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Pratt v. Dooley

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

September 19, 2017

ROBERT MERLE PRATT, Petitioner,
v.
BOB DOOLEY, WARDEN; and MARTY JACKLEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Respondents.

          ORDER

          VERONICA L. DUFFY, United States Magistrate Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner, Robert Merle Pratt, an inmate at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, South Dakota, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         JURISDICTION

         The pending matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Judge Schreier's Standing Order dated October 16, 2014.

         BACKGROUND

         Mr. Pratt's petition (Docket 8) indicates the following: He pled guilty to first degree manslaughter in South Dakota state court and was sentenced on October 22, 1992, to 100 years' imprisonment. Mr. Pratt did not file a direct appeal. In 1997, Mr. Pratt filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 which was dismissed for failure to exhaust state court remedies. See Pratt v. Weber, CIV. 97-4246 (D.S.D.) A state habeas petition was filed in South Dakota state court in 2000 and denied in July, 2007. In 2016, after the denial of parole by the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles, Mr. Pratt filed another state habeas action which was dismissed as frivolous by the state circuit court. The circuit court declined to issue a certificate of probable cause. Mr. Pratt filed the instant federal petition with this court on August 25, 2017.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Rule 4

         Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases states in pertinent part:

The clerk must promptly forward the petition to a judge under the court's assignment procedure, and the judge must promptly examine it. If it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner. If the petition is not dismissed, the judge must order the respondent to file an answer, motion or other response within a fixed time, or to take other action the judge may order . . .

         This Court's preliminary review, required by Rule 4, reveals that Mr. Pratt's pending § 2254 petition may be barred by the AEDPA statute of limitations.

         B. AEDPA Statute of Limitations

         Petitions for habeas relief in federal court collaterally attacking state court convictions are governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). AEDPA contains a one-year statute of limitations. ...


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