Oral argument: Feb. 27, 2012
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Nov. 26, 2010)
HABEAS CORPUS, DEFENSE, STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, WAIVER, PETITION
Petitioner Patrick Wood filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus on February 25, 2008, in order to challenge his murder conviction. On appeal, the appellate court raised, sua sponte, a 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) statute of limitations defense that barred Wood’s claims. Wood argues that appellate courts lack authority to raise a statute of limitations defense sua sponte, because an affirmative defense is forfeited if not raised, and because the government waived its statute of limitations defense at the district court level. In opposition, Kevin Milyard argues that appellate courts do have authority to raise a statute of limitations defense sua sponte, assuming the state did not intelligently waive the defense in the district court. In determining appellate court capacity to independently raise statute of limitations defenses, this decision will impact the finality of lower court decisions.