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Hester v. Ramey

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 17, 2019

EDISON HESTER, Petitioner,
v.
EILEEN RAMEY, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on review of petitioner Edison Hester's response to the Court's September 24, 2018 order to show cause. (Docket No. 12). The Court had ordered petitioner to show cause why his petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 should not be summarily dismissed as time-barred. (Docket No. 7). Having reviewed petitioner's response, and for the reasons discussed below, the Court must dismiss this action as untimely.

         Background

         On April 3, 2007, petitioner was charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree property damage, and theft/stealing under $500. State of Missouri v. Hester, No. 0722-CR07452-01 (22nd Cir., St. Louis City).[1] Petitioner pled guilty to the charges, and on March 13, 2009, the circuit court sentenced him to concurrent terms of fifteen years, seven years, and six months imprisonment respectively. However, the court suspended the execution of the sentences and placed petitioner on probation in a long-term treatment program.[2] Petitioner did not file a direct appeal.[3]

         On November 16, 2011, the circuit court found that petitioner had violated the conditions of his probation. The circuit court revoked petitioner's probation and sentenced him to a total of fifteen years' imprisonment. On August 18, 2014, petitioner filed a state postconviction motion pursuant to Mo. S.Ct. R. 24.035, challenging the 2009 conviction. Hester v. State of Missouri, No. 1422-CC09496 (22nd Cir., St. Louis City). Because it was filed in an untimely manner, the circuit court dismissed petitioner's motion for post-conviction relief without assigning counsel.

         Petitioner filed the instant petition on May 29, 2018, by placing it in the prison mailing system.[4] He argues in the petition that the Missouri state circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and "grossly violated" both his federal and state due process rights. Specifically, petitioner asserts that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to accept his plea and impose a sentence. Petitioner also alleges bad faith on the part of the State of Missouri, as well as the absence of counsel.

         On September 24, 2018, the Court ordered petitioner to show cause why his case should not be summarily dismissed for untimeliness. The Court noted that under Missouri law, a suspended execution of sentence is an entry of judgment. The Court further noted that because petitioner did not file a direct appeal, his judgment became final ten days after it was entered. Thus, petitioner's judgment became final on March 23, 2009, ten days after petitioner was given his suspended execution of sentence. The one-year statute of limitations for habeas petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 expired on March 23, 2010. Petitioner, however, did not file the instant petition until May 29, 2018, far beyond the one-year limitations period.

         Petitioner was given twenty-one days in which to show cause why his petition should not be dismissed as time-barred. He subsequently filed a motion for extension of time to respond, as well as a motion to produce records. (Docket No. 8; Docket No. 9). The Court denied petitioner's motion to produce records. (Docket No. 10). However, the Court granted petitioner's request for an extension of time, and gave him thirty additional days in which to file a show cause response. Petitioner was advised that failure to comply would result in the dismissal of his case.

         On October 31, 2018, petitioner filed a document with the Court that has been construed as his show cause response.

         Petitioner's Response

         In his response, petitioner accuses the Court of assuming "the role of the state" and of "locking [his] hands by denying him access to records." (Docket No. 12 at 1). He further asserts that in one of his state cases, he was found competent, and in another state case, incompetent. (Docket No. 12 at 2). He claims this is an "impossible act."

         Petitioner further alleges that he was sentenced on his probation revocation without being present in court. According to an exhibit petitioner attached to the response, he was not present in court because he refused to attend the hearing when told he could not personally transport his legal file to the courtroom. (Docket No. 12 at 4-12).

         Petitioner concludes his response by asking the Court to either order the records, assign counsel, or issue a certificate ...


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