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Vine v. Janecka

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

June 14, 2017

ELGIN VINE, Petitioner,
v.
JAMES JANECKA, WARDEN and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the Re-Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by Petitioner Elgin Vine on May 28, 2015 (Doc. 1). The Court finds that Petitioner Vine's § 2254 claims are barred by the 1-year statute of limitations of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1) and will dismiss the Re-Petition.

         Petitioner Elgin Vine was convicted by a jury of second degree murder in State of New Mexico, County of Lea, Fifth Judicial District Court cause no. D-506-CR-201100222. The Amended Judgment on his conviction was entered on June 11, 2012. (Doc. 12-1 at 17). Petitioner Vine filed a direct appeal from the criminal Judgment, and his conviction was affirmed by the New Mexico Court of Appeals on December 6, 2012. The New Mexico Supreme Court denied his Petition for Writ of Certiorari on February 7, 2013. (Doc. 12-1 at 20). The Judgment on his conviction and sentence became final 105 days later on May 23, 2013, when he did not seek reconsideration of the New Mexico Supreme Court's ruling or further review in the United States Supreme Court. See Harris v. Dinwiddie, 642 F.3d 902, 906 n. 6 (10th Cir. 2011).

         Vine then filed his first Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this Court on February10, 2014. See CV 14-00126 JCH/SCY Doc. 1. His first § 2254 Petition raised four issues: (1) violation of his constitutional rights because his conviction was based on his own statements; (2) violation of his constitutional rights because he was convicted in the absence of evidence of his mens rea to kill the victim; (3) failure of the state trial court to instruct the jury on imperfect self-defense; and (4) cumulative error. (CV 14-00126 JCH/SCY Doc. 13 at 2). The Court determined that only issue (3) had been exhausted in the New Mexico appellate courts by his direct appeal. The Court gave Petitioner Vine the option to either withdraw his unexhausted claims and proceed forward on the exhausted claim or to have the entire case dismissed without prejudice in order to permit him to exhaust his state court remedies. (CV 14-00126 JCH/SCY Doc. 13, 14). Vine sought a stay of proceedings, instead, but the Court concluded that the circumstances for a stay did not exist. The Court dismissed the proceeding without prejudice on January 28, 2015. (CV 14-00126 JCH/SCY Doc. 17).

         While Vine's first § 2254 Petition was pending in this Court, Vine filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in his State-court proceeding on May 19, 2014.[1] (Doc. 12-1 at 1). In his State habeas corpus petition, he raised four issues: (1) self-incrimination; (2) no corpus delicti; (3) lack of evidence to support a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt; and (4) cumulative error. (Doc. 12-1 at 1-14). The State district court denied Vine's State habeas petition on January 14, 2015. (Doc. 12-1 at 34). The New Mexico Supreme Court denied issuance of a writ of certiorari to review the district court's ruling on March 2, 2015. (Doc. 12-1 at 46). Under Rule 12-402(B) of the New Mexico Rules of Appellate Procedure, the New Mexico Supreme Court's mandate became final 15 days later on March 17, 2015.[2]

         Vine filed his second Re-Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on May 28, 2015. (Doc. 1).[3] His Re-Petition raises the same four issues that he asserted in his State habeas corpus petition. (Doc. 1 at 5). A period of 72 days elapsed between the time of the New Mexico Supreme Court's mandate under Rule 12-402(B), March 17, 2015, and the filing of his Re-Petition in this Court on May 28, 2015. The Respondents filed an Answer to the Re-Petition, raising, among other issues, the affirmative defense of statute of limitations. (Doc. 12).[4] Petitioner Vine filed his Reply to the State's Response In Re: 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 15).

         Petitions for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody are governed by a one-year statute of limitations. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Section 2244(d)(1) states:

“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 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).

         Because all of the claims asserted by Petitioner Vine were available to him from the time Judgment was entered on his criminal conviction, the limitation period of § 2244(d)(1)(A) is the applicable period in this case. The 1-year period governing Vine's § 2254 claims, then, began to run on May 23, 2013, 105 days after the New Mexico Supreme Court's February 7, 2013 denial of certiorari in his direct appeal (15 days for reconsideration under Rule ...


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