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Name: Van Buskirk v. Baldwin
Case #: 00-35640
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/28/2001
Subsequent History: Amended opn at 255 F.3d 1080; Rehg. den. 9/24/01

In a highly fact-specific case, the petitioner claimed ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to investigate his mental health history (and thus denying him an insanity defense in his 1993 murder case) and sought to excuse his late assertion of the claim on the theory that it amounted to a claim of actual innocence. The court concluded that even the actual innocence gateway for late claims under AEDPA requires a due diligence predicate, which petitioner had not met. The psychologist's declaration opined that petitioner's brain damage (resulting from a car accident before the crime) made him less able to conform…

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Name: In re Ramirez
Case #: B144665
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/15/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. on den. rehg. without chg in jmt on 7/2/01; Rev. den. and request to depubl. den. on 9/26/01

Appellant petitioned the appellate court for a writ of habeas corpus relieving him of any further probationary supervision in a misdemeanor case. He contended that due to court unification, a habeas petition is properly filed in the appellate court because since there is only one court, the superior court, it would be impermissible for one superior court judge to overrule the decision of another. The appellate court denied the petition without prejudice to its being refiled in the superior court. Although appellate jurisdiction to review decisions of the superior court is vested only in the appellate courts,…

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Name: Hasan v. Galaza
Case #: 99-16336
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/22/2001
Subsequent History: None

The court held the facts of petitioner's ineffective assistance claim tolled the one-year statute of limitation under AEDPA so that the time did not begin to run until he learned of a long-term romantic relationship between Bernard (a prosecution witness in another case) and Williamson (a prosecution witness in petitioner's case). At the time the petition was filed, petitioner knew that Bernard had been heard talking on a public phone outside the courtroom, which included the mention of petitioner's name. Bernard had approached Juror Harris, asked if he were on the jury, and handed him a piece of paper, saying,…

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Name: Patterson v. Stewart
Case #: 00-15034
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/30/2001
Subsequent History: None

The one year grace period for federal habeas corpus petitioners whose conviction became final before the effective date of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) is calculated by applying Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(a). Under rule 6(a), the day from which the period of time begins to run is not included in the calculation. The last day for timely filing was April 24, 1997, exactly one year from AEDPA's effective date of April 24,…

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Name: Florida v. Thomas
Case #: 00-391
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/04/2001
Subsequent History: None

The Florida Supreme Court had reversed appellant's conviction for possession of methamphetamine where appellant had been arrested and taken inside a home at the time the arresting officer searched his vehicle. However, the Florida court remanded the case to determine whether the search was justified under Chimel v. California (1969) 395 U.S. 752. The question the Court granted certiorari on was whether the "bright-line" rule articulated in New York v. Belton (1981) 453 U.S. 454 is limited to situations in which the officer initiates contact with the occupant of a vehicle while that person remains inside…

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Name: People v. Englebrecht
Case #: D033527
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/09/2001
Subsequent History: None

Appellant and 28 other named gang members were enjoined from engaging in various activities within a designated area of Oceanside. They appealed, arguing that they were denied their right to a jury trial on the issue of gang membership, and by deciding the case based on a preponderance of evidence rather than a clear and convincing standard of proof. The appellate court held that due process did not require a jury trial, since appellant's liberty was not at stake. However, the trial court erred in failing to require the government prove its case by clear and convincing…

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Name: Zichko v. Idaho
Case #: 98-35835
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/03/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. and rehg. den. 6/5/01

The petitioner was "in custody" for purposes of challenging his state rape conviction by habeas corpus while he was in custody for failure to register as a sex offender, even though he had completed his term on the rape conviction. Petitioner alleged in a federal habeas petition that he had received ineffective assistance when trial counsel failed to consult with him about an appeal. The appellate court concluded that petitioner had procedurally defaulted this claim by failing to raise it in an appeal from the denial of an earlier habeas petition in state court, and by failing…

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Name: Zichko v. Idaho
Case #: 98-35835
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/03/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. and rehg. den. 6/5/01

The petitioner was "in custody" for purposes of challenging his state rape conviction by habeas corpus while he was in custody for failure to register as a sex offender, even though he had completed his term on the rape conviction. Petitioner alleged in a federal habeas petition that he had received ineffective assistance when trial counsel failed to consult with him about an appeal. The appellate court concluded that petitioner had procedurally defaulted this claim by failing to raise it in an appeal from the denial of an earlier habeas petition in state court, and by failing…

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Name: LaCrosse v. Kernan
Case #: 97-55085
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/26/2001
Subsequent History: None

A California court's decision that the read back of testimony to a jury was not a "critical stage of the trial" for which a defendant had a fundamental right to be present was not contrary to established federal law. Therefore, even though petitioner's habeas was not denied due to state procedural default under AEDPA, it could not be reversed as a decision contrary to established federal…

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Name: Smith v. Stewart
Case #: 96-99025
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/06/2001
Subsequent History: None

A defendant claimed ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to investigate his mental condition or present mitigating evidence at his sentencing in a death penalty case, despite clear indications then of a mental disorder. The issue was raised for the first time in a third state petition; petitioner's counsel, a public defender whose office had represented him in post-conviction proceedings, provided an affidavit that the claim had not been raised because his employer, a state agency, prohibited lawyers from attacking each other's performance as a matter of policy. The Court held federal review of the state court judgment…

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