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Wilbert Noble v. Darrel G. Adams

April 19, 2012

WILBERT NOBLE,
PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
DARREL G. ADAMS, WARDEN, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Ronald M. Whyte, Senior District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 5:06-cv-07114-RMW

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wallace, Senior Circuit Judge:

FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Argued and Submitted March 13, 2012-San Francisco, California

Before: J. Clifford Wallace, Dorothy W. Nelson, and Carlos T. Bea, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by Judge Wallace

OPINION

Noble, a prisoner of the State of California, appeals from the denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We review de novo the denial of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on statute-of-limitations grounds. Delhomme v. Ramirez, 340 F.3d 817, 819 (9th Cir. 2003). We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2253, and we vacate and remand for further proceedings.

I.

Following a jury trial in California Superior Court, Noble was found guilty of one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, forcible oral copulation, three counts of lewd act on a child under 14, and one count of false imprisonment. The superior court imposed an aggregate prison sentence of 130 years to life. The California Court of Appeal upheld Noble's conviction and sentence and the California Supreme Court denied his petition for review on direct appeal. The conviction and sentence became final for purposes of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) on July 20, 2004, when the time to petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court expired. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A).

On June 23, 2005, Noble mailed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to the California Superior Court for Santa Clara County. The superior court denied Noble's petition on July 25, 2005, on the grounds that several of Noble's claims were procedurally barred because they could have been raised on direct appeal and others failed to state a prima facie case for relief.

On September 8, 2005, Noble mailed a second petition for a writ of habeas corpus to the same superior court. Noble's second petition re-alleged the same substantive claims as the first petition, but also added a claim that Noble's prior appellate counsel had rendered ineffective assistance by failing to raise those claims on direct appeal. The second petition also added a claim for "cumulative prejudice." On October 28, 2005, the superior court denied the second petition because the claims were duplicative of Noble's prior petition and because Noble presented claims in a piecemeal fashion.

On December 8, 2005, Noble mailed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to the California Court of Appeal raising the same claims as the prior petitions. The court of appeal summarily denied the petition on February 1, 2006.

On February 15, 2006, Noble mailed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus raising the same claims as the prior petitions to the California Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ...


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