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Rayes v. Sabatka-Rine

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

September 28, 2015

RICHARD RAYES, Petitioner,
v.
DIANE SABATKA-RINE, NEBRASKA STATE PENITENTIARY, MICHAEL KENNEY, and NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, Respondents.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Laurie Smith Camp Chief United States District Judge

This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Richard Rayes’s (“Rayes”) Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (“petition”). For the reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss the petition with prejudice and deny a certificate of appealability.

I. BACKGROUND

Rayes filed his petition (Filing No. 1) and a brief in support of his petition (Filing No. 9) on August 7, 2014. Liberally construed, Rayes asserted the following claims:

Claim One: The warden at Rayes’s place of incarceration approved the forfeiture of his good-time credits instead of the director or deputy director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (“NDCS”) in violation of Rayes’s right to due process. (Filing No. 1 at ECF 1-3.)

Claim Two: The State of Nebraska convicted Rayes of arson in violation of his right to due process because the prosecution refused to provide Rayes with copies of his medical records. (Filing No. 1 at ECF 5-8, 11.)

Claim Three: NDCS officials deprived Rayes of earned good-time credits in violation of his right to due process. (Filing No. 9 at ECF 1-15.)

Respondents moved to dismiss Rayes’s petition on October 14, 2014, on the grounds that the petition was second or successive to a habeas corpus petition filed in 1998. (Filing No. 21.) The Court denied Respondents’ motion on March 11, 2015, because Rayes challenged a kidnapping conviction in the 1998 habeas corpus petition, not the loss of good-time credits or arson convictions complained of in this case. (Filing No. 27.)

Respondents filed an answer, brief, and the relevant state court records on March 17 and 18, 2015. (Filing Nos. 28, 29, and 30.) Rayes did not timely file a brief in response. (See Docket Sheet; see also Filing No. 27 (ordering Rayes to “file and serve a brief in response” “[n]o later than 30 days after Respondents’ brief is filed”).) Rather, on July 6, 2015, Rayes filed a “Motion for Summary Judgement [sic] of Habeas Corpus Motion.” (Filing No. 31.) In this motion, Rayes argued the merits of his petition and also responded to Respondents’ answer and brief. The Court will construe the motion as a brief in response to Respondents’ answer and brief, and will consider the arguments set forth therein despite it being filed out of time.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Statute of Limitations

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), 110 Stat. 1214, establishes a one-year limitations period for state prisoners to file for federal habeas relief that runs from the latest of four specified dates. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Also relevant here is the law concerning the applicability of AEDPA to individuals whose convictions became final before its effective date. The AEDPA became effective on April 24, 1996. The time before its effective date is not counted in computing the one-year limitations period. Nichols v. Bowersox, 172 F.3d 1068, 1073 (8th Cir. 1999), abrogated on other grounds by Riddle v. Kemna, 523 F.3d 850, 856 (8th Cir. 2008). Prisoners whose judgments of conviction became final before the effective date of the AEDPA are given one-year after April 24, 1996, plus any additional period during which the statute is tolled. Peterson v. Gammon, 200 F.3d 1202, 1204 (8th Cir. 2000).

B. Exhaustion Requirement

As set forth in 28 U.S.C. ...


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