United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Tallahassee Division
WILLIAM G. WALLACE, Petitioner,
SECRETARY, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
ORDER DISMISSING PETITIONER'S PETITION FOR WRIT
OF HABEAS CORPUS
WILLIAM STAFFORD, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is the magistrate judge's report and
recommendation (doc. 26) docketed August 1, 2017. The
magistrate judge recommends that Petitioner's petition
for writ of habeas corpus be dismissed as untimely.
Petitioner has filed objections (doc. 27) to the magistrate
judge's report and recommendation.
habeas petition (filed on July 8, 2016), Petitioner
challenges his 1987 state court conviction in Case No. 87-712
for grand theft of an automobile. He pleaded no contest to
the charge and did not appeal the conviction. While admitting
that he did not file his federal habeas petition within the
one-year limitations period set forth in 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(1), Petitioner contends that the habeas limitations
period is inapplicable in this instance based on a purported
jurisdictional defect in his 1987 Florida conviction for
grand theft. Specifically, he contends that the Florida court
that took his plea in Case No. 87-712 lacked jurisdiction
over a vehicular theft that Petitioner claims was completed
in New York.
federal habeas case, it matters not-and this court need not
decide-whether in 1987 the Florida state court did or did
not have jurisdiction to take Petitioner's
no-contest plea to grand theft. Either way, the result here is
the same: Petitioner cannot circumvent the one-year
limitations period by now challenging his 1987 criminal
conviction on jurisdictional grounds. A number of federal
courts, including courts in this district, have dismissed as
untimely § 2254 petitions filed outside the one-year
limitations period, even though the petitions challenged the
state trial courts' jurisdiction to convict and sentence
the petitioners. See, e.g., Jackson v.
Sec'y, Dep't of Corrs., 206 F. App'x 934,
937 (11th Cir. 2006) (“[Petitioner] filed his petition
more than a decade after his conviction [and accordingly] did
not satisfy the procedural prerequisites for [habeas] relief,
which is a necessary component of a collateral attack even
when alleging a [jurisdictional]-type violation”);
Smith v. Thomas, No. 3:12cv348, 2015 WL 2233121, at
*5 (M.D. Ala. May 12, 2015) (noting that “neither the
AEDPA [Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996]
nor federal case law exempts jurisdictional issues from
application of the statue of limitations”); Smith
v. Jones, No. 3:14cv195-MCR/EMT, 2015 WL 521067, at *10
(N.D. Fla. Feb. 9 2015) (noting that “the court has
found [no authority] holding that the federal habeas
limitations period of § 2244(d)(1) does not apply to
petitions alleging jurisdictional defects in the state trial
court”); Joseph v. Tucker, No.
4:12cv119-SPM/CAS, 2012 WL 5381513, at *1 (N.D. Fla. Nov. 1,
2012) (dismissing petition as untimely and finding that
“[t]here is no exception to the § 2254 time
limitation for claims raising challenges to the state
court's subject matter jurisdiction”); Davis v.
Sec'y, Dep't of Corrs., No. 8:09cv702-T-30MAP,
2009 WL 4730548, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 7, 2009) (“There
is no exception under AEDPA's statute of limitation for a
§ 2254 claim that the state court lacked subject matter
jurisdiction to impose the sentence for the conviction
because the indictment was defective.”). Here,
Petitioner's 2016 federal habeas petition, challenging a
state court conviction that was final in 1987, is untimely
and must be dismissed.
“actual innocence” argument does not persuade the
court otherwise. As the magistrate judge explained,
Petitioner has not established his actual innocence of the
grand theft charge to which he pleaded no contest. See
Rozzelle v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corrs., 672
F.3d 1000, 1013 (11th Cir. 2012) (explaining that
“actual innocence means factual innocence, not mere
legal insufficiency”); Jones v. Warden, 683
F.Appx. 799, 801 (11th Cir. 2017) (finding that “a
petitioner's argument that the state trial court lacked
jurisdiction presents, at most, a claim of legal innocence,
not factual innocence, and does not excuse his failure to
file his federal petition sooner”).
it is ORDERED:
magistrate judge's report and recommendation (doc. 26) is
ADOPTED and incorporated into this order.
Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus (doc. 1)
clerk shall enter judgment stating: "Petitioner's
petition for writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED."
 In his petition, Petitioner challenges
only his 1987 conviction. In his objections to the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation, Petitioner
asks that his petition be construed an attack on his current
life sentence, an enhanced sentence imposed in 2000 in Case
No. 98-3591 based in part on his 1987 grand theft conviction.
Such request is denied.
Compare Sanders v. State, 77
So.3d 914, 916 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) (reversing the trial
court's denial of the defendant's motion to dismiss
for lack of jurisdiction where the defendant's alleged
grand theft occurred on an airplane prior to the plane's
entrance into Florida territory), with Foster v.
State, 56 So. 945, 945 (Fla. 1911) (affirming