U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Robertson v. Simpson, 07-6191

Equitable tolling in defendant's habeas petition

Robertson v. Simpson, 07-6191, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief filed one month beyond the one-year statute of limitations, holding that defendant failed to meet his burden of proving that he was entitled to equitable tolling.  The court remanded the matter for a determination of whether defendant's attorney's cocaine use and possible misadvice constitute sufficient extraordinary circumstances to entitle defendant to equitable tolling.


As the court wrote: "The district court...failed to make several factual findings relevant to whether [the attorney's] cocaine use affected his ability to file a timely habeas petition.  The district court did not make any factual determinations regarding [the attorney's] state of mind besides taking note of the disciplinary case, and it did not determine whether he misadvised Robertson."

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