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Derrold V. Madison, Now Known As v. William F. Hulihan

March 23, 2012

DERROLD V. MADISON, NOW KNOWN AS, DIALLORAFIK A. MADISON, PRO SE, PETITIONER,
v.
WILLIAM F. HULIHAN, SUPERINTENDENT, RESPONDENT.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On January 20, 2009, pro se*fn1 petitioner Derrold V. Madison, now known as DialloRafik

A. Madison ("Petitioner"), filed the instant writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his 1994 conviction in the Supreme Court of New York, Kings County. This court previously determined Petitioner's conviction became final on or about March 10, 1997. See Madison v. Hulihan, 2009 WL 749994, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 17, 2009) ("Madison I"). Accordingly, the court determined the petition was likely time-barred, as it was filed almost twelve years after the expiration of the one-year statute of limitations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Id. (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)). Petitioner asserted he was entitled to statutory tolling of the AEDPA's limitation period because he filed certain post-conviction motions. Id. at *2. The court denied Petitioner's claim. Id. Petitioner also asserted he was entitled to equitable tolling because he allegedly suffered from a mental illness. See id. at *3. Because Petitioner failed to offer evidence substantiating the nature of his mental illness and demonstrating why the alleged mental illness precluded him from timely filing a petition, and in deference to his pro se status, the court directed Petitioner to show cause, by written affirmation, why the petition should not be dismissed as untimely. Id. Specifically, the court instructed Petitioner "that it is not sufficient to allege simply that he suffers from a mental illness" but that he "must demonstrate a causal relationship between his mental illness and the lateness of his filing." Id.

For the reasons set forth below, after review of Petitioner's additional written affirmations, the court finds there is no basis for equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. Accordingly, the petition is dismissed as untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).

BACKGROUND

Pursuant to the court's instruction, Petitioner submitted an affidavit dated April 14, 2009 as an addendum to his petition, claiming the deadline for his petition should be equitably tolled because: (1) he suffered from mental illnesses (Mood Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD")) that caused his memory of the facts the petition is predicated on to be repressed while he was also under the influence of "incapacitating drugs," and, as such, he was prevented from protecting his legal rights; (2) his mental capacity is at issue in another proceeding in the Southern District of New York;*fn2 (3) a state-created impediment was present because the prison law library's instructions regarding the ADEPA were misleading; (4) he is actually innocent; and (5) the Suspension Clause of the United States Constitution requires an exception for actual innocence. (See Docket Entry No. 6, Affidavit as an Addendum, dated April 14, 2009 ("Apr. 14 Add.") ¶ 2.) Along with the Apr. 14 Add., Petitioner submitted numerous exhibits including: 1) approximately 115 pages of medical records filed under seal;*fn3 2)

habeas instructions and habeas writ forms from a state prison located in the Northern District of New York; and 3) affidavits from prison law librarians. (Exhs. A-H, attached to Apr. 14 Add.) Petitioner also submitted an affidavit as an addendum with attached exhibits, dated April 20, 2009, purporting to provide additional support for his actual innocence claim. (Docket Entry No. 4, Exhs. I-K, attached to Affidavit as an Addendum, dated April 20, 2009 ("Apr. 20 Add.").)

On June 3, 2009, Petitioner filed, under seal, another affidavit as an addendum with attached exhibits, including approximately 40 pages of additional medical records, in further support of his mental illness tolling argument. (Exhs. L-N, attached to Affidavit as an Addendum, dated June 3, 2009 ("June 3 Add.").) On October 29, 2010 and January 5, 2011, respectively, Petitioner again submitted affidavits as an addendum with additional exhibits in support of his actual innocence claim. (Docket Entry No. 11, Exhs. A-B, attached to Affidavit as an Addendum, dated October 29, 2010 ("Oct. 29 Add."); Docket Entry No. 12, Exhs A-C, attached to Affidavit as an Addendum, dated January 5, 2011 ("Jan. 5 Add.").)

Respondent argues Petitioner is not entitled to equitable tolling and that the petition should be dismissed as time-barred or, in the alternative, denied on the merits. (See Docket Entry No. 15, Respondent's Memorandum in Opposition ("R. Opp.").)

DISCUSSION

I.Equitable Tolling

The AEDPA statute of limitations is not jurisdictional so the court may equitably toll the period. Holland v. Florida, ------ U.S. --------, 130 S.Ct. 2549, 2560--62 (2010). "A petitioner is entitled to equitable tolling only if he shows (1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance stood in his way and prevented timely filing." Id. at 2562 (quoting Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The term "extraordinary" here does not refer to the uniqueness of a petitioner's circumstance, but rather to the severity of the obstacle hindering compliance with the AEDPA limitation period. Harper v. Ercole, 648 F. 3d 132, 137 (2d Cir. 2011) (citations omitted). Accordingly, the AEDPA limitation period may only be tolled in rare and exceptional circumstances, Bolarinwa v. Williams, 593 F. 3d 226, 231 (2d Cir. 2010), and where the petitioner can "demonstrate a causal relationship between the extraordinary circumstances . . . and the lateness of his filing, a demonstration that cannot be made if the petitioner, acting with reasonable diligence, could have filed on time notwithstanding the extraordinary circumstances." Id. (quoting Valverde v. Stinson, 224 F. 3d 129, 134 (2d Cir. 2000)).

A.Mental Illness

Petitioner first argues he is entitled to equitable tolling because he suffers from mental illnesses. (See Apr. 14 Add. ΒΆΒΆ 2-42.) While mental illness can establish a basis for equitable tolling of a filing deadline, it does not toll a filing deadline per se. Bolarinwa, 593 F. 3d at 232. Whether equitable tolling is warranted because of mental illness "is a highly case-specific inquiry" and the petitioner seeking equitable tolling must articulate a "particularized description of how [his] condition adversely affected [his] capacity to function generally or in relationship to the pursuit of [his] rights." Id. (citations omitted). Thus, a petitioner must demonstrate that his "particular disability constituted an 'extraordinary circumstance' severely impairing [his] ability to comply with the filing deadline, despite [his] diligent efforts to do so." Id. Accordingly, to prevail on his equitable tolling claim, Petitioner was required to show his alleged mental illness constituted an extraordinary circumstance ...


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