August 21, 2019

Tenth Circuit: One-Year Statute of Limitations Barred Defendant’s Motion for Relief Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in United States v. Denny on Monday, September 24, 2012.

Defendant Travis Denny pled guilty to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment. Due to a misunderstanding with his lawyer, defendant assumed an appeal would be filed objecting to his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. However, his lawyer understood that no appeal would be filed. Eventually, defendant discovered no appeal had been filed and filed a § 2255 motion pro se.  The court ruled that his motion was time-barred under the one-year limitations period of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Defendant then sought a certificate of appealability (COA) to allow him to appeal the district court’s dismissal of his motion. The Tenth Circuit granted the COA.

The issue on appeal was whether the defendant acted with reasonable diligence after he acquired the information that no appeal had been filed. Once the Defendant discovered this fact, the one-year statute of limitations began to run. Defendant discovered no appeal had been filed in September 2008, and filed his motion in November 2009, over one year later. Accordingly, the district court’s dismissal of defendant’s claim was AFFIRMED.

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