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Ancona v. Chapdelaine

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

November 28, 2016

JOSEPH ANCONA, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN CHAPDELAINE, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge

         Petitioner Joseph Ancona is a Connecticut state prisoner who is serving out a 21-year sentence following his conviction on multiple counts of arson and attempted larceny. He has filed this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set forth below, I will dismiss the petition on the ground that it was not timely filed within one year of when his state court convictions became final.

         Background

         On February 17, 1999, a state court jury in Hartford found petitioner guilty on multiple counts of arson and attempted larceny. He was sentenced to a total effective sentence of 21 years of imprisonment on June 22, 1999. The Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed his conviction on May 22, 2001. See State v. Ancona, 256 Conn. 214, 215-16 (2001).

         Petitioner initially filed for sentence review pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 51-195. The Sentence Review Division affirmed petitioner's sentence on February 25, 2004. See State v. Ancona, 2004 WL 504581 (Conn. Super. 2004).

         In the meantime, on December 6, 2001, petitioner filed the first of several state court habeas corpus petitions. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court dismissed petitioner's first petition on March 25, 2003. See Ancona v. Warden, 2003 WL 1875104 (Conn. Super. 2003). On April 3, 2003, petitioner filed a petition for certification of the habeas court's decision, which was denied the same day. See Doc. #24-7 at 34-35, 37; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-470(g). Petitioner did not further appeal; rather, about a year later, on March 11, 2004, [1] petitioner filed his second state court habeas corpus petition.

         On August 10, 2005, the parties entered into a stipulation to reinstate petitioner's right to file an appeal from the denial of his first habeas petition, in exchange for dismissal of the second habeas petition with prejudice. Doc. #24-18 at 63. Petitioner filed an appeal from his first habeas petition on September 26, 2005, and the Connecticut Appellate Court dismissed the appeal on April 3, 2007. See Ancona v. Comm'r of Corr., 100 Conn.App. 283, 284 (2007). The Connecticut Supreme Court denied further review on May 15, 2007. See Ancona v. Comm'r of Corr., 282 Conn. 918 (2007).[2]

         Petitioner filed a third state court habeas petition on July 16, 2007. The trial court dismissed this petition on June 5, 2009, see Ancona v. Warden, 2009 WL 1958728 (Conn. Super. 2009), and petitioner did not appeal the decision.

         Petitioner filed a fourth state court habeas petition on October 30, 2009, followed by an amended petition on January 7, 2010. Doc. #24-17 at 36. The trial court dismissed the amended petition on August 16, 2010. See Ancona v. Warden, 2010 WL 5491330 (Conn. Super. 2010). Petitioner appealed, and the Connecticut Appellate Court dismissed the appeal on April 3, 2012. See Ancona v. Comm'r of Corr., 134 Conn.App. 904 (2012). Petitioner did not seek discretionary review by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

         In the meantime, petitioner filed a fifth state court habeas petition on February 1, 2011. On May 9, 2011, the trial court dismissed the petition, and this dismissal was affirmed by the Connecticut Appellate Court on February 12, 2013. See Ancona v. Comm'r of Corr., 140 Conn.App. 905 (2013). The Connecticut Supreme Court denied review on June 5, 2013. See Ancona v. Comm'r of Corr., 309 Conn. 901 (2013).

         During the pendency of the fifth state court habeas action, petitioner filed a motion on March 11, 2011, to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Practice Book § 43-22. Doc. #24-26 at 20. The trial court denied petitioner's motion on June 1, 2011, see Doc. #24-26 at 31, and petitioner appealed. The Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court on May 14, 2013, see State v. Ancona, 142 Conn.App. 907 (2013), and the Connecticut Supreme Court denied review on October 9, 2013. See State v. Ancona, 310 Conn. 922 (2013). Petitioner then sought certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, but certiorari was denied on June 9, 2014. See Ancona v. Connecticut, 134 S.Ct. 2740 (2014).

         On September 29, 2014, petitioner allegedly mailed for filing the instant pro se federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, which was then filed on October 10, 2014. He raises the following claims for habeas corpus relief: (1) that he suffered prejudice because the state trial court did not sever the arson charges from the larceny charges; (2) that the State withheld exculpatory evidence and presented false evidence; (3) that the trial judge was biased against petitioner due to petitioner's national origin; and (4) that petitioner was denied the effective assistance of counsel.

         Discussion

         A federal court “shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Federal law, however, imposes stringent time limitations for prisoners to seek federal habeas corpus relief. Subject to certain exceptions, federal law requires that a federal petition for habeas ...


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