Artuz v. Bennett,
531 U.S. 4 (2000)

Annotate this Case
  • Syllabus  | 
  • Case





No. 99-1238. Argued October 10, 2000-Decided November 7, 2000

A New York trial court orally denied respondent's 1995 motion to vacate his state conviction. Subsequently, the Federal District Court dismissed respondent's federal habeas petition as untimely, noting that it was filed more than one year after the effective date of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). In reversing and remanding, the Second Circuit concluded that 28 U. S. C. §2244(d)(2), which tolls AEDPA's limitations period during the time that a "properly filed" application for state postconviction relief is pending, also tolls the I-year grace period which the Circuit has allowed for the filing of applications challenging pre-AEDPA convictions; that, in the absence of a written order, respondent's 1995 motion was still pending under § 2244(d)(2); and that the 1995 motion was properly filed because it complied with rules governing whether an application for state postconviction relief is "recognized as such" under state law. It thus rejected petitioner's contention that the 1995 application was not properly filed because the claims it contained were procedurally barred under New York law.

Held: That respondent's application for state postconviction relief contained procedurally barred claims does not render it improperly filed under § 2244(d)(2). An application is "filed," as that term is commonly understood, when it is delivered to, and accepted by, the appropriate court officer for placement into the official record; and it is "properly filed" when its delivery and acceptance are in compliance with the applicable laws and rules governing filings, e. g., requirements concerning the form of the document, applicable time limits upon its delivery, the court and office in which it must be lodged, and payment of a filing fee. By construing "properly filed application" to mean application "raising claims that are not mandatorily procedurally barred," petitioner elides the difference between an "application" and a "claim." The state procedural bars at issue set forth conditions to obtaining relief, rather than conditions to filing. Pp.8-11.

199 F.3d 116, affirmed.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.


John M. Castellano argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Richard A. Brown and Gary S. Fidel.

Dan Schweitzer argued the cause for the State of Florida et al. as amici curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General of Florida, Carolyn M. Snurkowski, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Denise O. Simpson, Assistant Attorney General, and John M. Bailey, Chief State's Attorney of Connecticut, joined by the Attorneys General for their respective States as follows: Bruce M. Botelho of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ken Salazar of Colorado, M. Jane Brady of Delaware, Thurbert E. Baker of Georgia, James E. Ryan of Illinois, Richard P. Ieyoub of Louisiana, Michael C. Moore of Mississippi, Joseph P. Mazurek of Montana, Don Stenberg of Nebraska, Frankie Sue Del Papa of Nevada, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Betty Montgomery of Ohio, W A. Drew Edmondson of Oklahoma, Hardy Myers of Oregon, Charles M. Condon of South Carolina, Mark Barnett of South Dakota, Jan Graham of Utah, and Mark L. Earley of Virginia.

Alan S. Futerfas argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were John H. Blume and Keir M. Weyble.

JUSTICE SCALIA delivered the opinion of the Court. Section 2244(d)(2) of Title 28 U. S. C. (1994 ed., Supp. IV) provides that "[t]he time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under this subsection." This case presents the question whether an application for state postconviction relief containing claims that are procedurally barred is "properly filed" within the meaning of this provision.


After a 1984 jury trial in the Supreme Court of New York, Queens County, respondent was convicted of attempted mur-

Full Text of Opinion

Disclaimer: Official Supreme Court case law is only found in the print version of the United States Reports. Justia case law is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or information linked to from this site. Please check official sources.