United States v. Reves

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 12-15-2014
  • Case #: 13-15845; 13-15847
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Senior District Judge Albriton for the Court; Circuit Judges Fernandez and Ikuta
  • Full Text Opinion

A district court does not have jurisdiction to hear a defendant’s 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion to vacate their sentence where the motion is filed one day after their probation ends due to the statute’s requirement that the defendant be “in custody.”

This is a consolidated case where defendants Reves and Bedford each filed 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motions to vacate their sentences. Bedford’s motion was filed on Monday, June 7, 2010. His probation ended on Sunday, June 6, 2010. The district court held that due to the requirement in § 2255, that the defendant filing the motion be “in custody” at the time of the filing, they did not have jurisdiction to hear the motion because his probation ended a day before the motion was filed, thus he technically does not satisfy the “in custody” requirement. Bedford argues that deadlines that fall on a Saturday or Sunday extend to the next business day under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 26. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit indicated that the “in custody” requirement is not a given time period in the same sense that a limitations period is. The “in custody” requirement is a condition that either exists or does not exist at the time of the filing, and is not a statute of limitations or other deadline filing as contemplated by the Federal Rules. Therefore, the motion should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Reves’ motion was untimely filed outside the year limitation. His argument, on appeal, is that the judicial opinions and exoneration of his co-defendants entitle him to equitable tolling on the deadline to file his motion. The panel noted that the judicial opinions and exonerations regarding others do not affect the factual or legal basis for Reves’ conviction, pursuant to his plea agreement. Therefore, the motion should be dismissed as filed untimely. AFFIRMED as to Reves. REVERSED and REMANDED as to Bedford.

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