Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cause in the 10th Circuit

Yesterday's opinion in Stuart v. Ward, 2007 WL 1519871 (10th Cir. 2007), is not a notable AEDPA decision. The court denied relief on four habeas claims, none of which really merit further discussion. It is unpublished and only three pages, which is generally pretty quick work unless the court is affirming the denial of a COA However, I did notice this paragraph in the middle of the opinion, dealing with the petitioner's arguments in attempting to avoid a state procedural default:

Stuart contends that his failure to timely appeal to the OCCA was caused by
“unforeseeable facility lockdowns, shakedowns, library closings, and equipment
failure.” Aplt. Opening Br. at 21. The magistrate judge rejected Stuart's
assertion of cause, simply stating that he had adequate time to prepare the
one-page petition in error and the six-page accompanying brief. We do not
believe that the “cause” issue can ordinarily be decided solely on the basis of
a page count in relation to appeal time. But even if we were to find “cause” for
Stuart's procedural default, he has not demonstrated actual prejudice.

Otherwise, not much from the Court's on Friday, lucky for me I guess. Have a safe and restful Memorial Day Weekend!