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Name: Bonner v. Carey
Case #: 02-56022
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/06/2005

A prisoner who filed an untimely state habeas petition is not entitled to statutory tolling under AEDPA. The petitioner was convicted of first degree murder in 1983, and unsuccessfully sought habeas relief in California state courts in 1990 and 1991. He filed a new petition in the superior court in 1995, based on newly discovered evidence and ineffective assistance of counsel. AEDPA was passed the following year, and for unknown reasons the state court had not ruled on the 1995 petition by 1997. At that time the petitioner filed a document entitled a “request for rehearing.” The court still failed to rule on the 1995 petition, but did deny the request for rehearing. The court stated several reasons for the denial, one of which was that the claims had either been raised in the 1990 petition or could have been raised, and that there was no stated reason for the delay. Petitioner then filed a new petition in the California Court of Appeal, and received a denial citing the reasons stated in the denial of his request for rehearing. His petition to the California Supreme Court was denied without comment. The Ninth Circuit found that because a California court had dismissed the petition as untimely, it was not a “properly filed” petition within the meaning of the federal habeas statute, and thus the federal statute of limitations was not tolled during the time the petition was pending.