Richey v. Obenland
ORDER denying 70 Motion for Relief from Judgment signed by Judge Benjamin H. Settle. The Court also denies a certificate of appealability for this order. (TG)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
THOMAS W. S. RICHEY,
CASE NO. C13-5231 BHS
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT AND
A CERTIFICATE OF
APPEALABILITY FOR THIS
This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Thomas Richey’s (“Richey”)
motion for relief from judgment (Dkt. 70).
On April 18, 2017, the Court dismissed Richey’s petition as time-barred because it
was filed after the statute of limitations had run and he was not entitled to equitable
tolling. Dkt. 68. On May 18, 2017, Richey filed the instant motion challenging the
Court’s conclusion regarding equitable tolling. Dkt. 70. The government did not
A habeas petitioner is “‘entitled to equitable tolling’ only if he shows ‘(1) that he
has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance
stood in his way’ and prevented timely filing.” Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 649
(2010) (quoting Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 (2005)). In Sossa v. Diaz, 729
F.3d 1225 (9th Cir. 2013), the Ninth Circuit “held that where a petitioner was
affirmatively misled to believe that her limitations period was being tolled under the
statute, this inaccuracy could entitle her to equitable tolling.” Rudin v. Myles, 781 F.3d
ORDER - 1
1043, 1058 (9th Cir. 2015), cert. denied sub nom. Gentry v. Rudin, 136 S. Ct. 1157
In this case, Richey argues that he was affirmatively misled by one order of the
state trial court. Dkt. 70 at 2–5. In transferring his motion for relief from judgment to the
court of appeals, the trial court stated that Richey’s motion was “not time-barred.” Dkt.
70-1 at 2. On May 29, 2012, the Washington Court of Appeals disagreed holding that
Richey’s motions were “frivolous and time-barred.” Dkt. 70-2 at 4. The Court has
concluded that “the time for filing [Richey’s federal] petition expired on November 7,
2012.” Dkt. 68 at 4. Thus, Richey was on notice of conflicting timeliness rulings over
five months before his filing period expired. At most, this circumstance constitutes
reasonable confusion. “A petitioner’s reasonable confusion about whether a state filing
would be timely will ordinarily constitute ‘good cause’ for him to file in federal court.”
Pace, 544 U.S. at 416. In other words, conflicting state court decisions received within
the applicable federal filing period does not constitute being affirmatively misled and is
not an extraordinary circumstance that prevents the filing of a timely federal petition.
Therefore, the Court DENIES Richey’s motion for relief from judgment and DENIES a
certificate of appealability for this order.
Dated this 12th day of June, 2017.
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE
United States District Judge
ORDER - 2
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