28 U.S. Code § 2266 - Limitation periods for determining applications and motions

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(a) The adjudication of any application under section 2254 that is subject to this chapter, and the adjudication of any motion under section 2255 by a person under sentence of death, shall be given priority by the district court and by the court of appeals over all noncapital matters.
(b)
(1)
(A) A district court shall render a final determination and enter a final judgment on any application for a writ of habeas corpus brought under this chapter in a capital case not later than 450 days after the date on which the application is filed, or 60 days after the date on which the case is submitted for decision, whichever is earlier.
(B) A district court shall afford the parties at least 120 days in which to complete all actions, including the preparation of all pleadings and briefs, and if necessary, a hearing, prior to the submission of the case for decision.
(C)
(i) A district court may delay for not more than one additional 30-day period beyond the period specified in subparagraph (A), the rendering of a determination of an application for a writ of habeas corpus if the court issues a written order making a finding, and stating the reasons for the finding, that the ends of justice that would be served by allowing the delay outweigh the best interests of the public and the applicant in a speedy disposition of the application.
(ii) The factors, among others, that a court shall consider in determining whether a delay in the disposition of an application is warranted are as follows:
(I) Whether the failure to allow the delay would be likely to result in a miscarriage of justice.
(II) Whether the case is so unusual or so complex, due to the number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or the existence of novel questions of fact or law, that it is unreasonable to expect adequate briefing within the time limitations established by subparagraph (A).
(III) Whether the failure to allow a delay in a case that, taken as a whole, is not so unusual or so complex as described in subclause (II), but would otherwise deny the applicant reasonable time to obtain counsel, would unreasonably deny the applicant or the government continuity of counsel, or would deny counsel for the applicant or the government the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.
(iii) No delay in disposition shall be permissible because of general congestion of the court’s calendar.
(iv) The court shall transmit a copy of any order issued under clause (i) to the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts for inclusion in the report under paragraph (5).
(2) The time limitations under paragraph (1) shall apply to—
(A) an initial application for a writ of habeas corpus;
(B) any second or successive application for a writ of habeas corpus; and
(C) any redetermination of an application for a writ of habeas corpus following a remand by the court of appeals or the Supreme Court for further proceedings, in which case the limitation period shall run from the date the remand is ordered.
(3)
(A) The time limitations under this section shall not be construed to entitle an applicant to a stay of execution, to which the applicant would otherwise not be entitled, for the purpose of litigating any application or appeal.
(B) No amendment to an application for a writ of habeas corpus under this chapter shall be permitted after the filing of the answer to the application, except on the grounds specified in section 2244 (b).
(4)
(A) The failure of a court to meet or comply with a time limitation under this section shall not be a ground for granting relief from a judgment of conviction or sentence.
(B) The State may enforce a time limitation under this section by petitioning for a writ of mandamus to the court of appeals. The court of appeals shall act on the petition for a writ of mandamus not later than 30 days after the filing of the petition.
(5)
(A) The Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall submit to Congress an annual report on the compliance by the district courts with the time limitations under this section.
(B) The report described in subparagraph (A) shall include copies of the orders submitted by the district courts under paragraph (1)(B)(iv).
(c)
(1)
(A) A court of appeals shall hear and render a final determination of any appeal of an order granting or denying, in whole or in part, an application brought under this chapter in a capital case not later than 120 days after the date on which the reply brief is filed, or if no reply brief is filed, not later than 120 days after the date on which the answering brief is filed.
(B)
(i) A court of appeals shall decide whether to grant a petition for rehearing or other request for rehearing en banc not later than 30 days after the date on which the petition for rehearing is filed unless a responsive pleading is required, in which case the court shall decide whether to grant the petition not later than 30 days after the date on which the responsive pleading is filed.
(ii) If a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc is granted, the court of appeals shall hear and render a final determination of the appeal not later than 120 days after the date on which the order granting rehearing or rehearing en banc is entered.
(2) The time limitations under paragraph (1) shall apply to—
(A) an initial application for a writ of habeas corpus;
(B) any second or successive application for a writ of habeas corpus; and
(C) any redetermination of an application for a writ of habeas corpus or related appeal following a remand by the court of appeals en banc or the Supreme Court for further proceedings, in which case the limitation period shall run from the date the remand is ordered.
(3) The time limitations under this section shall not be construed to entitle an applicant to a stay of execution, to which the applicant would otherwise not be entitled, for the purpose of litigating any application or appeal.
(4)
(A) The failure of a court to meet or comply with a time limitation under this section shall not be a ground for granting relief from a judgment of conviction or sentence.
(B) The State may enforce a time limitation under this section by applying for a writ of mandamus to the Supreme Court.
(5) The Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall submit to Congress an annual report on the compliance by the courts of appeals with the time limitations under this section.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 104–132, title I, § 107(a),Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1224; amended Pub. L. 109–177, title V, § 507(e),Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 251.)
Amendments

2006—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 109–177substituted “450 days after the date on which the application is filed, or 60 days after the date on which the case is submitted for decision, whichever is earlier” for “180 days after the date on which the application is filed”.
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–177applicable to cases pending on or after Mar. 9, 2006, with special rule for certain cases pending on that date, see section 507(d) ofPub. L. 109–177, set out as a note under section 2251 of this title.

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28 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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