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Williams v. Reynolds

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

November 9, 2016

Darrell Williams, #219730, Plaintiff
v.
Cecelia Reynolds, Warden, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on Petitioner's pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus, filed in this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c), DSC, this matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker for pre-trial proceedings and a Report and Recommendation. On September 15, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending that Petitioner's motion be summarily dismissed as time-barred. ECF No. 9. The Magistrate Judge advised the parties of the procedures and requirements for filing objections to the Report and Recommendation and the serious consequences if they failed to do so. Petitioner filed objections to the Report on September 30, 2016. ECF No. 12.

         Standard

         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with the court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The court is charged with making a de novo determination of any portion of the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge to which a specific objection is made. The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made by the Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).

         Discussion

         The court has conducted a de novo review of the record and has considered Petitioner's objections, the entire record, the applicable law, and the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge. After review, the court declines to adopt the Report's assessment of the timeliness of the petition and whether equitable tolling applies to this matter. For the reasons discussed below, the court finds the petition is timely filed, and that tolling has extended the filing period in this matter.

         As noted by the Magistrate Judge, this matter is controlled by the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). Under the AEDPA, the limitation period for § 2254 petitions runs from the latest of:

(d)(1)(A) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes 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 making a motion by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that 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.
(d)(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 ...

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