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Clifford Williams v. Craig Apker

March 28, 2011

CLIFFORD WILLIAMS, PETITIONER,
v.
CRAIG APKER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Re Document No.: 15

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION

This case is currently before the court on the respondent's motion to dismiss the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The respondent argues that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over all but the petitioner's claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. The respondent also contends that the petition is statutorily time-barred because the petitioner filed the petition more than one year after the time after his conviction became final. Although the respondent is correct that the court lacks jurisdiction over all but the petitioner's claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel, the respondent has not established that the petition is time-barred. The court therefore grants in part and denies in part the respondent's motion.

II. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The petitioner is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary Tuscon, where he is serving concurrent sentences imposed by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in May 2003 following his convictions for mayhem while armed, aggravated assault while armed, carrying a dangerous weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon. See Inmate Locator, Fed. Bureau of Prisons, http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/LocateInmate.jsp, (search for Register Number 33118-007); Application Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241*fn1 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State or Fed. Custody ("Pet.")*fn2 at 1; Mem. Op. & J., at 1, Williams v. United States, No. 03-CF-1183 (D.C. Jan. 8, 2008). The petitioner appealed that conviction to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which upheld the conviction on January 8, 2008. See generally Mem. Op. & J., Williams v. United States, No. 03-CF-1183 (D.C. Jan. 8, 2008). The petitioner thereafter filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, see Pet. at 49 (Letter from William K. Suter, Clerk, U.S. Supreme Court, to Clifford Williams (Aug. 13, 2008)), as well as a motion to recall the mandate of the D.C. Court of Appeals, see id. at 50 (Order, Williams v. United States, No. 03-CF-1183 (D.C. May 28, 2008)). The District of Columbia Court of Appeals acted first, denying the petitioner's motion on May 28, 2008. Id. The Supreme Court denied certiorari on October 6, 2008. See Williams v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 308, 308 (2008).

The petitioner commenced this action on September 8, 2009, asserting an entitlement to relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), Pet. at 12-19, ineffective assistance of trial counsel, id. at 20-26, ineffective assistance of appellate counsel, id. at 28-31, a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel, id. at 32-33, a violation of his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, id. at 34-35, an impermissible denial of his right to an evidentiary hearing, id. at 36-37, and an illegal or unauthorized sentence, id. at 38-39. The respondent has moved to dismiss the petition, arguing that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over all of the petitioner's claims except his claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel and, alternatively, that the petition is time-barred. See generally Respt's Mot. to Dismiss ("Respt's Mot."). That motion is now ripe for adjudication.

III. ANALYSIS

A. The Court Dismisses the Majority of the Plaintiff's Claims Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1)

1. Legal Standard for a Rule 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and the law presumes that "a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction." Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); see also Gen. Motors Corp. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 363 F.3d 442, 448 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (noting that "[a]s a court of limited jurisdiction, we begin, and end, with an examination of our jurisdiction").

Because "subject-matter jurisdiction is an 'Art[icle] III as well as a statutory requirement[,] no action of the parties can confer subject-matter jurisdiction upon a federal court.'" Akinseye v. Dist. of Columbia, 339 F.3d 970, 971 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (quoting Ins. Corp. of Ir., Ltd. v. Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S. 694, 702 (1982)). On a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the court has subject matter jurisdiction. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992).

Because subject matter jurisdiction focuses on the court's power to hear the claim, however, the court must give the plaintiff's factual allegations closer scrutiny when resolving a Rule 12(b)(1) motion than would be required for a Rule 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim. See Macharia v. United States, 334 F.3d 61, 64, 69 (D.C. Cir. 2003); Grand Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police v. Ashcroft, 185 F. Supp. 2d 9, 13 (D.D.C. 2001). Thus, the court is not limited to the allegations contained in the complaint. Hohri v. United States, 782 F.2d 227, 241 (D.C. Cir. 1986), vacated on other grounds, 482 U.S. 64 (1987). Instead, "where necessary, the court may consider the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record, or the complaint supplemented by ...


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