Noble v. Adams

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 04-19-2012
  • Case #: 08-17655
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Wallace for the Court; Circuit Judges Nelson and Bea
  • Full Text Opinion

For purposes of tolling the statute of limitations, a district court must determine what is a reasonable time to appeal a petition for writ of habeas corpus or whether a delay is excusable, under applicable state law.

Wilbert Noble, a prisoner in the California State Penitentiary, filed multiple writs for habeas corpus to the California state courts and eventually with the United States District Court for the District of Northern California. All the writs in state court were denied and the final writ was dismissed by the District Court as untimely. The District Court determined that the petitioner was not entitled to tolling of time between the filing of the petitions to the state court. The District Court must determine whether the petition was still pending at the time the appeal was filed. California law has a unique system for appealing petitions of habeas corpus that does not indicate a time-frame for appeal. Therefore, the decision of the District Court is vacated and remanded for proceedings to determine whether the petitioner’s four and a half month delay in appealing was within a reasonable time or if the delay would be excusable, under California law. VACATED and REMANDED.

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