Exception To Statute of Limitations For Mentally Ill Defendant

by Admin on April 23, 2014

The USA 9th Circuit ruled A mentally ill inmate whose severe delusions led him to believe he was working with the FBI from prison to bust a drug cartel deserves extra time to appeal reports Courthouse News.

Steven Forbess was convicted of attempted murder, assault, kidnapping and coercion of his former wife, Joanne.

More than a year afterward, Forbess filed a federal habeas petition. It had been 11 months, however, since the one-year statute of limitations had expired. Forbess argued that his petition should be heard anyway because severe delusions, a symptom of his mental illness, had made it impossible for him to prepare a court filing in time.

Lawyers on behalf of Forbess explained he believed he had been placed in prison for his own protection from the drug cartel and he would be released when Joanne was apprehended.

Accordingly, the court gave him discretion to lodge an appeal.

Extensions of time limits and exceptions to late filings beyond the statue of limitation period are normally dealt with on a case by case basis. Thailand attorney, Jiraporn Thongpong warns,” In certain cases extensions are more likely to be granted. Examples include when a litigant was unconscious or unable to act due to a severe.

Read the full report here 

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