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Holland v. Florida

Supreme Court of the United States

March 1, 2010, Argued; June 14, 2010, Decided

No. 09-5327


 [*634]  Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court.

We here decide that the timeliness provision in the federal habeas corpus statute is subject to equitable tolling. See Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). We also consider its application in this case. In the Court of Appeals' view, when a petitioner seeks to excuse a late filing on the basis of his attorney's unprofessional conduct, that conduct, even if it is “negligent” or “grossly negligent,” cannot “rise to the level of egregious attorney misconduct” that would warrant equitable tolling unless the petitioner offers “proof of bad faith, dishonesty, divided loyalty, mental impairment or so forth.” 539 F.3d 1334, 1339 (CA11 2008) (per curiam). In our view, this standard is too rigid. See Irwin v. Department of Veterans  [*635]  Affairs, 498 U.S. 89, 96,  [***137]  111 S. Ct. 453, 112 L. Ed. 2d 435 (1990); see also Lawrence v. Florida, 549 U.S. 327, 336, 127 S. Ct. 1079, 166 L. Ed. 2d 924 (2007). We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand for further proceedings.

AEDPA states that “[a]  [****8] 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court.” § 2244(d)(1). It also says that “[t]he time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction . . . review” is “pending shall not be counted” against the 1-year period. § 2244(d)(2).

On January 19, 2006, Albert Holland filed a pro se habeas corpus petition in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Both Holland (the petitioner) and the State of Florida (the respondent) agree that, unless equitably tolled, the statutory limitations period applicable [**2555]  to Holland's petition expired approximately five weeks before the petition was filed. See Brief for Respondent 9, and n. 7; Brief for Petitioner 5, and n. 4. Holland asked the District Court to toll the limitations period for equitable reasons. We shall set forth in some detail the record facts that underlie Holland's claim.

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560 U.S. 631 *; 130 S. Ct. 2549 **; 177 L. Ed. 2d 130 ***; 2010 U.S. LEXIS 4946 ****; 78 U.S.L.W. 4555; 22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 437


Subsequent History: On remand at, Remanded by Holland v. State, 613 F.3d 1053, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 16058 (11th Cir. Fla., Aug. 3, 2010)


Holland v. Florida, 539 F.3d 1334, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 17552 (11th Cir. Fla., 2008)

Disposition: Reversed and remanded.


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Criminal Law & Procedure, Order & Timing of Petitions, Statute of Limitations, Antiterrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act, Tolling, Equitable Tolling, Tolling, Habeas Corpus, Statute of Limitations, Procedural Defenses, Waiver of Defenses, Civil Procedure, Preliminary Considerations, Equity, General Overview, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Presumptions, Governments, Legislation, Accrual Period, Presumptions, Rebuttal of Presumptions, Exhaustion of Remedies, Prerequisites, Courts, Judicial Precedent, US Supreme Court Review