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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Carlos Jimenez
Nathaniel Quarterman, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division
(argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Deputy Solicitor General of Texas, argued the cause for the respondent)
Facts of the Case 

In 1995, Carlos Jimenez pled guilty in Texas state court to burglary and violating his probation. Because Jimenez had a prior felony conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, he was sentenced to 43 years in prison. Jimenez appealed and, in 1996, a state appeals court dismissed Jimenez's petition when a court-appointed lawyer stated that Jimenez had no grounds for appeal. Six years later the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals allowed leave for Jimenez to renew his appeal based on his lawyer's incompetence, however the court affirmed his conviction and sentence.

In 2005, Jimenez filed a habeas corpus petition in a Texas federal court arguing that he had not received adequate legal assistance during his proceedings in the state courts. The district judge dismissed the claim, holding that the one-year statute of limitations, which began running on the date of conviction, had expired. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit also denied Jimenez's appeal. Jimenez, in his petition for certiorari, argued that the one-year statute of limitations should actually have begun in 2005, after his final appeal was denied in state court, rather than in 1995 when he was convicted.


When a criminal defendant is unable to obtain timely direct review of his case in state court, should the one-year statute of limitations for appeals begin to run at the date of conviction, as federal law prescribes, or after the delayed direct review is completed?

Decision: 9 votes for Jimenez, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision:

In a unanimous opinion with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the Court, the Supreme Court reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. It held that when a state court grants a criminal defendant the right to file an out-of-time direct appeal and he does so, the conviction is not final. Therefore, the statute of limitations begins to run only after the out-of-time direct appeal is final. The Court remanded Mr. Jimenez's case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Cite this Page
JIMENEZ v. QUARTERMAN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_07_6984>.
JIMENEZ v. QUARTERMAN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_07_6984 (last visited August 26, 2015).
"JIMENEZ v. QUARTERMAN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_07_6984.