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Ligtenberg v. Dooley

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

December 12, 2017

JASON LIGTENBERG, Plaintiff,
v.
BECKY DOOLEY, Warden for the Moose Lake Correctional Facility Defendant.

          JASON LIGTENBERG, PRO SE PLAINTIFF.

          JAMES P. SPENCER FOR DEFENDANT.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Plaintiff Jason Ligtenberg, an inmate at the Moose Lake Correctional Facility, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On February 17, 2017, Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois recommended that the petition be denied and the action dismissed. After an independent review of the files, records, and proceedings, the Court will conclude that Ligtenberg's petition is untimely and will, therefore, dismiss the action.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2007, Ligtenberg was found guilty of first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. (Pet. at 3, Dec. 29, 2016, Docket No. 1.) The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed Ligtenberg's conviction. State v. Ligtenberg, No. A08-0073, 2009 WL 1677852 (Minn.Ct.App. June 16, 2009). The Minnesota Supreme Court denied Ligtenberg's writ of certiorari on August 26, 2009. (Pet. at 5.)

         Ligtenberg subsequently filed two petitions for post-conviction relief and a habeas corpus petition in state court.[1] The state district court denied the first petition on October 10, 2011. See Ligtenberg v. State, No. A11-2207, 2012 WL 3263879, at *1 (Minn.Ct.App. Aug. 13, 2012), review denied (Minn. Oct. 24, 2012). The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the denial, see id., and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied review on October 24, 2012. (Pet. at 5.) From October 24, 2012, to November 5, 2014, there were no pending motions in state court related to Ligtenberg's conviction. (Id.)

         Ligtenberg filed a habeas corpus petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court on November 5, 2014. (Id.) The Minnesota Supreme Court denied his petition on December 22, 2014. (Id.)

         Ligtenberg filed his second petition for post-conviction relief in June 2015. The state district court summarily denied the petition on the grounds that Ligtenberg's claims were untimely, could have been raised previously, and had previously been addressed on the merits. See Ligtenberg v. State, No. A15-1704, 2016 WL 3223207, at *2-*4 (Minn.Ct.App. June 13, 2016), review denied (Aug. 23, 2016). The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the summary denial, see id., and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied review on August 23, 2016. (Pet. at 5.)

         Ligtenberg petitioned the Court for habeas corpus relief on December 23, 2016. He alleges that he was denied a right to a fair trial because (1) he did not have access exculpatory medical records; (2) notice and venue were improper with respect to two offenses that occurred in Ramsey County; and (3) his appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to discover the notice and venue issues. (Pl.'s Mem. of Law at 11-14, Dec. 29, 2016, Docket No. 2.) Ligtenberg further claims that Minnesota's post-conviction procedures violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. (Id. at 14-27.) Magistrate Judge Brisbois recommended that the Court dismiss Ligtenberg's petition as time-barred. (R. & R. at 8, Feb. 17, 2017, Docket 8.) Ligtenberg filed an objection to the report and recommendation. (Objs. to R. & R., Mar. 9, 2017, Docket 11.)

         ANALYSIS

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Upon the filing of a report and recommendation by a magistrate judge, a party may “serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). The Court construes Ligtenberg's pro se pleadings liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).

         II. STATUTE ...


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