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Tyrone Monroe v. David Rock

May 10, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael A. Telesca United States District Judge



I. Introduction

Petitioner Tyrone Monroe ("petitioner"), who is represented by counsel, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the constitutionality of his conviction of Assault in the First Degree (N.Y. Penal L. § 120.10(1)) and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (former § 265.03(2)) in Monroe County Court following a jury trial before Judge Patricia D. Marks. Petitioner was sentenced as a second violent felony offender to aggregate terms of imprisonment totaling thirty two years, determinate, followed by an aggregate term of post-release supervision of ten years.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History

Petitioner's conviction stems from two incidents that occurred on July 22 and August 15, 2003, during which petitioner shot Derrick Thompson in the groin while in the vicinity of Phelps and Fulton Avenue in the City of Rochester. Trial Tr. 218-220.

Following his conviction, petitioner filed a brief in support of his appeal to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, arguing that: (1) the trial court erroneously admitted statements by the victim as "excited utterances"; and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by precluding evidence of the victim's positive cocaine test from the day of the shooting. Resp't Appx. D. The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the judgment of conviction. People v. Monroe, 39 A.D.3d 1279 (4th Dept. 2007), lv. denied, 9 N.Y.3d 867 (2007).

By motion dated August 31, 2007, petitioner moved in Monroe County Court pursuant to N.Y. Crim. Proc. L. ("C.P.L.") § 440.10 to vacate the judgment on the ground that his attorney failed to properly represent him during plea negotiations. Resp't Appx. H. The county court denied petitioner's application, and leave to appeal that decision was denied by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Resp't Appx. K, O.

Petitioner now seeks a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective. Petition ("Pet.") ¶ 12, Ground One. Respondent filed an answer and memorandum of law in opposition to the petition, asserting the defense of untimeliness under 28 U.S.C. 2244(d). In the alternative, respondent asserts that petitioner's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel should be dismissed because it is without merit. Resp't Mem. at 7-13. Petitioner has not filed a reply memorandum of law; his time to do so as provided in the scheduling order expired and he has not sought an extension of time. Accordingly, the matter is deemed submitted and ready for decision.

For the reasons that follow, the petition is dismissed as time-barred.

III. Discussion

A. The petition is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).

Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), Pub.L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, a one-year statute of limitations applies to the filing of applications for a writ of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). In general, the one-year period runs from the date on which the petitioner's state criminal judgment becomes final. Ross v. Artuz, 150 F.3d 97, 98 (2d Cir.1998) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) (1)(A)); accord Smith v. McGinnis, 208 F.3d 13, 16 (2d Cir.2000). A conviction is considered "final" "once 'the judgment of conviction [has been] rendered, the availability of appeal exhausted, and the time for petition for certiorari ... elapsed.'" McKinney v. Artuz, 326 F.3d 87, 96 (2d Cir.2003) (quoting Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 295 (1989) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted in original), citing Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522 (2003) (noting the "long-recognized, clear meaning" of "finality" in the post-conviction relief context as the time when the Supreme Court "affirms a conviction on the merits on direct review or denies a petition for a writ of certiorari, or when the time for filing a certiorari petition expires")).

Here, the Appellate Division affirmed petitioner's conviction on direct appeal, and the New York Court of Appeals denied permission to appeal on July 6, 2007. Petitioner thereafter had ninety (90) days in which to file a petition seeking a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. McKinney, 326 F.3d at 96 (citing Sup.Ct. R. 13(1) ("A petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of a judgment of a lower state court that is subject to discretionary review by the state court of last resort is timely when it is filed with the Clerk within 90 days after entry of the order denying discretionary review."). Because petitioner did not file a petition for certiorari seeking review of the New York state-court decisions in the United ...

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