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Ragin v. Clarke

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

January 25, 2019

THELONIOUS B. RAGIN, II, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD W. CLARKE, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JOHN A. GIBNEY, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Thelonious B. Ragin, II, 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 of the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia (hereinafter, "Circuit Court"). Respondent moves to dismiss on the ground that the one-year statute of limitations governing federal habeas petitions bars the § 2254 Petition. Ragin has responded. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 10) will be GRANTED.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Following a jury trial, Ragin was convicted of aggravated malicious wounding, maliciously shooting into an occupied vehicle, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. (ECF No. 12-1, at 2; § 2254 Pet. I.)[1] Ragin appealed. (ECF No. 12-1, at 2.) On December 11, 2015, the Court of Appeals of Virginia denied Ragin's appeal. (Id.) Ragin did not pursue a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

         On March 16, 2017, Ragin filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Supreme Court of Virginia ("First State Habeas Petition"). (See ECF No. 12-2, at 1.) On June 14, 2017, the Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed the petition. (Id.)

         On October 30, 2017, Ragin filed another petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Supreme Court of Virginia ("Second State Habeas Petition"). (See ECF No. 12-3, at 1.) On March 14, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia denied the petition and found, inter alia, that "the petition was not timely filed as it was not filed within two years from the April 13, 2015, final judgment in the trial court as recited in the petition. Code § 8.01-654(A)(2).M (Id.)

         On May 15, 2018, Ragin filed his § 2254 Petition with this Court.[2] In his § 2254 Petition, Ragin contends that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because appellate counsel failed to pursue a second-tier appeal from the Court of Appeals of Virginia to the Supreme Court of Virginia. (§ 2254 Pet. 5.)

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Statute of Limitations

         Respondent contends that the federal statute of limitations bars Ragin'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 the judgment of a state court. Specifically, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) now reads:

1. 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 ...

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