McMonagle v Meyer

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 10-06-2015
  • Case #: 12-15360
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Nguyen For the Court; Chief Judge Thomas and Harry, Circuit Judges Pregerson, Silverman, McKeown, Wardlaw, Clifton, Callahan, Smith Jr. , Christen, Friedland
  • Full Text Opinion

A misdemeanor appeal is immediately final in California once the California court of Appeals makes a final decision on the case.

Brian McMonagle was convicted of two misdemeanor offenses for driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol level above .08%. First, McMonagle appealed to the appellate division of the Superior Court of California instead of the California Court of Appeals. The appellate division reversed the findings of the .15% blood alcohol level and his conviction. However, a conviction was still affirmed because of other evidence that showed he drove intoxicated. McMonagle then tried to petition to the California Court of Appeals for further review, but the transfer was denied. He also filed a habeas corpus petition with the California Supreme Court but they rejected his petition. Following, he filed a habeas corpus petition in the Eastern District of California, but it too was rejected because his review of conviction ended when the Court of Appeals denied the transfer, and thus the file was untimely. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit determined whether the conviction became final under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). The defendant argued that Larche v. Simons allows for a petition to the California Supreme Court to fully exhaust claims. However, the court overruled that case. because it interfered with California's ability to create their own appellate review. The court held that since the misdemeanor conviction become final when the Court of Appeals denied it, the conviction became final for AEDPA purposes after the ninety days ended. AEDPA’s limitation period will run ninety days later or upon a petition for certiorari. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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