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Name: Huizar v. Carey
Case #: 00-56285
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/14/2001
Subsequent History: None

Huizar, a California prisoner, gave prison officials his state court habeas petition for mailing on April 15, 1996, according to the prison’s log of outgoing mail. The superior court did not receive the petition. Huizar wrote at least two more letters to the court inquiring about his petition. The petition was finally filed in the Superior Court on December 30, 1998. When Huizar filed a federal habeas petition, the district court dismissed it as time-barred. The appellate court here reversed. A prisoner’s control over the filing of his petition ceases when he delivers it to prison officials. Therefore, whether or not the document is actually received or filed by the court, a prisoner who delivers a document to prison authorities gets the benefit of the prison mailbox rule, so long as he diligently follows up once he has failed to receive a disposition from the court within a reasonable amount of time, which appellant here did.