United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
matter is before the Court upon Vicente Thomas Sandoval's
Habeas Corpus Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254
(Petition). (Doc. 1). Also before the Court is his Motion to
Appoint Counsel (Motion). (Doc. 6). Sandoval is an inmate at
the Lea County Correctional Facility (LCCF) and is proceeding
pro se. He asks the Court to vacate his state
sentence for first degree murder. After reviewing the matter
sua sponte under Habeas Corpus Rule 4, the Court
will dismiss the Petition as untimely and deny the Motion.
March 30, 2004, Sandoval pled no contest to first degree
murder in violation of N.M.S.A. 1978 § 30-2-1(A). (Doc.
1) at 1; Change of Plea Hearing entry in No.
D-1215-CR-2003-00160. The state court sentenced him to life
imprisonment. (Doc. 1) at 1. Judgment on his conviction and
sentence was entered April 19, 2004. Id.; CLS:
Judgment/ Sentence/Commitment in No. D-1215-CR-2003-00160.
Sandoval did not file an appeal. (Doc. 1) at 2. The Judgment
therefore became final no later than May 20, 2004, after the
expiration of the 30-day appeal period. See Locke v.
Saffle, 237 F.3d 1269, 1273 (10th Cir. 2001) (explaining
petitioner's judgment becomes final for purposes of
§ 2254 when time for seeking state appellate review
expires); NMRA, Rule 12-201 (providing that notice of appeal
must be filed within 30 days after entry of judgment).
was no activity in Sandoval's criminal case for about six
years. On February 25, 2010, he began filing state habeas
petitions. (Doc. 1) at 2; Habeas Corpus Petition in No.
D-1215-CR-2003-00160. The various state habeas proceedings
continued until March 28, 2018, when the New Mexico Supreme
Court denied his petition for writ of certiorari. (Doc. 1) at
6; Order entered in No. S-1-SC-34242.
filed the federal § 2254 Petition on May 11, 2018. (Doc.
1). The petition raises claims based on, inter alia,
ineffective assistance of counsel and due process violations.
(Doc. 1) at 5, 7.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
(“AEDPA”) establishes a one-year limitation
period for habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
The limitation period generally begins to run from the date
on which a prisoner's conviction becomes final. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1)(A). The one-year period can be extended:
(1) While a properly filed 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)(D).
AEDPA's one-year limitation period is not jurisdictional,
the period may be extended through equitable tolling. See
Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 645 (2010).
Memorandum Opinion and Order entered March 24, 2018, the
Court directed Sandoval to show cause why his Section 2254
petition should not be dismissed as untimely. (Doc. 3). The
petition reflects the one-year limitation period expired in
May, 2005, about 13 years before Sandoval filed his federal
habeas petition on May 11, 2018. In his show-cause response,
Sandoval argues the untimely petition should not be dismissed
based on 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and Fed. R. Crim. P. 52. (Doc.
12) at 1-3. He also invokes the “miscarriage of
justice” exception to the one-year limitation period.
Tolling Based on 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and ...