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Docket No.: 09-5327
Certiorari Granted: Oct 13 2009
Argued: March 1, 2010
Decided: June 14, 2010


Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Code, Death Penalty, Sixth Amendment, court appointed counsel, equitable relief, habeas, habeas corpus, ineffective assistance of counsel, murder, stare decisis, untimely filing

PartyNames: Albert Holland v. Florida
Petitioner: Albert Holland
Respondent: Florida

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Citation: 539 F.3d 1334

Albert Holland
Question Presented:

:flOmega In determining that Petitioner was not entitled to equitable tolling to excuse the late filing of his habeas petition, the Eleventh Circuit determined that the reason for the late filing was the "gross negligence" on part of Petitioner's state-appointed collateral attorney's failure to file the petition in a timely fashion despite repeated instructions from the Petitioner to do so. However, under the new test announced by the Eleventh Circuit in Petitioner's case, no allegation of attorney negligence or failure to meet a lawyer's standard of care, in the absence of bad faith, dishonesty, divided loyalty, or mental impairment, could ever qualify as an exceptional circumstance warranting equitable tolling. flOmega flOmega This Court should grant certiorari to the Eleventh Circuit to determine whether "gross negligence" by collateral counsel, which directly results in the late filing of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, can qualify as an exceptional circumstance warranting equitable tolling, or whether, in conflict with other circuits, the Eleventh Circuit was proper in determining that factors beyond "gross negligence" must be established before an extraordinary circumstance can be found that would warrant equitable tolling.


Can "gross negligence" by counsel that directly results in the late filing of a petition for habeas corpus relief qualify as a circumstance warranting equitable tolling?


March 1, 2010

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 7-2

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Case Documents

1HOLLAND v. FLORIDA Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
2HOLLAND v. FLORIDA Oral Argument Transcript (PDF)
3HOLLAND v. FLORIDA Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
4Opinion in HOLLAND v. FLORIDA
Additional documents for this case are pending review.