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Hernandez v. Spearman

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 22, 2014

EDUARDO HERNANDEZ, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
MARION SPEARMAN, Respondent-Appellee

Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California: February 3, 2014.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:07-cv-06754-PA-JC. Percy Anderson, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[**]

Habeas Corpus

Reversing the district court's dismissal of a federal habeas corpus petition as untimely after the district court refused to apply the " prison mailbox" rule to calculate the dates of the petitioner's filings, and remanding for further proceedings, the panel held that the mailbox rule applies when a pro se habeas petitioner gives his petition to a third party to mail from within the prison.

Tony Faryar Farmani (argued), Farmani, APLC, San Diego, California, for Petitioner-Appellant.

Stephanie C. Brenan (argued), Deputy Attorney General; James William Bilderback, II, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Office of the California Attorney General, Los Angeles, California, for Respondent-Appellee.

Before: Harry Pregerson and Marsha S. Berzon, Circuit Judges, and Carol Bagley Amon, Chief District Judge.[*] Opinion bye Judge Berzon.

OPINION

Page 1072

BERZON, Circuit Judge:

Petitioner Eduardo Hernandez's federal habeas corpus petition was dismissed as untimely after the district court refused to apply the " prison mailbox" rule to calculate the dates of Hernandez's filings. The district court found the rule inapplicable because a prisoner other than Hernandez delivered the petition to prison authorities for mailing to the clerk of court. We hold that the prison mailbox rule applies to such a circumstance and, accordingly, reverse the dismissal of Hernandez's petition.

Page 1073

I.

Hernandez, a California prisoner, is serving two indeterminate life terms and eighteen years for grand theft and kidnapping in connection with a carjacking. After unsuccessfully seeking post-conviction relief in state court, he filed a pro se federal habeas corpus petition. The Warden moved to dismiss Hernandez's petition as untimely, alleging that it was filed outside the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act's (" AEDPA" ) one-year filing deadline. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1).

A magistrate judge issued a Report and Recommendation, which agreed that the petition was untimely. First, in the instances in which a prisoner other than Hernandez had delivered Hernandez's pro se petition for post-conviction relief to prison authorities for mailing to the court, the magistrate judge refused to consider the date that such a petition was delivered to prison authorities as the filing date, as courts generally must ...


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