United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
A. Dooley United States District Judge
petitioner, Jeffery Williams (“Williams”), brings
this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 challenging his 2005 conviction on charges of
sexual assault in the first and third degrees and risk of
injury to a minor on the ground that his trial counsel was
ineffective. The respondent moves to dismiss the petition as
time-barred. In response to the motion to dismiss, Williams
filed a motion to amend his petition to identify additional
reasons he received ineffective assistance of counsel. For
the following reasons, the respondent's motion is
granted, Williams' motion is denied, and the petition is
Williams was convicted by a jury after trial in Superior
Court on three counts of sexual assault in the first degree,
two counts of sexual assault in the third degree, and seven
counts of risk of injury to a minor. He was sentenced to a
total effective term of imprisonment of thirty-five years.
State v. Williams, 102 Conn.App. 168, 170, 926 A.2d
7, 11 (2007).
timely filed a direct appeal challenging his conviction on
two grounds. Williams argued that prosecutorial misconduct
denied him due process and a fair trial and further that the
trial court effectively denied his right to counsel when it
denied his motion for a new lawyer. On July 3, 2007, the
Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed Williams'
conviction. Id., 926 A.2d at 11-12. On September 5,
2007, the Connecticut Supreme Court denied his petition for
certification to appeal. State v. Williams, 284
Conn. 906, 931 A.2d 267 (2007). Williams did not file a
petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme
filed three petitions for writ of habeas corpus in state
court at various times. Williams filed the first state habeas
petition on January 26, 2006, while his direct appeal was
still pending. ECF No. 17-5; Williams v. Warden, State
Prison, No. TST-CV06-4000932-S,
(last visited May 6, 2019). He filed the second state habeas
petition on January 28, 2010, while the first petition was
still pending. ECF No. 17-6. On October 6, 2010, the two
cases were ordered consolidated. ECF No. 17-7; Williams
v. Warden, State Prison, No. TSR-CV10-4003396-S,
(last visited May 6, 2019). On January 24, 2011, the
consolidated cases were dismissed for failure to prosecute.
ECF No. 17-8. The habeas court denied certification to appeal
on February 4, 2011. Williams did not appeal the denial of
certification. ECF No. 17-5. Over a year later, in the same
file, on May 9, 2012, Williams filed a motion to waive the
entry fee and pay costs for service of an appeal. The motion
was denied on June 29, 2012. Id.
filed his third state habeas petition on January 25, 2013.
Counsel was appointed and filed an amended petition. On March
3, 2016, the petition was denied after trial. ECF No. 17-9;
Williams v. Warden, State Prison, No.
(last visited May 6, 2019). The denial was affirmed on appeal
and, on December 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court
denied Williams's petition for certification.
Williams v. Commissioner of Corr., 177 Conn. App.,
175 A.3d 565, cert. denied, 327 Conn. 990, 175 A.3d
563 (2017). Williams did not file a petition for certiorari
in the United States Supreme Court.
February 23, 2018, Williams signed his federal habeas
petition commencing this action.
defendant may raise an affirmative defense, such as the
statute of limitations, in a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
if the defense appears on the face of the complaint.
McKenna v. Wright, 386 F.3d 432, 436 (2d Cir. 2004);
see e.g., Mitchell v. Commissioner of Corr.,
No.3:17cv762(MPS), 2019 WL 188694 (D. Conn. Jan. 14, 2019)
(granting motion to dismiss habeas corpus action on statute
of limitations grounds). In reviewing a motion to dismiss,
“[a] court may take judicial notice of a document filed
in another court not for the truth of the matters asserted in
the other litigation, but rather to establish the fact of
such litigation and related filings.” Global
Network Comm., Inc. v. City of New York, 458 F.3d 150,
157 (2d Cir. 2006).
law imposes a one-year limitations period on federal
petitions for writ of habeas corpus which challenge a
judgment of conviction imposed by a state court. See
28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The one-year limitations period
commences when the petitioner's conviction becomes final.
That date is defined as the completion of the direct appeal
or the conclusion of the time within which an appeal could
have been filed,  id., and may be tolled for the
period during which “a properly filed application for
State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect
to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending.” 28
U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); see also Gonzalez v.
Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 150 (2012) (direct review of a
conviction includes review by Supreme Court on petition for
writ of certiorari). The limitations period may also, under
certain circumstances be equitably tolled. Holland v.
Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 649 (2010). To equitably toll the
limitations period, the petitioner must show that
extraordinary circumstances prevented him from filing his
petition on time and that he acted with reasonable diligence
during the entire period he seeks to have tolled.
the Connecticut Supreme Court denied Williams' petition
for certification on September 5, 2007. His conviction became
final ninety days later, on December 4, 2007, at the
conclusion of the time within which he could have filed, but
did not, a petition for certiorari in the United States
Supreme Court. See Gonzalez, 565 U.S. at 150
(conviction is final and limitation period begins to run only
after denial of certiorari or expiration of time to seek
certiorari); see also Sup. Ct. R. 13.1 (90-day time
period to file petition for writ of certiorari). The
limitations period, however, was tolled at the time because
Williams had filed his first state habeas petition while the
direct appeal was pending. The consolidated first and second
state habeas petitions were dismissed on January 24, 2011,
and Williams' petition for certification to appeal was
denied on February 4, 2011. Williams did not appeal the
denial. Thus, the limitations period for bringing a federal
petition for writ of habeas corpus commenced on February 25,
2011, the day after the expiration of the twenty-day period
during which Williams could have filed an appeal.
See Connecticut Practice ...