Monday, January 31, 2005

Dismissal of § 2254 Petitioner's First Habeas Petition by Reason of Tardiness Renders Future Petitions "Second or Successive" under § 2244(b)

Murray v. Greiner and Arce v. Fischer, Nos. 01-3833, 02-3574 (2d Cir. Jan. 5, 2005) (Leval & Cabranes, and Garaufis, D.J.) (Op. by Leval) :

This decision simply extends Villanueva v. United States, 346 F.3d 55 (2d Cir. 2003), holding that dismissal of a § 2255 petition on grounds of untimliness under § 2244(d) (establishing 1-year period to file such a petition) renders subsequent petitions "second or successive" within the meaning of § 2244(b) (and thus subject to its nearly impossible to satisfy gatekeeping requirements), to § 2254 petitions filed by state prisoners. The reasoning is that (1) the dismissal of a habeas petition will render subsequent petitions "second or successive" if the petition was "adjudicated on the merits"; (2) dismissal of a prior petition on grounds that presented a "permanent and incurable" bar to federal review qualifies as an adjudication on the merits; and (3) dismissal of a prior petition as tardy under the statute of limitations set forth in § 2244(d) presents a "permanent and incurable bar" to review the claim, and thus quaifies as an adjudication on the merits rendering a subsequent petition "second or successive."


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