United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MICHAEL D. RICE, Petitioner,
RICHARD JENNINGS, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on petitioner Michael D.
Rice's amended petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Docket No. 7). For the
reasons discussed below, petitioner will be ordered to show
cause why his petition should not be dismissed as time-barred
under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).
a jury trial, petitioner was convicted of forcible rape,
forcible sodomy, kidnapping, and second-degree assault.
State of Missouri v. Rice, No. 1122-CR05246-01
(22ndJud. Cir., St. Louis City). On September 27,
2013, he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms, plus
twenty-two years. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on
October 1, 2013. The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the
judgment on December 16, 2014. State of Missouri v.
Rice, No. ED100578 (Mo. App. 2014). Petitioner did not
file a motion to transfer to the Missouri Supreme Court.
filed a motion to set aside pursuant to Missouri Supreme
Court Rule 29.15 on February 26, 2015. State of Missouri
v. Rice, No. 1522-CC00653 (22nd Jud. Cir.,
St. Louis City). The motion was denied on May 1, 2017.
Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on June 2, 2017. The
Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of
petitioner's Rule 29.15 motion on March 27, 2018.
State of Missouri v. Rice, No. ED105634 (Mo. App.
2018). The Court of Appeals issued its mandate on April 18,
filed his original petition for writ of habeas corpus on
March 8, 2019, by placing it in the prison mail system.
(Docket No. 1 at 14). On March 27, 2019, the Court granted
petitioner's motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket
No. 5). The Court further ordered petitioner to file an
amended complaint, because his original complaint contained
no grounds for relief, and appeared to be time-barred.
Petitioner was directed to provide his grounds for relief and
to demonstrate that his petition was timely. He was given
thirty days in which to comply. Petitioner filed an amended
petition on April 16, 2019, by placing it in the prison
amended petition contains two grounds for relief. First, he
alleges that the trial court erred in rendering a verdict for
the crime of second-degree assault because the evidence was
insufficient to support a conviction. (Docket No. 7 at 5).
Second, he asserts that his appellate counsel failed to raise
a meritorious claim that the trial court wrongly allowed
propensity evidence into the trial. (Docket No. 7 at 6). He
states that both these claims have been exhausted in state
the timeliness of his petition, petitioner states that his
"mail was not delivered to [him] based on prison
neglect, interference, or outright abandonment of duty."
(Docket No. 7 at 13). Because of this, he alleges that he did
not receive notification of the state appellate court's
decision until late November 2018.
has attached a letter from his attorney, which is dated
October 12, 2018. (Docket No. 7 at 16). In the letter, the
attorney states that he is aware that petitioner did not
receive the letters sent in April 2018 advising him that the
Eastern District Court of Appeals had ruled against him. The
attorney further advises that the "clock started ticking
again on April 17, 2018, with the issuance of the
mandate," and that petitioner should prepare his §
2254 petition "quickly and get it filed." The
attorney states that he has enclosed a blank § 2254 form
for this purpose.
Court ordered petitioner to file an amended complaint that
included his proposed grounds for relief and addressed the
issue of timeliness. Petitioner has duly filed an amended
complaint that includes his grounds for relief and an
assertion that these grounds were exhausted. The amended
petition does not, however, adequately address the statute of
limitations issue. Specifically, petitioner has not
established that his petition is timely under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(1). As such, petitioner will be directed to
show cause as to why his petition should not be dismissed as
the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(AEDPA), Congress established a one-year statute of
limitations period for petitioners seeking federal habeas
relief from state court judgments. Finch v. Miller,491 F.3d 424, 426 (8th Cir. 2007). This one-year
statute of limitations begins to run on the latest of four
alternative dates. Jihad v. Hvass,267 F.3d 803, 804
(8th Cir. 2001). Relevant here is the provision
stating that a habeas petitioner has one year from ...