United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Habeas Corpus – AEDPA — equitable tolling
Where a state prisoner missed the deadline for seeking relief in federal court because of garden variety negligence by his attorney, and he was not diligent in seeking relief, the statute of limitations is not equitably tolled.
“Moreover, the record before us casts doubt on Mr. Obriecht’s claim that these two circumstances prevented him from filing in this case before June 2005. In November 2003, Mr. Obriecht was adjudicated competent to represent himself in his probation revocation matter; he has not explained how he could be competent to represent himself in that proceeding but not competent to file a petition for relief. More troubling, the district court took judicial notice of the fact that in another case before the court, Mr. Obriecht submitted an affidavit in which he stated that ‘[w]hen he did obtain access to the library [at the WRC], … he “then became very occupied with two other criminal appeals …,” which prevented him from pursuing his federal claims in state court until June 20, 2005.’ The State also has pointed out that Mr. Obriecht filed direct and collateral appeals in state court between 2003 and June 2005, the period during which he asserts that his mental health prevented him from seeking state review of his claims in this case. Mr. Obriecht has offered no explanation for how he was able to file in those cases but not in this one. Faced with these facts, we cannot say that the district court abused its discretion when it determined that Mr. Obriecht failed to establish that he exercised the requisite reasonable diligence.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Crabb, J., Ripple, J.