Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Branham v. Montana, No. 19-35829 (5-6-21)(Murphy, Bennett, & Miller). The 9th affirms the dismissal of a habeas claim as time-barred. The 9th holds that a proceeding in the Sentence Review Division of the Montana Supreme Court is akin to collateral review. The petitioner had filed a state pcr 11 months after the time for a cert writ had expired. About two weeks later, he filed a petition with the Sentence Review Division. When that was denied, six months later, he filed federal habeas. If the petition is treated like a direct review, petitioner had a year after its denial. If treated as a pcr, he had 23 days, which expired before his habeas. The 9th treats it like a pcr because the State treats it like a pcr, statutes refer to “final” decision in an appeal, and the deadlines are more like a pcr.

The decision is here:



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