Although the district court denied on the merits an earlier pro se petition back in 1988, the Court concluded that this denial did not trigger the statutory bar on unauthorized second or successive petitions. That was because there was no indication that the district court notified the petitioner that it would re-characterize the pleading as a habeas petition and gave him an opportunity to withdraw it, as required by the Supreme Court's decision in Castro. Although Castro was not decided until 2003, the Court concluded that Castro's notice-and-warning requirement applied to petitions filed before that decision was issued. And, although the petitioner here filed a number of other federal pleadings, they were all dismissed without prejudice or as unauthorized second or successive petitions, and thus also did not trigger the bar on second or successive petitions.
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions
Monday, June 04, 2018
Ponton: Castro's Notice-and Warning Requirement Applies to Petitions Pre-Dating Castro
In Ponton v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corrs., No. 16-10683 (June 4, 2018) (Ed Carnes, Marcus, Ross), the Court held that the district court erroneously dismissed a state prisoner's 2254 habeas petition as an unauthorized "second or successive" petition.