United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES
JEREMIAH C. LYNCH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Thomason's petition for
a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Thomason is a state prisoner proceeding pro se.
December 14, 2018, this Court ordered Thomason to show cause
as to why his petition should not be dismissed as time-barred
and procedurally defaulted and was informed how he might make
such a showing. (Doc. 12 at 4-8.) Thomason timely responded.
response, Thomason generally asserts his “severe mental
defect” as cause to excuse both his untimely filing and
his default. Id. at 2-3. Thomason states that had he
not suffered from mental health issues, he would not have
pled guilty to two counts of Robbery. Id. at 3.
Thomason also asserts that the State of Montana has imposed a
cruel and unusual punishment upon him and, that in viewing
all the available evidence in a light most favorable to him,
this Court should find Thomason not guilty.
explained below, Thomason's petition should be dismissed
with prejudice, because it is untimely and the claims are
procedurally defaulted without excuse.
previously explained to Thomason, the AEDPA imposes a
one-year statue of limitations for filing a petition for a
federal writ of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. §2244; see
also, (Doc. 12 at 4-5) (explaining application of federal
limitations period). The limitations period begins to run on
the date the conviction becomes final. 28 U.S.C. §2244
(d)(1). This limitations period may be equitably tolled in
certain circumstance. Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S.
631, 647 (2010).
petitioner is ‘entitled to equitable tolling' only
if he shows (1) that he has been pursuing his rights
diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary stood in his
way' and prevented timely filing.”
Holland, 560 U.S. at 649 (quoting Pace v.
DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005)); see also
Miles v. Prunty, 187 F.3d 1104, 1107 (9th
Cir. 1999) (“When external forces, rather than a
petitioner's lack of diligence, account for the failure
to file a timely claim, equitable tolling of the statute of
limitations may be appropriate.”) The petitioner bears
the burden of showing that this “extraordinary
exclusion” should apply and the requirements are
“very high, lest the exceptions swallow the
rule.” Miranda v. Castro, 292 F.3d 1963,
1065-66 (9th Cir. 2002); see also Waldron
Ramsey v. Pacholke, 556 F.3d 1008, 1011 (9th
Cir. 2009) (characterizing the Circuit's application of
equitable tolling doctrine as “sparing” and a
“rarity.”) Additionally, a petitioner must
establish a “causal connection” between the
extraordinary circumstance and his failure to file a timely
petition. Bryant v. Arizona Attorney General, 499
F.3d 1056, 1060 (9th Cir. 2007).
impairments may provide a basis for equitable tolling if the
impairment caused the untimely filing. Spitsyn v.
Moore, 345 F.3d 796, 799 (2003). The Ninth Circuit
established a two-part test to be employed in determining
whether equitable tolling is appropriate:
(1) First, a petitioner must show his mental
impairment was an “extraordinary circumstance”
beyond his control, by demonstrating the impairment was so
severe that either
a. petitioner was unable rationally or factually to
personally understand the need to timely file, or
b. petitioner's mental state rendered him unable
personally to prepare a habeas petition and to ...