United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
HARRIS TOLIVER JUDGE
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Special Order 3,
Petitioner Rachard Angton's petition for writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, was referred to the
United States magistrate judge for case management. As
detailed here, the habeas petition should be summarily
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as barred by the
one-year statute of limitations.
2014, a jury found Angton guilty of murder and assessed
punishment, enhanced by two prior felony convictions, at 40
years' imprisonment. Angton v. State, No.
F-1355911-H (Crim. Dist. Ct. No. 1, Dallas Cty., Tex., July
30, 2014), aff'd, No. 05-14-01038-CR, 2015 WL
6781454, at *1 (Tex. App.-Dallas, Nov. 6, 2015, pet.
ref'd). He unsuccessfully sought state habeas relief.
Ex parte Angton, No. WR-86, 898-01 (Tex. Crim. App.
Sep. 13, 2017). On September 14, 2018, Angton filed his
pro se federal habeas petition in the instant case,
challenging his conviction. Doc. 3 at 6-7. As his federal
petition appeared untimely, the Court directed Angton to
respond regarding the application of the one-year limitations
period. Doc. 11. As of the date of this recommendation,
however, he has failed to respond to the Court's order,
instead filing only a brief in support of his habeas
petition. Doc. 12. That notwithstanding, a review of the
petition reveals it is barred by the applicable statute of
One-Year Statute of Limitations and Statutory
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA)
establishes a one-year statute of limitations for state
inmates seeking federal habeas corpus relief, which the Court
may consider sua sponte after providing notice and
an opportunity to respond. See28 U.S.C. §
2244(d); Day v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 198, 209-10
(2006). Angton does not allege any facts that could trigger a
starting date under Subsections 2254(d)(1)(B)-(D), so the
one-year limitations period began to run from the date his
judgment of conviction became final. See28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1)(A) (a state prisoner ordinarily has one
year to file a federal habeas petition, starting from
“the date on which the judgment became final by the
conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for
seeking such review”).
conviction became final on July 12, 2016-90 days after the
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused his petition for
discretionary review on April 13, 2016. See
Angton, 2015 WL 6781454, at *1; Sup. Ct. R. 13(1)
and (3); Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 528 n.
3 (2003). Thus, When his state habeas application
was filed on March 29, 2017, 260 days of the one-year
limitations period had already elapsed. The state
application remained pending until its denial on September
13, 2017, statutorily tolling the one-year limitations period
during its pendency. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2) (statutory
tolling available during pendency of properly filed state
application). The one-year period resumed running on
September 14, 2017, and elapsed 105 days later, on December
28, 2017. Consequently, the petition sub judice,
deemed filed on September 7, 2018, is clearly outside the
one-year limitations period, absent equitable
filings, even when liberally construed in light of his
pro se status, do not present due diligence and
“rare and exceptional circumstances” warranting
equitable tolling. Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S.
327, 336 (2007) (to be entitled to equitable tolling, a
petitioner must show “(1) that he has been pursuing his
rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary
circumstance stood in his way and prevented timely
filing” (quotations and quoted case omitted)).
Unexplained delays do not evince due diligence or rare and
extraordinary circumstances. Fisher v. Johnson, 174
F.3d 710, 715 (5th Cir. 1999) (noting “equity is not
intended for those who sleep on their rights”
(quotation and quoted case omitted)).
this is not a case in which Angton pursued “the process
with diligence and alacrity.” Phillips v.
Donnelly, 216 F.3d 508, 511 (5th Cir. 2000) (per
curiam). As previously noted, he squandered the entire
one-year period. He waited more than eight months from the
date his conviction became final to file his state habeas
application and delayed more than 11 months after his state
application was denied before he submitted his federal
petition for mailing. Moreover, Angton's pro se
status and unfamiliarity with the law do not suffice as a
basis for equitable tolling. See Felder v.
Johnson, 204 F.3d 168, 171 (5th Cir. 2000)
(“proceeding pro se is not a ‘rare and
exceptional' circumstance because it is typical of those
bringing a § 2254 claim”); Turner v. Johnson,
177 F.3d 390, 391-392 (5th Cir. 1999) (per curiam)
(finding that “neither a plaintiffs unfamiliarity with
the legal process nor his lack of representation during the
applicable filing period merits equitable tolling”).
Angton has not met his burden to establish that equitable
tolling is warranted in this case. See Alexander
v. Cockrell, 294 F.3d 626, 629 (5th Cir. 2002) (per
foregoing reasons, the petition for writ of habeas corpus
should be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as barred
by the one-year statute of ...