NCH represents state prisoners sentenced to anything other than the death penalty in federal habeas corpus proceedings brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. First formed in 2000, NCH is the oldest, and remains the largest, unit in the Federal Public Defender system that is dedicated exclusively to working on § 2254 petitions. NCH represents clients at all stages of federal habeas litigation, including in the district court, the Ninth Circuit, and Supreme Court. But the work of NCH is not just limited to federal court. NCH will pursue state court remedies when appropriate. This also includes appearing at parole board hearings and representing our clients before the Pardons Board. In all our cases, NCH is dedicated to doing as much as we can for our clients.
While habeas litigation can be challenging, NCH has recorded numerous significant victories. Just within the past few years, NCH has won an en banc decision before the Ninth Circuit, has had habeas relief granted on several cases in both state and federal court, has recorded multiple favorable procedural rulings from the Ninth Circuit, and has obtained numerous equitable tolling grants to prevent untimely petitions from being dismissed.