Hackney v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Court of Appeals here adopted the “prison mailbox rule” - under which the papers or pleadings of unrepresented, incarcerated litigants are deemed “filed” when formally delivered to prison authorities for mailing to the circuit court - in the postconviction context and applied it to the case at bar.
Petitioner, who was unrepresented and incarcerated at the time of the relevant events, testified that he delivered a petition for postconviction relief to prison authorities three days before a statutory ten-year filing deadline. Prison authorities mailed the petition to the circuit court two days later, and the petition arrived and was date-stamped by the clerk one day after the deadline. The circuit court rejected the petition as untimely. The court of special appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) this Court hereby adopts the prison mailbox rule; and (2) as applied to Petitioner, Petitioner’s petition for post-conviction relief was timely filed when he delivered it to prison authorities at least two days before the limitations period expired. The Court remanded the case with directions that the circuit court accept the petition as timely filed and proceed to consider the merits of the petition.