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Thomas v. Warden

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

March 12, 2018

Efrain Thomas, #314836, Petitioner,
v.
Warden, Perry Correctional Institution, Respondent.

          ORDER

          HONORABLE BRUCE HOWE HENDRICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Efrain Thomas's (“Thomas” or “Petitioner”) petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On June 29, 2017, Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment. After being granted several extensions of time, Plaintiff, through counsel, filed a response to the motion on December 20, 2017.[1]Respondent filed a reply on December 27, 2017.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), the matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for initial review. On January 31, 2018, Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West filed a Report and Recommendation (“Report”), finding that Petitioner failed to timely file the instant petition and recommending that the Court grant Respondent's motion for summary judgment. Petitioner filed written objections to the Report, as well as motions to file attachments to the objections out of time. The Court granted counsel's motions to file attachments out of time (ECF Nos. 59 and 60) in a text order (ECF No. 62) and instructed counsel to file the attachments on or before February 21, 2018. Counsel misread the Court's text order and on February 26, 2018, he filed another motion to file the attachments out of time. In this motion, counsel also withdraws his request for additional discovery. After review, the Court grants counsel's motion to file attachments out of time and to withdraw his request for additional discovery (ECF No. 64), and the Court will consider Petitioner's objections below.

         STANDARDS OF REVIEW

         I. The Magistrate Judge's Report

         This Court is charged with conducting a de novo review of any portion of the Report to which a specific objection is registered and may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendations contained in that Report. 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1). Any written objection must specifically identify the portion(s) of the Report to which the objection is made and the basis for the objection. Id. After a review of the record, including the Report and Petitioner's objections, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge adequately and accurately summarized the facts and applied the correct principles of law.

         II. Legal Standard for Summary Judgment

         To grant a motion for summary judgment, this Court must find that “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The Court is not to weigh the evidence, but rather to determine if there is a genuine issue of fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). If no material factual disputes remain, then summary judgment should be granted against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which the party bears the burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986). All evidence should be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Perini Corp. v. Perini Constr., Inc., 915 F.2d 121, 123-24 (4th Cir. 1990).

         DISCUSSION

         I. The AEDPA's Statute of Limitations

         Pursuant to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”), as amended in 1996, a one-year period of limitation applies to an application for “a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The limitation period for filing a § 2254 petition concerning a specific state court judgment begins to run from the latest of four possible dates:

(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 ...

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