) will be GRANTED.

         I. PERTINENT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On July 11, 2013, the Circuit Court entered final judgment and sentenced Chapman to an active prison term of twelve years and six months for possession with intent to distribute 227 grams of melhamphetamine and felony child abuse. (ECF No. 17-2, at \-A.) Chapman did not appeal.

         On September 27, 2013, Chapman filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Circuit Court ("First State Habeas Petition"). (ECF No. 17-3, at 1.) On January 28, 2014, the Circuit Court denied the First State Habeas Petition. (ECF No. 17-4, at 5.) Chapman did not appeal.

         On May 28, 2015, Chapman filed a second petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Supreme Court of Virginia ("Second State Petition"). (ECF No. 17-5, at 1.) On November 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed the Second State Petition. (Id.)

         On December 1, 2015, Chapman filed his § 2254 Petition in this Court.[1] (§ 2254 Pet.15.) In his § 2254 Petition, Chapman asserts the following claims for relief:[2]

Claim One "The state court erred when it denied Petitioner's state habeas corpus as contrary to clear and overwhelming evidence of ineffective assistance of counsel." (Id. at 6.)
Claim Two Chapman was denied the effective assistance of counsel when counsel, "by letter of August 6, 2013, " refused Chapman's request that counsel file an appeal. (ECF No. 2, at 3 (as paginated by CM/ECF).)
Claim Three My attorney pressured me into pleading guilty. (Id. at 3-4 (as paginated by CM/ECF).)

         Chapman's first claim does not provide any basis for federal habeas relief. "[C]laims of error occurring in a state post-conviction proceeding cannot serve as a basis for federal habeas corpus relief." Bryant v. Maryland, 848 F.2d 492, 493 (4th Cir. 1988) (citing cases). This is so because Chapman is detained as a result of the underlying state conviction, not the state collateral proceeding. See Lawrence v. Branker, 517 F.3d 700, 717 (4th Cir. 2008). Accordingly, Claim One will be DISMISSED.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Statute of Limitations

         Respondent contends that the federal statute of limitations bars Chapman's claims. Section 101 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") amended 28 U.S.C. § 2244 to establish a one-year period of limitation for the filing of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to ...


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