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Snyder v. Clark

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

March 1, 2019

JARREL ANTWAN SNYDER, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD CLARK, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ELIZABETH K. DILLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Jarrel Antwan Snyder, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to challenge his criminal judgment entered by the Circuit Court of the City of Salem. This matter is before the court on respondent's motion to dismiss. Having reviewed the record, the court grants the motion and dismisses the petition as time-barred.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 19, 2012, after a jury trial, the Circuit Court of the City of Salem entered final judgment, convicting Snyder of possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a violent felony, attempted malicious wounding, attempted carjacking, conspiring to commit carjacking, malicious wounding, using a firearm in the commission of a carjacking, using a firearm in the commission of attempted malicious wounding, and using a firearm in the commission of malicious wounding. The court sentenced Snyder to a total of thirty-seven years of incarceration. Snyder, appealed and the Court of Appeals of Virginia refused his appeal and petition for rehearing. Thereafter, the Supreme Court of Virginia refused Snyder's petition for appeal on January 14, 2014. Snyder did not file a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States regarding his direct appeal.

         On January 14, 2015, Snyder filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Circuit Court of the City of Salem. After an evidentiary hearing, the court dismissed the petition. Snyder appealed, and the Supreme Court of Virginia refused his appeal on April 28, 2017. Snyder then filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, which denied the petition on October 10, 2017. Snyder filed the instant federal habeas petition on November 27, 2017, alleging multiple grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel. See R. Gov. § 2254 Cases 3(d) (describing the prison-mailbox rule).

         II. DISCUSSION

         Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), a petitioner has a one-year period of limitation to file a federal habeas corpus petition. This statute of limitations runs 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 retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Here, Snyder alleges nothing to support application of § 2244(d)(1)(B-D).[1] Under § 2244(d)(1)(A), Snyder's conviction became final on April 14, 2014, when his time to file a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States expired, and the statute of limitations began to run on that date.

         Section 2244(d)(2) tolls the federal limitation period during the time in which “a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review . . . is pending.” Snyder filed his state habeas petition in the Circuit Court of the City of Salem on January 14, 2015, after the statute of limitations had run for approximately 275 days. The statute of limitations was tolled during the pendency of his state habeas petition and subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia, which was denied on April 28, 2017. Snyder filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States challenging the state habeas ruling; however, that petition did not toll the statute of limitations. See Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S. 327, 329-36 (2007). Therefore, the statute of limitations began to run again on April 29, 2017, the day after his state habeas appeal was denied, and it stopped approximately 213 days later when Snyder filed the instant federal habeas petition on November 27, 2017. A total of 488 days passed before Snyder filed his federal habeas petition, and, thus, the petition is time-barred unless Snyder demonstrates that he is actually innocent of his convictions, McQuiggin v. Perkins, 569 U.S. 383, 386 (2013), or that the court should equitably toll the statute of limitations, Rouse v. Lee, 339 F.3d. 238, 246 (4th Cir. 2003).

         Snyder does not allege that he is actually innocent of his convictions, but he does argue that the statute of limitations should be equitably tolled. A district court may apply equitable tolling only in “those rare instances where-due to circumstances external to the party's own conduct-it would be unconscionable to enforce the limitation period against the party and gross injustice would result.” Rouse v. Lee, 339 F.3d. 238, 246 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing Harris, 209 F.3d at 330). The petitioner must demonstrate that some action by the respondent or “some other extraordinary circumstance beyond his control” prevented him from complying with the statutory time limit, despite his exercise of “reasonable diligence in investigating and bringing the claims.” Harris, 209 F.3d at 330 (citing Miller v. N.J. State Dep't of Corrs., 145 F.3d 616, 618 (3d Cir. 1998)). An inmate asserting equitable tolling “‘bears a strong burden to show specific facts'” that demonstrate he fulfills both elements of the test. Yang v. Archuleta, 525 F.3d 925, 928 ...


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