United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division
WILLIAM L. BROWN, Plaintiff,
JAMES SALMONSEN, Respondent.
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
MORRIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
William L. Brown (“Mr. Brown”), a state prisoner
proceeding without counsel, alleges that his constitutional
rights were violated when the Montana Third Judicial District
imposed “an unduly harsh sentence.” (Doc. 10 at
2). Mr. Brown appealed his conviction to the Montana Supreme
Court. The Montana Supreme Court confirmed Brown's
conviction on June 19, 2003. See State v. Brown,
2003 MT 166, 316 Mont. 310, 71 P.3d 1215
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the Montana
Supreme Court on November 19, 2018. (Doc. 10 at 2). Mr. Brown
claimed that the district court violated his right against
self-incrimination and due process. Mr. Brown argued the
violation occurred when he chose to remain silent and the
court found he lacked remorse, subsequently imposing a
harsher sentence. Brown v. Guyer, OP 18-0655, Or. At
2 (Mont. Nov. 28, 2018). The Montana Supreme Court did not
address the merits of Mr. Brown's petition, finding that
the petition was untimely and procedurally barred pursuant to
Mont. Code. Ann. § 46-22-101(1). Id. Mr. Brown
subsequently filed this petition on December 15, 2018. (Doc.
10 at 3). The Court advised Mr. Brown that his petition was
filed more than fourteen years too late and that his claims
were defaulted because the Montana Supreme Court refused to
consider the merits of his claims under federal law. (Doc. 7
at 3-5). The Court directed Mr. Brown to show cause as to why
his petition should not be dismissed. (Doc. 10 at 3).
Brown argued that he was unable to file a challenge because
he is unlearned in the law. (Doc. 9 at 1-2). Mr. Brown argued
further that it was only after “years of research,
learning, and talking with other inmates” he was able
to appreciate the constitutional violation that had occurred.
Id. Mr. Brown stated that as soon as he became aware
of the alleged violation, he filed his petition. Id.
United States Magistrate Judge Lynch entered Findings and
Recommendations in this matter on February 19, 2019. (Doc.
10). Judge Lynch recommended that this matter be dismissed
with prejudice because the petition is both time-barred and
procedurally defaulted. Id. at 8. Mr. Brown timely
filed objections to Magistrate Judge Lynch's Findings and
Recommendations. (Doc. 11).
Court reviews de novo Findings and Recommendations timely
objected to. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Court reviews
for clear error the portions of the Findings and
Recommendations not specifically objected to. McDonnell
Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d
1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981). Where a party's objections
constitute perfunctory responses argued in an attempt to
engage the district court in a rehashing of the same
arguments set forth in the original response, however, the
Court will review for clear error the applicable portions of
the findings and recommendations. Rosling v.
Kirkegard, 2014 WL 693315 *3 (D. Mont. Feb. 21, 2014)
(internal citations omitted).
Brown timely filed his objections. (Doc. 11). Mr. Brown
argues that his constitutional claims should not be
time-barred because the alleged violations prove serious and
thus fall under the miscarriage of justice exception.
Id. at 2. Judge Lynch explained previously that a
petitioner may escape statutory filing deadlines only if he
can show that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, but
an extraordinary circumstance stood in his way. Id.
at 4; see Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 649
(2010). The lack of legal knowledge, sophistication or
assistance fail to constitute the extraordinary circumstances
sufficient to warrant equitable tolling of the limitations
period. See Rasberry v. Garcia, 448 F.3d 1150, 1154
9th Cir. 2006).
objections attempt to engage the Court in a debate of the
same arguments that Judge Lynch addressed in his Findings and
Recommendations. (Doc. 10). Mr. Brown's objections simply
restate what Judge Lynch already addressed and the Court
finds no clear error in Judge Lynch's Findings and
IT IS ORDERED that Magistrate Judge
Lynch's Findings and Recommendations (Doc. 10) are
ADOPTED IN FULL.
IS ORDERED that the Amended Petition (Doc. 6) is
DISMISSED with prejudice because it is both
time-barred and procedurally defaulted.
Clerk of the Court is directed to close this matter and enter
judgement in favor of Respondent pursuant to Rule 58 of ...