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Name: Thompson v. Lea
Case #: 09-55753
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/07/2012
Summary

By granting review of the Court of Appeal’s denial order, the California Supreme Court reopened direct review for the purpose of resetting the statute of limitations for filing a federal habeas petition. The federal district court denied Thompson’s federal habeas petition, concluding that it was time-barred. The Ninth Circuit reversed. AEDPA sets a one-year limitations period for a state prisoner to file a federal habeas petition. The limitations period begins to run on the date that the judgment became final. It may be reset if a state court reopens direct review and a petitioner’s conviction becomes again capable of modification through direct appeal to the state courts and to the U.S. Supreme Court on certiorari review. Thompson’s first petition for review in the California Supreme Court was denied without prejudice to any relief to which he might be entitled after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Cunningham v. California. After the Cunningham decision, he filed a motion in the Court of Appeal to recall the remittitur and reinstate his appeal, which was denied. The California Supreme Court granted a petition for review and deferred action in the case. By granting review, the California Supreme Court reopened direct review and made Thompson’s conviction again capable of modification through direct appeal. Thompson’s conviction became “final” for purposes of AEDPA on December 11, 2007, ninety days after the California Supreme Court dismissed review on the merits in light of People v. Black. Thompson’s habeas petition, which was filed on June 30, 2008, was timely.