187 F.3d 1104 (9th Cir. 1999), 98-55623, Miles v. Prunty

Docket Nº:98-55623
Citation:187 F.3d 1104
Party Name:WILLIE LEE MILES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. K.W. PRUNTY, Warden; ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:August 13, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 1104

187 F.3d 1104 (9th Cir. 1999)

WILLIE LEE MILES, Plaintiff-Appellant,



No. 98-55623

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 13, 1999

Argued and Submitted June 7, 1999

William L. Harris, Pasadena, California, for the petitioner appellant.

Kent Jamil Bullard, Deputy Attorney General, Los Angeles, California, for the respondent-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California Consuelo B. Marshall, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-97-04414-CBM (RC).

Before: James R. Browning, Sidney R. Thomas, and Kim McLane Wardlaw, Circuit Judges.

Page 1105


WARDLAW, Circuit Judge:

Willie Lee Miles ("Miles") appeals the district court's dismissal of his 28 U.S.C. S 2254(a) habeas corpus petition as untimely. Miles raises two issues on appeal, only one of which we reach. Miles contends his petition was timely filed under the prison mailbox rule, and in the alternative, that extraordinary circumstances existed sufficient to equitably toll the applicable statute of limitations. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. SS 1291 and 2253 and we reverse.


We review a district court's decision to dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus de novo. See Fields v. Calderon, 125 F.3d 757, 759-60 (9th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S.Ct. 1826 (1998). We also review de novo the district court's dismissal of Miles' habeas petition on statute of limitations grounds. See Ellis v. City of San Diego, 176 F.3d 1183, 1188 (9th Cir. 1999); Hernandez v. City of El Monte , 138 F.3d 393, 398 (9th Cir. 1998). While findings of fact made by the district court are reviewed for clear error, see Moran v. McDaniel, 80 F.3d 1261, 1268 (9th Cir. 1996), where, as here, the facts are undisputed as to the question of equitable tolling, we review de novo, see Valenzuela v. Kraft, Inc., 801 F.2d 1170, 1172 (9th Cir. 1986).


The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") became law on April 24, 1996 and imposed for the first time a statute of limitations on habeas petitions filed by state prisoners. See Calderon v. United States Dist. Court (Beeler), 128 F.3d 1283, 1288-89 (9th Cir. 1997)[hereinafter "Calderon (Beeler)"], overruled in part on other grounds by Calderon v. United States Dist. Court (Kelly), 163 F.3d 530 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc), cert. denied, 119 S.Ct. 1377 (1999) [hereinafter "Calderon (Kelly)"]. We have held that AEDPA's limitations period did not begin to run against any state prisoner before the date of AEDPA's enactment. See Calderon (Beeler), 128 F.3d at 1286-87 (rejecting retroactive application of AEDPA's one-year statute of limitations). Accordingly, a prisoner with a state conviction finalized before April 24, 1996, such as Miles, had until April 23, 1997 to file a federal habeas petition.


Following his December 31, 1991 conviction for first degree murder in Los Angeles Superior Court, Miles received a sentence of forty years to life in prison. The California Court of Appeal affirmed Miles'...

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