United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
J. Conrad, Jr. United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Respondents'
Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 4), and
Petitioner's Response, (Doc. No. 6). For the following
reasons, the Court will grant the motion and dismiss the
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, (Doc. No. 1), as time-barred.
Jason Orbison is a prisoner at North Carolina's Piedmont
Correctional Institute, within the Western District of North
Carolina. (Doc. No. 1: Petition at 6). He pled guilty to
second-degree murder in Union County Superior Court on
October 28, 2014. (Id.; Doc. No. 1-18: Plea Hr'g
Tr.; Doc. No. 1-19: Transcript of Plea). The judge imposed a
sentence, consistent with the plea arrangement, of 125 to 162
months' imprisonment and entered the Judgment on the same
date. (Doc. No. 1-2: Judgment; No. 1-18: Plea Hr'g Tr. at
26-27; Doc. No. 1-19: Transcript of Plea at 3).
did not file a direct appeal, but rather filed a Motion for
Appropriate Relief through counsel in the Union County
Superior Court on May 5, 2017, claiming trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to investigate his case, review
discovery with him, and properly advise him of the burden of
proof, elements of the crimes, and defenses should he proceed
to trial. (Doc. No. 1-3). A judge denied the motion by Order
entered November 15, 2017, finding, among other things, that
Petitioner's assertions of ineffective assistance of
counsel directly conflicted with his written and sworn
responses during the plea hearing and did not overcome the
strong presumption of verity that attaches to the entry and
acceptance of a guilty plea. (Doc. No. 1-5 at 3). On June 12,
2018, the North Carolina Court of Appeals denied his Petition
for Writ of Certiorari. (Doc. No. 1-8: Order).
filed in the instant matter through counsel on July 11, 2018,
alleging trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective in
preparing his defense, plea, and sentencing. (Doc. No. 1).
Respondents filed an Answer, (Doc. No. 3), and Motion for
Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 4), with Supporting Brief, (Doc.
No. 5), asserting Petitioner's claim is time-barred. With
the filing of Petitioner's Response, (Doc. No. 6),
claiming actual innocence and equitable tolling, this matter
is ripe for disposition.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate in those cases where there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact, and it appears that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2); United States v. Lee, 943
F.2d 366, 368 (4th Cir. 1991). Any permissible inferences to
be drawn from the underlying facts must be viewed in the
light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986). Where, however, the
record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of
fact to find for the non-moving party, disposition by summary
judgment is appropriate. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986).
Section 2254 Standard
addition to the motion for summary judgment standard set
forth above, this Court must also consider the petition for
writ of habeas corpus under the requirements set forth in 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d), which provides:
application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person
in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall
not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated
on the merits in State court proceedings unless the
adjudication of the claim-
resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an
unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law,
as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence ...