Shelby v. Bartlett

Decision Date13 December 2004
Docket NumberNo. 03-35847.,03-35847.
PartiesEric V. SHELBY, Petitioner-Appellant, v. James BARTLETT, Warden; Brian Superintendant of Oregon State Penitentiary, Superintendant, Respondents-Appellees.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit

Anthony D. Bornstein, Assistant Federal Public Defender, for the petitioner/appellant.

Carolyn Alexander, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, OR, for the respondents/appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon; Garr M. King, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-03-00040-KI.

Before: FERGUSON, TROTT, and KLEINFELD, Circuit Judges.

TROTT, Circuit Judge:

This appeal raises the issue of whether the one-year limitation period set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1) applies to a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus petition challenging a state prison administrative disciplinary decision. Eric Shelby admits that § 2244's limitation period applies to habeas petitions challenging state court judgments, but he argues that the limitation period does not apply to petitions challenging prison administrative disciplinary decisions. We disagree. We hold that § 2244's one-year limitation period applies to all habeas petitions filed by persons in "custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court," 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), even if the petition challenges an administrative decision rather than a state court judgment.

BACKGROUND

Shelby is an inmate in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections. Following a prison disciplinary hearing, the Department of Corrections found Shelby in violation of institutional rules and imposed a sanction of (1) sixty days in disciplinary segregation, (2) the loss of 100 days of "statutory good time," and (3) a $200 fine. Shelby sought administrative review of that decision on July 3, 2001. The reviewing official denied the administrative appeal on July 12, 2001.

On January 9, 2003, roughly one year and one-half after the denial of his appeal, Shelby filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. His petition claims that the disciplinary order violated his due process rights under the United States Constitution. More specifically, the hand-written, pro se petition contends that:

The challenged disciplinary order and resulting retraction of statutory good time credits deprives petitioner of due process of law because: (1) the challenged order is not supported by reliable and sufficient evidence in violation of the "some evidence" rule; and (2) the Hearings Officer refused to conduct an investigation, depriving petitioner of the ability to prepare and present a defense to the charged misconduct.

The district court dismissed the petition as untimely due to Shelby's failure to comply with the one-year limitation period set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(D). Shelby appeals. We affirm.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

We review de novo the district court's dismissal of a state prisoner's federal habeas corpus petition on statute of limitations grounds. Malcom v. Payne, 281 F.3d 951, 955-56(9th Cir.2002).

DISCUSSION
A. One-Year Limitation Period

In our circuit, whether the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") one-year limitation period applies to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas petitions contesting administrative decisions, such as Shelby's prison disciplinary proceeding, is an issue of first impression. The Second, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits have each held that the limitation period applies to § 2254 petitions challenging administrative decisions. See Cook v. New York State Div. of Parole, 321 F.3d 274, 280 (2nd Cir.2003); Wade v. Robinson, 327 F.3d 328, 331-32 (4th Cir.2003); Kimbrell v. Cockrell, 311 F.3d 361, 363 (5th Cir.2002). To the contrary, the Seventh Circuit has held that the limitation period applies to petitions contesting the judgment of a state court, but not to petitions contesting administrative decisions. Cox. v. McBride, 279 F.3d 492, 493-94 (7th Cir.2002).

Notably, we recently assumed without deciding that § 2244's one-year limitation period applied to a habeas petition challenging an administrative decision in the context of a parole board determination. Redd v. McGrath, 343 F.3d 1077, 1080 n. 4 (9th Cir.2003). In Redd, the petitioner argued that the limitation period did not apply to petitions challenging administrative decisions. Id. The petitioner conceded at oral argument, however, that the limitation period applied. Id. We therefore did not address the issue and "assume[d] that AEDPA's one-year statute of limitation applie[d]." Id.

We now join the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits and hold that § 2244's one-year limitation period applies to all habeas petitions filed by persons in "custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court," 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), even if the petition challenges a pertinent administrative decision rather than a state court judgment. This interpretation is consistent with (1) the plain language of the statute, (2) the rules of statutory construction, and (3) the purposes of the AEDPA.

Shelby filed his habeas petition under § 2254, which provides that a court "shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." (emphasis added). To determine whether a petition is properly filed under § 2254, we ask whether the petitioner is "in custody pursuant to a state court judgment." White v. Lambert, 370 F.3d 1002, 1007 (9th Cir.2004). This is a "status inquiry into the source of the petitioner's custody, and not an inquiry into the target of the petitioner's challenge." Id. at 1007-08. Under this status inquiry, we held in White that "§ 2254 is the exclusive vehicle for a habeas petition by a state prisoner in custody pursuant to a state court judgment, even when the petitioner is not challenging his underlying state court conviction." Id. at 1009-10(emphasis added). We specifically held that § 2254 is the "exclusive vehicle" for bringing a habeas petition challenging administrative decisions. Id. (finding that 28 U.S.C. § 2254, rather than 28 U.S.C. § 2241, is the proper jurisdictional basis for a challenge to an administrative decision ordering a prison transfer).

Despite the fact that he brings his petition under § 2254 as "a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court," Shelby argues that § 2244's one-year limitation period does not apply to him because he challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding rather than "the judgment of a State court." Section 2244(d)(1) provides:

(d)(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of —

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;

(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;

(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or

(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

Id. (emphasis added).

Shelby argues that the language of § 2244(d)(1) limits the one-year limitation period to petitions challenging "the judgment of a State court." Shelby claims to be challenging the custody imposed by the Department of Corrections. That custody, he argues, stems from the judgment not of a State court, but of a prison disciplinary board. However, the limitation period in § 2244 on its face is not limited to petitions challenging a state court judgment. Rather, as recently recognized by the Fourth Circuit, "[t]he section's plain language reaches any and every habeas petition filed by persons who are in custody pursuant to state court judgments. The section does not distinguish based on the contents of a petitioner's claim, but encompasses all `application[s] for writ of habeas corpus.'" Wade, 327 F.3d at 331 (alteration in original); see also Cook, 321 F.3d at 280(holding that § 2244's limitation period "seems plainly applicable to [petitioner's] application because he is, indeed, `a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court'"); Kimbrell, 311 F.3d at 363.

The conclusion that § 2244(d)(1)'s one-year limitation period applies to all petitions filed by persons in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court — not just persons contesting the underlying state court judgment — is consistent also with the rules of statutory construction. We must "interpret statutes as a whole, giving effect to each word and making every effort not to interpret a provision in a manner that renders other provisions of the same statute inconsistent, meaningless or superfluous." Boise Cascade Corp. v. U.S. E.P.A., 942 F.2d 1427, 1432 (9th Cir.1991). "We must presume that words used more than once in the same statute have the same meaning." Id.

Shelby's interpretation would result in two different meanings of the phrase "person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court" within the AEDPA. A petition challenging administrative decisions would be brought by a "person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court" for purposes of habeas jurisdiction, but would not be brought by a "person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court" for purposes of the limitation period. See Cook, 321 F.3d at 280("The section 2244 time...

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