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Clark v. Minnesota Department of Correction

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 2, 2018

Carlos P. Clark, aka Carlos Heard, Petitioner,
Minnesota Department of Correction, Respondent.

          Carlos P. Clark, aka Carlos Heard, OID #235411, Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City, Rush City, Minnesota 55069, pro se.

          Edwin William Stockmeyer, III and Matthew Frank, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, Linda Kay Jenny, Hennepin County Attorney's Office, for Respondent.




         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Petitioner Carlos P. Clark's Objection [Doc. No. 14] to United States Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) dated February 26, 2018 [Doc. No. 13]. The magistrate judge recommended that Clark's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“Habeas Petition”) [Doc. No. 1] be denied, and that this action be dismissed.

         Pursuant to statute, this Court reviews de novo any portion of the magistrate judge's R&R to which specific objections are made, and “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations” contained in that R&R. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b); D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). Based on that de novo review, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court overrules Petitioner's Objection and adopts the R&R in its entirety.


         Clark is currently incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City. He received a 493-month sentence after a jury found him guilty of second degree murder and third degree murder. (See Habeas Pet. at 1.) After final judgment was entered on May 18, 2011, Clark appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which affirmed on August 13, 2012. (See Jan. 25, 2018 Order [Doc No. 8] at 2.) The Minnesota Supreme Court denied review of Clark's direct appeal on October 24, 2012. (Id.)

         Clark then filed two motions for post-conviction relief in Minnesota state court. (See R&R at 2.) In his first motion, filed in March of 2014, Clark argued that the “post-conviction court abused its discretion because the district court violated his Confrontation Clause right, there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction, the jury was not instructed about accomplice testimony, and the prosecutor committed misconduct during the trial.” Heard v. State, No. A14-1578, 2015 WL 1758005, at *1 (Minn.Ct.App. 2015). This post-conviction motion was denied, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed, and Clark did not seek review from the Minnesota Supreme Court. (See R&R at 2.) A final judgment on the motion was entered on July 17, 2015. (Id.) Clark then filed a second motion for post-conviction relief in state court on June 6, 2016, which was denied on April 14, 2017. (Id.) Clark did not appeal that denial. (Id.)

         On October 27, 2017, Clark filed his Habeas Petition with this Court. (See Habeas Pet. at 1.) In his Habeas Petition, Clark challenges his conviction, arguing that he was unlawfully arrested. (See id. at 4.) Clark contends that the court in which he was convicted “lack[ed] jurisdiction over his person” because he was arrested without a warrant. (See id. at 5.) However, he concedes in his Habeas Petition that he has not previously pursued this claim before any court. (Id.)

         Magistrate Judge Bowbeer recommended that Clark's Habeas Petition be denied and dismissed with prejudice because it is barred by the statute of limitations. (See R&R at 2 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)-(2)).) Magistrate Judge Bowbeer noted that the statute of limitations applicable to Clark's Habeas Petition began to run ninety days after the Minnesota Supreme Court denied review of Clark's direct appeal, when the time for him to seek a writ of certiorari expired. (See id.) That is, Clark had until January of 2014 to file a writ of habeas corpus, unless the statute of limitations was tolled under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2). (See id. at 2-4.) Magistrate Judge Bowbeer reasoned that although the habeas statute of limitations is tolled while state post-conviction motions are pending, the tolling provision does not revive an already expired limitations period. (See id. at 3 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2)).) Here, the magistrate judge found the statute of limitations had already expired by the time Clark field his state post-conviction motions. (See id. at 2-3 (explaining that Clark had until January 2014 to file his federal habeas petition, and did not file his first post-conviction motion in state court until March of 2014).) Noting that Clark had failed to address the issue of the statute of limitations in all of his filings, and that his habeas petition was clearly time-barred, the magistrate judge recommended dismissal with prejudice. (See id. at 4.) Additionally, the magistrate judge recommended that a Certificate of Appealability be denied. (See id. at 4-5.)

         Clark filed his timely Objection to the R&R on March 8, 2018, triggering this de novo review.


         A. Clark's Habeas Petition is Barred by the ...

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