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Name: Allen v. Siebert
Case #: 06-1680
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 11/05/2007
Subsequent History: 128 S.Ct. 2, 169 L.Ed.2d 329

The AEDPA 1-year statute of limitation will not be tolled when a post conviction petition for relief is rejected as untimely filed under state law, regardless whether the time limit is jurisdictional or an affirmative defense. Siebert was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. In 1992, he filed for post-conviction relief in the Alabama state court but the court denied the petition as untimely because it was filed approximately three months after the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations. In 2001, Siebert filed for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. Because Siebert’s direct appeal became final pre-AEDPA, the one-year AEDPA limitations began to run from AEDPA’s 1996 effective date and Siebert’s habeas petition was untimely absent tolling. The Supreme Court disagreed with the appellate court’s finding that because Alabama’s statute of limitations was not jurisdictional and the state had the discretion to enforce it, Siebert’s filing was timely so as to toll AEDPA. Instead, it held that time limits, no matter their form, are filing conditions and if the petition is rejected as untimely by the state court, AEDPA’s limits will not be tolled.