Thursday, March 02, 2006

Second Circuit Requires COA For Appeals of Denied Rule 59(e) Motion When Underlying Judgment Denies Habeas Corpus Petition

Per Jackson v. Albany Appeal Bureau Unit, --- F.3d ----, 2006 WL 406309 (2d Cir. Feb. 8, 2006):

Does Jackson require a [certificate of appealability (COA)], pursuant to § 2253(c)(1), in order to appeal from the denial of his Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend the judgment dismissing his § 2254 petition? In Kellogg v. Strack, we held that the COA requirement of § 2253(c)(1) applies to an appeal from the denial of a Rule 60(b) motion seeking relief from a judgment denying a habeas petition. 269 F.3d 100, 103 (2d Cir.2001). The Kellogg court reasoned that the evident Congressional intent of § 2253(c)(1) is to weed out unmeritorious appeals taken from denials of habeas petitions; that “it would be rather anomalous for Congress” to have intended that appeals be allowed from the denial of Rule 60(b) motions without the same scrutiny; and that the interest served by the COA requirement-relieving the state and the court system of the burdens resulting from the litigation of insubstantial appeals-is served by the application of that requirement to appeals from orders denying post-judgment relief. Id.

These rationales apply with equal force to Rule 59(e) motions. We therefore conclude that the § 2253(c)(1) COA requirement applies to appeals from an order denying a Rule 59(e) motion when the underlying judgment is a denial of a § 2254 petition.


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