Saturday, January 07, 2006

Because Prisoners Don't Have Computers, Duh!

Price v. Reid, 04-1190

The Tenth Circuit reversed a district court's dismissal of a pro se habeas petition in an interesting case yesterday. (Opinion here.)

The district court sent petitioner Price two habeas petition forms. Though it sent two, the court apparently intended Price to only file one copy of his petition. But Price completed both forms by hand and filed them. Nevertheless, the district court dismissed the habeas petition, holding that Price had failed to follow pleading rules by filing "two similar but not identical [] applications." The Tenth Circuit reversed, holding that this way no way to treat a pro se petitioner at the pleading stage. "The completed form petitions [were] essentially identical, with only one or two words different between the two, which one might expect in light of the fact that Price was writing them out by hand."

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