Nedds v. Calderon

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 05-04-2012
  • Case #: 08-56520
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Pregerson for the Court; Circuit Judges Fisher and Berzon
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), a petitioner is entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations for a habeas corpus claim when the petitioner relies on circuit court precedent, even if that precedent is later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nedds appealed the district court’s holding that his 28 U.S.C. § 2554 habeas corpus petition is barred by the one-year statute of limitations created by the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). Nedds claimed he filed his petition within the statute of limitations, relying on Ninth Circuit precedent granting him statutory and equitable tolling, which was later overturned. Nedds was initially sentenced to 25 years in state prison. The conviction became final on June 22, 1999. Nedds filed habeas petitions with the California Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court, both of which were denied. On September 10, 2001, Nedds filed a habeas petition with the federal district court, which was denied for failing to meet the one-year statute of limitations under AEDPA. Nedds appealed, claiming that under Ninth Circuit precedent, he was entitled to equitable and statutory tolling. The case he relied upon was valid at the time of his petition, but later overturned by the Supreme Court. Nedds argued that he was entitled to equitable tolling while his habeas petitions were pending. The Ninth Circuit noted that the petitions were filed nine months before the precedent was overturned and therefore Nedds reliance on the precedent could be presumed. The Court held that Nedds was entitled to equitable tolling because he relied on Ninth Circuit precedent in filing his claim. District court’s order dismissing Nedds’ habeas petition is vacated, and remanded for consideration of Nedds’ petition. VACATED and REMANDED.

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