Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Chavers: Judgment, Not Mandate, Starts AEDPA period

In Chavers v. Sec. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 05-15163 (Oct. 31, 2006), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Florida inmate whose petition it found to be time-barred under AEDPA’s one-year limitations period.
The Court rejected the argument that the one-year statute of limitations begins to run 90 days after a mandate issues from the final decision of a Florida appellate court on direct review of a conviction. [Note: Unlike Lawrence v. Florida, presently pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, which involves the AEDPA statute of limitations after collateral review in the State courts, Chavers’ case involves the limitations period after direct review in the State courts]. Instead, the 90-day period begins to run after the entry of judgment by a Florida appellate court. This latter date is the date on which the 90-day period commences for filing a certiorari petition in the United States Supreme Court. Accordingly, it is the date of the entry of the judgment, not the date of the issuance of the mandate, that commences the one-year statute of limitations. Using this latter date as the starting point, Chavers’ federal habeas petition was time-barred.