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Day v. McDonough

547 U.S. 198 (2006)

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Day v. McDonough

United States Supreme Court

547 U.S. 198 (2006)

Facts

Patrick Day (defendant) was a Florida state prisoner. According to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, state prisoners had a one-year statute of limitations to file petitions for writs of habeas corpus, not including time that is tolled when the prisoner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus is pending. Prior to that act, no statute of limitations existed for petitions for writs of habeas corpus. Day filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with a federal district court. The state of Florida (plaintiff) conceded that the petition was timely because it was filed after 352 days of untolled time. A federal magistrate judge reviewed the petition and determined that the government had miscalculated the tolling time. According to the magistrate judge, the petition was filed after 388 days and fell outside the one-year statute of limitations. The magistrate judge gave Day an opportunity to argue that the petition should not be dismissed as untimely and, after finding Day’s argument unconvincing, recommended that the petition be dismissed. The federal district court adopted the recommendation, dismissing the case. The court of appeals affirmed the district court. Day appealed, arguing that the district court could not dismiss the petition because the government did not raise the statute of limitations as a defense.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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