Ray v. Clements

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Habeas Corpus
Case Number: 
No. 11-3228
Decision Date: 
November 19, 2012
Federal District: 
E.D. Wisc.
Reversed and remanded
In defendant’s appeal of Dist. Ct.’s denial of defendant’s habeas petition, Ct. of Appeals previously found that defendant’s constitutional rights had been violated when state introduced at defendant’s murder trial out-of-court statements made by non-testifying individuals who implicated defendant in charged offense. Ct. of Appeals remanded case, though, for determination as to whether defendant’s state-court post-conviction motion raising underlying error was timely where: (1) defendant claimed that he timely tendered said motion to prison official to mail to state court; (2) state court never received said petition; and (3) defendant did not file supplemental motion until two years later when he found out that original motion had not been received by state court. While Dist. Ct. subsequently found that defendant had failed in his burden to show that original motion was timely filed, Ct. of Appeals found that prison mailbox rule applied, and that state, as opposed to defendant, had burden of proof to demonstrate that original motion was untimely where defendant present affidavit that he timely tendered motion to prison official, as well as other evidence in form of inquiry letters to prison official to support his claim of timely tender. Ct. of Appeals further found that state had failed to present competent evidence to contradict defendant’s testimony, and that record failed to support Dist. Ct. finding that defendant was not credible in his claims of timely tender. (Dissent filed.)