United States District Court, D. New Mexico
OPINION AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Mark Bradford's
28 U.S.C. § 2254 Habeas Corpus Petition (Doc. 1). Also
before the Court is Petitioner's Motion to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis (Doc. 2). Petitioner asks the Court to
modify his state criminal sentences for, inter alia,
trafficking a controlled substance. Having reviewed the
matter sua sponte under Habeas Corpus Rule 4, the
Court will grant the Motion but require Petitioner to show
cause why his Habeas Petition should not be dismissed as
and 2009, Petitioner was arrested for various crimes
involving illegal drugs, embezzlement, and racketeering. The
charges generated three state criminal cases, No.
D-202-CR-2008-05324; D-202-CR-2009-01434; and
D-202-CR-2009-03556, which were consolidated before trial
(together, the “Consolidated Cases”). On January
5, 2012, Petitioner signed a Consolidated Repeat Offender
Plea and Disposition Agreement (“Plea
Agreement”). Petitioner entered a no-contest plea to
the following offenses: (1) trafficking cocaine; (2) escape
from a community custody release program; and (3) conspiracy
to commit racketeering. See Plea Agreement filed in
the Consolidated Cases. The Plea Agreement contemplated a
nineteen-year sentence followed by two years of parole.
Id. The state court accepted the Plea Agreement and
entered Judgment in each case on January 5, 2012.
See Docket Sheets, Consolidated Cases. Petitioner
did not appeal, and the Consolidated Cases reflect no docket
activity for the next fifteen months. Id.
April 2, 2013, Petitioner filed state habeas petitions in
each of the Consolidated Cases. See Docket Sheets,
Consolidated Cases. The state court denied each petition on
the same day, finding the plea was knowing and voluntary.
See CLS: Order, Motion Denied entered April 2, 2013
in each Consolidated Case. Over the next six years,
Petitioner continued to file state habeas petitions or other
motions seeking post-judgment relief. See Docket
Sheets, Consolidated Cases. The New Mexico Supreme Court
(“NMSC”) denied certiorari relief in the most
recent case on February 20, 2019. See Order Denying
Petition in No. S-1-SC-37331.
April 10, 2019, Petitioner filed the instant § 2254
proceeding. See Doc. 1. Although the Petition cites
the most recent Supreme Court ruling, No. S-1-SC-37331, it is
clear Petitioner challenges his underlying convictions and
sentence. He contends the no-contest plea was involuntary,
and his custody is unconstitutional, because: (1) he did not
receive advance copies of the sentencing report; (2) counsel
was ineffective; (3) the convictions violate the Double
Jeopardy Clause; and (4) his due process rights were
In Forma Pauperis Motion
initial matter, Petitioner seeks to prosecute this habeas
action without prepaying the $5 filing fee. In forma
pauperis relief is available where the petitioner's
statement of assets demonstrates he is unable to prepay the
filing fee before commencing suit. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a). Petitioner's affidavit indicates he
currently has no income or assets. (Doc. 2). The Court will
therefore grant the Motion. Petitioner is reminded that even
though prepayment is excused, he remains obligated to pay the
$5 filing fee at a later time. See 28 U.S.C. §
Initial Review of the § 2254 Petition
Petition is governed by Habeas Corpus Rule 4 and 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. Habeas Corpus Rule 4 requires a sua
sponte review of habeas petitions. “If it plainly
appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief … the judge must
dismiss the petition.” Habeas Corpus Rule 4. “If
the petition is not dismissed, the judge must order the
respondent to file an answer….” Id.
2254 petitions 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
(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, ...