Bianchi v. Medeiros
Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV: ORDER entered. Order on Certificate of Appealability. (Zaleski, Christine)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
Civil Action No.
ORDER ON CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
To appeal a final order in a proceeding instituted under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the petitioner
must first obtain a Certificate of Appealability (“COA”) from a circuit justice or a district court.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c). A COA will issue only if the petitioner “has made a substantial
showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” Id. § 2253(c)(2). That standard is satisfied by
“demonstrating that jurists of reason could disagree with the district court’s resolution of
[petitioner’s] constitutional claims or that jurists could conclude the issues presented are
adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.” Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 327
(2003) (citing Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)).
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”) imposed a oneyear limitations period for habeas corpus petitions by state prisoners. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
Petitioner claimed that his petition was timely, despite being filed more than fourteen years after
his state-court conviction became final, because the limitations period was tolled by a pending
motion under Mass. R. Crim. P. 25 for a required finding of not guilty. In the alternative, he
claimed that he was entitled to equitable tolling of the limitations period. Petitioner’s
contentions present colorable claims of a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right, and it further appears that a reasonable jurist could disagree with the Court’s conclusions.
Accordingly, a certificate of appealability is GRANTED as to (1) whether petitioner’s
motion under Mass. R. Crim. P. 25 was a “properly filed application for State post-conviction or
other collateral review,” thereby suspending the one-year limitations period under AEDPA, 28
U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); and (2) whether the limitations period should be equitably tolled.
/s/ F. Dennis Saylor
F. Dennis Saylor IV
United States District Judge
Dated: May 15, 2017
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