Submitted December 12, 2014
Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas - Fayetteville.
Manuel Enrique Camacho, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Grady, AR.
For Manuel Enrique Camacho, Plaintiff - Appellant: Todd Gerald Scher, LAW OFFICE OF TODD G. SCHER, Dania Beach, FL; Marc D. Seitles, LAW OFFICE OF MARC DAVID SEITLES, P.A., Miami, FL.
For Ray Hobbs, Director, Arkansas Department of Correction, Defendant - Appellee: Rachel Marie Kemp, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Little Rock, AR; Pamela Rumpz, Assistant Attorney General, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Little Rock, AR; Karen Virginia Wallace, Assistant Attorney General, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Little Rock, AR.
Before WOLLMAN, COLLOTON, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.
On July 11, 2008, Manuel Enrique Camacho pleaded guilty to capital murder in Arkansas state court, and a written judgment and commitment order was entered on July 22, 2008. He did not file a direct appeal. After state postconviction relief was denied, Camacho filed a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas petition in the Western District of Arkansas. The State responded by asserting that the petition was untimely under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The magistrate judge recommended denying relief, reasoning that because Arkansas law generally does not permit an appeal from a guilty plea, AEDPA's one-year limitations period began to run when the judgment of conviction was entered, not thirty days later when the time for filing a direct appeal from that judgment expired. The district court adopted the recommendation of the magistrate judge and dismissed Camacho's § 2254 petition as untimely, concluding that Camacho's petition was filed eighteen days past the deadline. The district court granted a certificate of appealability on whether Camacho's habeas petition was timely filed under § 2244(d)(1) and, if not, whether he was entitled to equitable tolling under Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 130 S.Ct. 2549, 177 L.Ed.2d 130 (2010).
Camacho argues that the limitations period did not begin to run until the expiration of the thirty-day period for filing a direct appeal from the state-court judgment and that his § 2254 petition was therefore timely. After de novo review, we hold that Camacho's § 2254 petition was timely filed and that the district court erred in dismissing the petition as time-barred. See Wright v. Norris, 299 F.3d 926, 927 (8th Cir. 2002) (standard of review).
Under AEDPA, federal and state prisoners generally have one year in which to file federal habeas petitions. For federal prisoners, the limitations period generally runs from " the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f)(1). For state prisoners, the limitations period runs from " the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration
of the time for seeking such review." Id. § 2244(d)(1)(A).
In Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522, 527, 123 S.Ct. 1072, 155 L.Ed.2d 88 (2003), the Supreme Court noted that for federal prisoners seeking habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a federal judgment becomes final " when this Court affirms a conviction on the merits on direct review or denies a petition for a writ of certiorari." If a federal prisoner does not file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court on direct review, " § 2255's one-year limitation period starts to run when the time for seeking such review expires." Id. at 532. In reaching this conclusion, the Clay Court rejected the argument that because Clay had elected not to seek certiorari, the limitations period began to run on the date the court of appeals issued its mandate. Id. at 529-30. In Jimenez v. Quarterman, 555 U.S. 113, 119-20, 129 S.Ct. 681, 172 L.Ed.2d 475 (2009), the Supreme Court extended its reasoning in Clay to " the similar language of § 2244(d)(1)(A)," holding that AEDPA's limitations period was " reset" when a state petitioner was granted leave to file an out-of-time direct appeal. The judgment in those circumstances became final only at " the conclusion of the out-of-time direct appeal, or the expiration of the time for seeking review of that [out-of-time direct] appeal." Jimenez, 555 U.S. at 121. The Court noted that " the plain language of § 2244(d)(1) . . . pinpoints the uniform date of finality set by Congress" as the " conclusion of direct review or the ...