Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hamilton: Appeal of Denial of 60(b) motion requires COA

In Hamilton v. Sec., Fla. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 14-13535 (July 15, 2015), the Court held that a habeas petitioner who appeals the denial of Rule 60(b) motion is required, like a petitioner who appeals the denial of habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to obtain a Certificate of Appealability (“COA”) in order for the Court of Appeals to consider the appeal. The Court rejected Hamilton's argument that intervening Supreme Court cases called into question the Circuit precedent that required a COA in order for a habeas petitioner to appeal the denial of a Rule 60(b) motion – and the denial of a Rule 59(e) motion. Turning to whether Hamilton, a death row inmate, was entitled to COA, the Court held that he was not, finding his arguments “squarely foreclosed” by Circuit precedent.