Gonzalez v. Crosby
Supreme Court of the United States
April 25, 2005, Argued ; June 23, 2005, Decided
[*526] [**2644] Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court.
After the federal courts denied petitioner habeas corpus relief from his state conviction, he filed a motion for relief from that judgment, pursuant to [****5] Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). The question presented is whether, in a habeas case, such motions are subject to the additional restrictions that apply to "second or successive" habeas corpus petitions under the provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b).
Petitioner Aurelio Gonzalez pleaded guilty in Florida Circuit Court to one count of robbery with a firearm. He filed no appeal and began serving his 99-year sentence in 1982. Some 12 years later, petitioner began to seek relief from his conviction. He filed two motions for state [**2645] postconviction relief, which the Florida courts denied. Thereafter, in June 1997, petitioner filed a federal habeas petition in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, [*527] alleging that his guilty plea had not been entered knowingly and voluntarily.
Upon the State's motion, the District Court dismissed petitioner's habeas petition as barred by AEDPA's statute of limitations, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Under Eleventh Circuit precedent, petitioner's filing deadline, absent tolling, was April 23, 1997, one year after AEDPA's statute of limitations [****6] took effect. Wilcox v. Florida Dep't of Corrs., 158 F.3d 1209, 1211 (CA11 1998) (per curiam). Adopting a Magistrate Judge's recommendation, the District Court concluded that the limitations period was not tolled during the 163-day period while petitioner's second motion for state postconviction relief was pending. Section 2244(d)(2) tolls the statute of limitations during the pendency of "properly filed" applications only, and the District Court thought petitioner's motion was not "properly filed" because it was both untimely and successive. Without tolling, petitioner's federal habeas petition was two months late, so the District Court dismissed it as time barred. A judge of the Eleventh Circuit denied a certificate of appealability (COA) on April 6, 2000, and petitioner did not file for rehearing or review of that decision.
On November 7, 2000, we held in Artuz v. Bennett, 531 U.S. 4, 148 L. Ed. 2d 213, 121 S. Ct. 361, that ] an application for state postconviction relief can be "properly filed" even if the state courts dismiss it as procedurally barred. See id., at, 531 U.S. 4, 148 L. Ed. 2d 213, 121 S. Ct. 361. Almost nine months later, petitioner filed in the District Court a pro se [****7] "Motion to Amend or Alter Judgment," contending [***490] that the District Court's time-bar ruling was incorrect under Artuz's construction of § 2244(d), and invoking Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6), which permits a court to relieve a party from the effect of a final judgment. The District Court denied the motion, and petitioner appealed. Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.
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545 U.S. 524 *; 125 S. Ct. 2641 **; 162 L. Ed. 2d 480 ***; 2005 U.S. LEXIS 5014 ****; 18 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 449
AURELIO O. GONZALEZ, Petitioner v. JAMES V. CROSBY, Jr., SECRETARY, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Prior History: [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT.
Gonzalez v. Sec'y for the Dep't of Corr., 366 F.3d 1253, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 8143 (11th Cir. Fla., 2004)
Disposition: 366 F.3d 1253, affirmed.
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Criminal Law & Procedure, Order & Timing of Petitions, Statute of Limitations, Tolling, Governments, Legislation, Time Limitations, Time Limitations, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Altering & Amending Judgments, Successive Petitions, Prerequisites, Environmental Law, Hazardous Wastes & Toxic Substances, Toxic Torts, Procedural Defenses, Bars to Relief, Motions for Relief, Fraud, Misconduct & Misrepresentation, Excusable Mistakes & Neglect, Mistake, Newly Discovered Evidence, Extraordinary Circumstances, Motions for New Trials, Habeas Corpus, Procedure, Court Rules, Prior Determinations, Exceptions to Default, Actual Innocence & Miscarriage of Justice, Proof of Innocence, Pleadings, Amendment of Pleadings, Leave of Court, US Supreme Court Review, Retroactivity of Decisions, Elements of New Rules, Exceptions, Jurisdiction, Cognizable Issues, Appeals, Standards of Review, Certificate of Appealability, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Effect & Operation, Prospective Operation