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Patterson v. Davis

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

September 16, 2019

DANIEL JAMES PATTERSON, TDCJ No. 877576, Petitioner,
v.
LORIE DAVIS, Director Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          DAVID L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner Daniel James Patterson, a Texas inmate, filed a pro se application for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Dkt. Nos. 2, 3, & 4. This resulting action has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from United States District Judge Sam A. Lindsay. The undersigned enters these findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation that the Court should dismiss the habeas application with prejudice as time-barred under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

         Applicable Background

         Through the applicable habeas petition, Patterson challenges his 1999 Dallas County conviction for capital murder, for which he received a sentence of life imprisonment. See State v. Patterson, No. F98-49486-H (291st Dist. Ct., Dallas Cnty., Tex.); Dkt. No. 2 at 3. This criminal judgment was affirmed on direct appeal in 2000. See Patterson v. State, No. 08-99-00238-CR, 2000 WL 1681070 (Tex. App. - El Paso Nov. 9, 2000, pet. ref'd); Dkt. No. 2 at 4. And the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the “CCA”) refused Patterson's petition for discretionary review (or “PDR”) on April 26, 2001. See Patterson v. State, No. PD-0354-01 (Tex. Crim. App.).

         On initial review of the federal habeas application, the Court recognized that the petition is likely time-barred and issued a questionnaire [Dkt. No. 6] to provide Patterson fair notice of the limitations issues and to allow him to present his positions as to those issues through a verified response to the questionnaire. The Court docketed his timely response on September 12, 2019. See Dkt. No. 7.

         Legal Standards

         I. Limitations

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”) establishes a one-year statute of limitations for federal habeas proceedings brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (1996). The limitations period runs 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.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The time during which a properly filed application for state post-conviction or other collateral review is pending is excluded from the limitations period. See Id. § 2244(d)(2).

         The one-year limitations period is also subject to equitable tolling - “a discretionary doctrine that turns on the facts and circumstances of a particular case, ” Fisher v. Johnson, 174 F.3d 710, 713 (5th Cir. 1999), and only applies in “rare and exceptional circumstances, ” United States v. Riggs, 314 F.3d 796, 800 n.9 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing Davis v. Johnson,158 F.3d 806, 811 (5th Cir. 1998)). “[A] litigant is entitled to equitable tolling of a statute of limitations only if the litigant establishes two elements: ‘(1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance stood in his way and ...


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