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Cochran v. State

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

May 11, 2018

MARK A. COCHRAN, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF NEW MEXICO, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINON AND ORDER

         THIS MATTER is before the Court under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings on the Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 For a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody filed by Petitioner Mark A. Cochran. (Doc. 1). The Court will dismiss the Petition as time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1) and for failure to state a cognizable claim under either 28 U.S.C. § 2254 or 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Petitioner Cochran filed his § 2254 Petition on April 5, 2018. (Doc. 1). In his Petition, he states that he is challenging his conviction for kidnapping and aggravated assault on a peace officer in State of New Mexico, County of McKinley, Eleventh Judicial District cause no. D-1113-CR-2010-214. (Doc. 1 at 1, ¶¶ 1-5). Cochran pled guilty and was sentenced in cause no. D-1113-CR-2010-214 on July 25, 2011. Judgment was entered on the conviction and sentence on August 1, 2011. (Doc. 1 at 1, ¶ 2). The Petition indicates that Cochran did not file a direct appeal from the judgment on his conviction and sentence. (Doc. 1 at 3, ¶ 11). The only post-judgment proceedings he has submitted are a Petition for Discovery filed in the Eleventh Judicial District Court on September 18, 2017 and a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus in the New Mexico Supreme Court, which was denied on December 15, 2017. (Doc. 1 at 3, ¶ 11; at 5-6, ¶ 12).

         Petitioner Cochran asserts a denial of due process as the sole grounds for his § 2254 Petition. (Doc. 1 at 5, ¶ 12). Petitioner Cochran also states:

“Petitioner seeks to file a pro se state petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Rule 5-802 (I)(4) NMRA. Pro se litigants must petition the district court to pursue discovery. Petitioner is unable to construct a meaningful and cogent petition without first obtaining his discovery. . .
Petitioner is not challenging his conviction under § 2254. Petitioner seeks review of the State of New Mexico's denial of his due process right to pursue post conviction relief under Rule 5-802 NMRA. Petitioner contends that he has constitutional rights under both federal and state constitutions.”

         (Doc. 1 at 5, 13). Cochran asks the Court to “order the State of New Mexico to grant Petitioner's request for discovery and find that Rule 5-802(I)(4) is unconstitutional for barring equal protection and the constitutional right to petition the State for habeas corpus relief.” (Doc. 1 at 15).

         On April 6, 2018, the Court entered an Order to Show Cause, noting that Cochran's Petition appeared to be time-barred or, alternatively, did not state a claim on which relief can be granted. (Doc. 4). The Court ordered Cochran to show cause, within 30 days, why the Petition should not be dismissed. Cochran responded to the Order to Show Cause on May 4, 2015. (Doc. 5). In his Response, Cochran again states that he is not challenging his conviction or sentence and he “reiterates and acknowledges that under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) that the one-year statute of limitations has long since expired in his case.” (Doc. 5 at 3). Instead, he states that:

“the crux of the matter hinges on whether or not the State of New Mexico can legally establish rules that violate due process and equal protection of prisoners who seek post conviction relief through a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus”

         (Doc. 5 at 6-7).

         Petitions for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) 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 ...

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