United States District Court, D. New Mexico
PEDRO J. "PETE" AMARO, Petitioner,
R.C. SMITH, Warden, ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
the Court is Pedro Amaro's Class Action Petition Under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (Doc. 1). Amaro
asks the Court to vacate all criminal judgments entered in
New Mexico's Ninth Judicial District Court between 1979
and 2012/2013. (Doc. 1, p. 1). Amaro also appears to
challenge his state court murder conviction based on, inter
alia, judicial misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, and
ineffective assistance of counsel. (Doc. 1, p. 9). As
discussed below, the Court will dismiss all "class
action" claims and require Amaro to show cause ' why
his own habeas petition should not be dismissed as untimely.
was convicted of first degree murder, tampering with
evidence, and burglary in New Mexico's Ninth Judicial
District Court, case no. D-905-CR-2001-00182. Judgment on his
conviction was entered no later than 2004. See NTC:
Entry of Judgment entered April 20, 2004 in D-905-CR-2001
-00182. Amaro filed a direct appeal from the criminal
judgment, which was affirmed on August 19, 2005. See
Mandate/Affirmed entered August 19, 2005 in
D-905-CR-2001-00182. Amaro's conviction and sentence
therefore became final by November of 2005, when the
"ninety-day time period for filing a certiorari petition
with the United States Supreme Court expired."
Harris v. Dinwiddie, 642 F.3d 902, 906 n. 6 (10th
Cir. 2011) (addressing finality in § 2254 cases). Nearly
twelve years later on August 30, 2017, Amaro filed the
federal § 2254 petition. See Doc. 1.
Class Action Claims
initial matter, Amaro seeks to vacate the judgments of
thousands of prisoners convicted over the course of about 32
years. He argues that all judgments entered in New
Mexico's Ninth Judicial District Court between 1979 and
2012/2013 "are void for lack of jurisdiction"
because they were "procured by fraud...." (Doc. 1,
p. 1). Even if § 2254 afforded this type of relief -
which it does not - a pro se litigant cannot
represent or act on behalf of others. As the Tenth Circuit
pointed out, "the competence of a layman is clearly too
limited to allow him to risk the rights of others."
Fymbo v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 213 F.3d
1320, 1321 (10th Cir. 2000) (quoting Oxendine v.
Williams, 509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975)).
Amaro's "class action" claims purporting to
challenge the convictions of other unidentified prisoners
will therefore be dismissed.
Timeliness of Amaro's Habeas Claims
for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody must
generally be filed within one year after the defendant's
conviction becomes final. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). The
one-year limitation period can be extended:
(1) While a state habeas petition is pending, §
(2) Where unconstitutional state action has impeded the
filing of a federal habeas petition, § 2244(d)(1)(B);
(3) Where a new constitutional right has been recognized by
the Supreme Court, § 2244(d)(1)(C); or
(4) Where the factual basis for the claim could not have been
discovered until later, § 2244(d)(1)(C).
tolling may also available "when an inmate diligently
pursues his claims and demonstrates that the failure to
timely file was caused by extraordinary circumstances beyond
his [or her] control." Marsh v. Soares, 223
F.3d 1217, 1220 (10th Cir. 2000).
appears that the one-year limitation period had expired over
a decade before Amaro filed his § 2254 petition. Amaro
argues equitable tolling applies based on the State's