June 17, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Postconviction Discovery Motion Does Not Toll Statute of Limitations for Filing Certificate of Appealability Application

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Woodward v. Clline on Friday, September 7, 2012.

In 1991, applicant David Woodward pleaded guilty in Kansas state court to kidnapping, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, rape, indecent liberties with a child, and felony murder. In 1994, he filed a motion requesting DNA testing for the purpose of his exoneration. It was unclear to the Court whether that motion was ever ruled upon. After filing various motions in state court in the intervening years, in 2011, Woodward filed in federal district court a certificate of appealability (COA) application alleging the COA one-year statute of limitations had not run because no court had ever ruled on his motion requesting DNA testing from 1994. Because the Tenth Circuit held that a postconviction discovery motion does not toll the limitations period for filing a COA § 2254 application, the Court denied the application for a COA and dismissed the appeal.

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