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Christopher v. United States

April 20, 2011

CHRISTOPHER BRADLEY, PRO SE, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dora L. Irizarry, United States District Judge:

SUMMARY ORDER

On March 8, 2010, pro se Petitioner Christopher Bradley filed this petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.*fn1 By Order dated October 27, 2010, the court converted the petition to one pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Subsequently, Petitioner filed motions to amend and for the court to take judicial notice of the location of Petitioner‟s criminal activity. For the reasons set forth below, the petition is denied, and Petitioner‟s motions to amend and for judicial notice are denied.

BACKGROUND

On November 5, 2005, Petitioner, a member of a criminal organization called the Martin Family Crew, pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to Count Three of a second superseding indictment, which alleged that he and others, while engaged in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, murdered Lewayne Harrison, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A). Petitioner was sentenced to 276 months of imprisonment. The judgment and order of conviction in this case was entered on July 23, 2007. Petitioner did not appeal.

On March 8, 2010, Petitioner filed this habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. In the Order converting the petition to one pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, the court directed Petitioner to show cause why the petition should not be dismissed as untimely. On November 26, 2010, in response to the court‟s Order, Petitioner filed a motion to amend his "challenges [to] the court‟s lack of jurisdiction," and a motion requesting that the court take judicial notice of the location of the crime for which he was convicted. (Docket Entries 6, 8.) Petitioner argues that the court lacked jurisdiction over his criminal case because the crime occurred at a "geographical address [that] is not "ceded‟ to the federal government." (See Docket Entries 6, 8; see also Pet. Reply, Docket Entry 17.)

DISCUSSION

1.Petitioner's Habeas Petition

a.The Petition is Untimely

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") provides a one-year statute of limitations for motions under Section 2255. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). The limitation period runs from the latest of several events, and the applicable event here is "the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1).

Petitioner‟s judgment of conviction was entered on July 23, 2007. He did not appeal the decision. "[A]n unappealed federal criminal judgment becomes final when the time for filing a direct appeal expires." Moshier v. United States, 402 F.3d 116, 118 (2d Cir. 2005). At the time Petitioner was sentenced, the time to file a direct appeal was ten business days from the entry of judgment. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(b). Petitioner‟s time to file a direct appeal expired on August 6, 2007, and, thus, he had until August 6, 2008 to file his habeas motion. However, Petitioner did not file the instant petition until March 8, 2010.

Petitioner has provided no basis for equitably tolling the statute of limitations. Belot v. Burge, 490 F.3d 201, 205 (2d Cir. 2007) ("[I]n rare and exceptional circumstances a petitioner may invoke the courts‟ power to equitably toll the limitations period. To qualify for such treatment, the petitioner must establish that extraordinary circumstances prevented him from filing his petition on time, and that he acted with reasonable diligence throughout the period he seeks to toll." (internal quotation marks and citation omitted)).

Indeed, Petitioner‟s only argument is that the location in Brooklyn where his crimes were committed is not within the court‟s jurisdiction because it was never ""ceded‟ to the federal government." (Docket Entries 6, 8.) Petitioner argues that, despite any untimeliness, the court can properly assess whether it had jurisdiction over Petitioner‟s criminal case. However, the court‟s jurisdiction over violations of 21 U.S.C. § 848 does not depend on the United States‟ power over federal lands. Rather, it derives from Congress‟ power to regulate interstate commerce. Therefore, whether Petitioner‟s criminal activity was located on federal property is irrelevant. Petitioner‟s jurisdictional claims do not provide an adequate excuse for his failure to timely file his petition.

In sum, Petitioner has not provided any rare and exceptional circumstances that justify the equitable tolling of the period of limitations. See Walker v. Jastremski, 430 F.3d 560, 564 (2d Cir. 2005). ...


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