I’m confused.  (I’m sure many would say that’s not an unusual state for me to be in.)

On Thursday, CAAF docketed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis in the case of Williams v. United States, No. 13-8003/NA.  The petitioner also filed a motion for leave to file the petition out of time.  I suspect, but don’t know, that the petition was filed pro se. CAAF denied the motion to file out of time and dismissed the petition as untimely.

CAAF’s Rule 19(d) says that generally a petition for extraordinary relief “shall be filed as soon as possible but, in any event, no later than 20 days after the petitioner learns of the action complained of.”  But there is an exception to that rule: “a petition for a writ of habeas corpus or writ of error coram nobis may be filed at any time.”  Given that language, it isn’t apparent to me how a petition for writ of error coram nobis could be untimely, unless perhaps it was in reality an untimely writ appeal masquerading as an original petition to evade Rule 19(e)’s 20-day deadline for filing a writ appeal.

Can anyone shed light on just what happened here?

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