Mardesich v. Cate

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 02-21-2012
  • Case #: 08-55404
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Ikuta for the Court; Circuit Judges Gould and D. Nelson
  • Full Text Opinion

The statute of limitations on claims under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) is calculated on a claim-by-claim basis, and the AEDPA statute of limitations on a challenge to an administrative decision begins when the administrative decision is final.

Destinni Mardesich was convicted of first degree murder and committed to the California Youth Authority ("CYA"). The California Youthful Offender Parole Board ("Board") subsequently determined that she was “not amenable to treatment” and on August 19, 1997, issued an order returning Mardesich to the Orange County Superior Court for resentencing. The superior court sentenced her to 26 years to life in prison on July 31, 1998. After exhausting the state appeals process, Mardesich petitioned for federal habeas relief on December 13, 2005. Mardesich challenged the law that gave CYA the authority to return Mardesich on three separate grounds. The magistrate judge dismissed Mardesich's first three claims as being beyond the one-year statute of limitations. The fourth claim, alleging that the superior court's resentencing procedures violated state and federal double jeopardy clauses, while timely, was also denied. Mardesich appealed the decision as to her first three claims. This Court analyzed first, whether to apply the statute of limitations on a claim-by-claim basis or on the petition as a whole. The Court, addressing a circuit split, concluded that the statute of limitations should be applied on a claim-by-claim basis because it is both consistent with how statutes of limitations are generally applied and prevents an open door to time-barred claims. Next, the Court considered whether the appeal was challenging the Board's decision or the superior court's resentencing judgment. Since a state’s denial of an administrative appeal is a "factual predicate" for a habeas appeal, the statute of limitations began to run on August 19, 1997, the date of the Board decision. The limitations period was tolled between October 15, 1997, and August 19, 2003, while Mardesich's petition for administrative mandamus was pending, and resumed on August 20, 2003. The Court calculated the one-year limitation to end on June 24, 2004, 18 months before the federal habeas petition. AFFIRMED.

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