Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

McMonagle v. Meyer, No. 12-15360 [October 6, 2015]

McMonagle v. Meyer

McMonagle’s petition was dismissed by the district court as untimely. The issue was when did his misdemeanor conviction became final for the purposes of AEDPA’s one-year limitations period. The en banc court overrules its previous opinion in Larche v. Simons, 53 F.3d 1068 (9th Cir. 1995) because it “creates needless confusion for California misdemeanants seeking federal review.” Here, because McMonagle relied on Larche he is entitled to equitable tolling and the case is remanded to the district court to hear his petition on the merits. Larche held that California misdemeanants must seek habeas relief from the California Supreme Court in order to exhaust their claims. [Even though California law provides the misdemeanor conviction is final when the Court of Appeal denies a hearing]. Although Larche, a pre-AEDPA case did not discuss finality, it created undue confusion for misdemeanor habeas petitioners, particularly because of the confusing language used by the Court.

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