United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. HANKS JR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
inmate Luciano Vargas Padilla (TDCJ #01892209) has filed
a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Respondent has filed a motion for
summary judgment (Dkt. 12) accompanied by the relevant
state-court records (Dkt. 13). Padilla has responded (Dkt.
17). After reviewing all of the pleadings, the record, and
the applicable law, the Court concludes that Padilla's
petition is time-barred.
August of 2013, after a jury trial, Padilla was convicted in
state court in Brazoria County of one count of "illegal
barter/expenditure of property/finance"- essentially, of
helping to finance the purchase of cocaine (Dkt. 13-26 at pp.
5-6). At Padilla's trial, the State's evidence
consisted of testimony showing that a confidential informant
working with the Brazoria County Sheriffs Department had
successfully organized a drug deal between the informant and
three other men, one of whom was Padilla. The four men met at
a Burger King, where Padilla and his accomplices showed the
confidential informant $28, 000.00 earmarked for the purchase
of a kilogram of cocaine that the confidential informant was
claiming to sell. Immediately after the meeting, the
informant signaled law enforcement officers, who pulled over
the car in which Padilla and his accomplices were riding; the
officers found the $28, 000.00 underneath Padilla's seat.
Padilla took the stand and testified that he was only present
at the drug deal because his two acquaintances had duped him
by claiming that they were taking him to meet someone who
wanted to hire him for a welding job (Dkt. 13-9 at pp.
160-66). The jury rejected this explanation and found that
Padilla was indeed one of the cocaine buyers (Dkt. 13-9 at p.
207). The trial court entered judgment on the verdict on
October 30, 2013 (Dkt. 13-26 at p. 6).
appealed his conviction, and the First Court of Appeals of
Texas affirmed the trial court (Dkt. 13-4). The Texas Court
of Criminal Appeals ("TCCA") refused Padilla's
petition for discretionary review on May 13, 2015 (Dkt.
13-1). On March 21, 2016, Padilla filed a state habeas
petition (Dkt. 13-26 at p. 3l). The TCCA denied habeas relief on
June 29, 2016 (Dkt. 13-25). Padilla filed this federal habeas
petition on February 27, 2017 (Dkt. 1 at p. 9).
THE ONE-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
federal habeas petition is subject to the one-year
limitations period found in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
Flanagan v. Johnson, 154 F.3d 196, 198 (5th Cir.
1998). Section 2244(d) provides as follows:
A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application
for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant
to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall
run from the latest of-
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for
seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application
created by State action in violation of the Constitution or
laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was
prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was
initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has
been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made
retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or
claims presented could have been discovered through the
exercise of due diligence.
(2) The time during which a properly filed application for
State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect
to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be
counted toward ...