Monday, August 11, 2014

AEDPA Filing Deadline Is Tolled While State Petition is Pending, No Matter How Dilatory State Courts Are

Fisher v. Raemisch, 2014 WL 3827163; No. 13-1144 (Colo.)(published): The court reverses a district court decision to dismiss a habeas petition. The district court dismissed Fisher’s petition because it felt that he had abandoned a state post-conviction petition which made his federal petition untimely. The 10th Circuit said that AEDPA’s one year filing limitation period is tolled while an application for post-conviction relief is pending in state court. Here, the state court took 8 years to rule on Fisher’s post-conviction petition. The 10th Circuit said that wasn’t his fault. It rejected the argument of the respondent and the lower court that Fisher had abandoned the post-conviction proceedings because he didn’t ask for an expeditious ruling. The court held that the limitations period is tolled while a post-conviction application works its way through the state courts.